KCLS provides silver linings during the pandemic

The King County Library System is maintaining public service at a high level while adhering to coronavirus public health guidelines. Our staff has been busy offering online programs and resources—and processing thousands of holds for contactless pickup through KCLS’ highly popular Curbside to Go service at 41 libraries. Holds pickup also is available 24/7 from new exterior lockers at the Bothell and Covington Libraries. And now patrons can submit print jobs from their own devices for pickup at select libraries.

New COVID-19 restrictions announced by Governor Inslee on November 15 do not affect KCLS’ ability to continue to offer curbside services. In addition, KCLS is proceeding with planning for future limited in-building services. The planning has been rigorous and thoughtful so that patrons will have equitable access to books and computers across all communities, while being assured that KCLS is adhering to state requirements for occupancy limits, facial coverings, and social distancing.

The health and safety of staff and visitors is our top priority. Since closing to the public in March, the Facilities department has kept buildings in top working order for the eventual return of patrons. Plexiglass barriers at library service areas are being installed as added protection for staff and the public, and ventilation systems are “purged” daily to keep fresh air circulating throughout library spaces.

As reopening plans unfold, more details will be announced in the future.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an escape amid stay-at-home advisories, we’ve got you covered. Hot off the presses is our Best Books of 2020.

Librarians and staff members collectively read thousands of books throughout the year and nominate their favorites. All staff then vote to create a list of top 100 books, with 25 titles in each of four categories – fiction, nonfiction, teens and children’s. Emily Calkins, Readers’ Services Program Coordinator, says this year’s list includes authors from a wide range of backgrounds that reflect King County’s diversity, “writing all kinds of different stories, both fictional and true.”

The Best Books list has something for everyone, so be sure to check it out.

The King County Library System is here for you, not only with books, but a full digital collectionlearning resources, and virtual programs and events to inspire, inform, and entertain. As days get shorter and weather gets rainier, let the library be your silver lining—a comforting escape even during a pandemic.