All Sno-Isle Libraries buildings will close to the public at 6 p.m., Friday, March 13.
“We will continually reassess to determine the length of the closure,” Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Lois Langer Thompson said on Thursday.
“This was a difficult decision and was made based on Snohomish Health District recommendations, the Governor’s emergency declaration regarding social distancing, large groups, and closing schools,” Langer Thompson said.
During the closure, library customers will be able to keep currently checked-out materials and their holds on new materials will be extended. Sno-Isle libraries does not have fines for overdue library materials. Langer Thompson said that plans are being made now for library staff to continue work and be paid during the closure period.
The library also has many online resources, services, and materials. In addition, library customers who register online for a library account will now have access to more digital materials.
“We realize that the decisions around this quickly evolving public-health crisis are difficult for our customers and employees,” Langer Thompson said. “Sno-Isle Libraries plays an important role in our communities. During this unprecedented time, we can best help those communities by doing what we can to help curb the growth of coronavirus transmission.
The library system noted that is expanding its digital availability, and will now provide everyone who registers online for a Sno-Isle Libraries library card with immediate and uninterrupted access to Overdrive digital materials and all other digital services.
“We want all customers to have access to digital materials during the current public health crisis,” said Jessica Russell, Assistant Director of Technical Services-Collection Services for Sno-Isle Libraries.
Overdrive offers ebooks and audiobooks, online learning courses, digital magazines, and digital streaming of movies and TV shows with Kanopy and Hoopla.
Sno-Isle Libraries worked with Overdrive to “reduce the friction” of online library card registration, said Sno-Isle Libraries Assistant Director of Communications Jim Hills.
Before this change, customers who registered online for a Sno-Isle Libraries card could place holds to pick up materials in a community library and had limited access to Overdrive digital services until they visited their community library to verify their physical address.