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Libraries in Jackson County reopen for in-person browsing

Libraries in Jackson County have re-opened to in-person browsing. Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune
Waning of COVID-19 surge prompts change

Jackson County Library Services’ 15 branches have reopened to in-person browsing as a summer COVID-19 surge continues to subside.

The change took effect on Monday. Next week on Friday, Oct. 15, meeting and study rooms will be available by reservation.

“We all want to return to normal, even if it is a new normal. Your libraries want that too, and we will welcome you back in our libraries as long as it continues to be safe to do so,” said JCLS Director Kari May. “We hope that the downward trend of new cases and hospitalizations continues, and that vaccination rates continue to increase, so that we can keep our library doors open for everyone.”

Patrons are asked to pick up their own holds and use the self-service stations to check out materials.

Patrons age five and older are required to wear a mask that fully covers their nose and mouth when using all library services in accordance with Oregon’s statewide mask mandate. Patrons who remove their mask while in the library will not be permitted to remain in the library. Patrons who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons may request accommodation for picking up materials outside in a socially distanced manner that protects staff and the community, library officials said.

The number of patrons allowed in each branch may be limited to ensure social distancing safety standards can be met.

Renovations of the second floor of the Medford Library are complete and the area is again open. New study spaces have been added upstairs, and public computers will be moved from the Large Meeting Room to the second floor in a dedicated computer lab.

Computers will remain available at branches during open hours on a first-come, first-served basis. Patrons are allotted 60 total minutes of computer use per day. Wireless printing is available at all branches. People who use computers or in-person services must follow all safety protocols, including wearing a mask. Digital Services Specialists have resumed their regular appointment schedules at all branches.

Although in-person browsing is available, patrons are still encouraged to request book advice and personalized recommendations through JCLS Discovery. A JCLS staff member will curate a customized list of up to 15 books for patrons within three days, and titles can be placed on hold directly from the list of recommendations. Patrons may also browse the online catalog and staff booklists and subscribe to the Library Connect blog to find recommendations. In-person advice is also available at each branch.

Patrons can also browse the online catalog and place holds on books on their own.

JCLS continues to provide diverse programming, including some outdoor in-person programs (masks required) and a wide variety of online programs, including storytime, book discussions, lectures and more.

The library’s popular Take & Make kits offer a way for patrons to bring projects home with them, including projects related to arts, crafts, science, technology, engineering and math.

Visit jcls.libcal.com to register for upcoming programs, or see the JCLS Beyond YouTube channel to view past presentations.

For more information on branch hours, to browse the online catalog and for other services, see jcls.org.