Library reopens

Robert Bennett collects his reserved books from John Brockman at the Baker County Public Library Tuesday. The library’s drive-up window reopened Monday.

Baker City missed books.

“We’ve had a steady stream of cars coming through — very happy patrons,” Perry Stokes, library director, said on Monday.

That was the day Baker County Public Library, 2400 Resort St., opened its drive-up window after being closed since March 28. Services are limited to library inventory. Interlibrary loans are not yet available.

To request books, patrons can either place a hold online at, or call the library at 541-523-6419.

The drive-up hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Book returns are quarantined for seven days after receiving a strong UV light treatment.

Stokes said information varies from three days to five days for how long a virus can survive on a book surface. They decided seven days for an extra precaution.

Stokes said Monday also brought phone calls asking when the library would reopen its doors.

He said the tentative date is June 1 for limited use. This includes appointments to use the computers with only five users at one time, and limited browsing to five small family groups at a time.

“Not full services, but a step in the right direction,” he said.

Stokes said the library generally has 10 employees on site. Add five patrons on computers and another 10 browsing the stacks, and that gets to the limit of 25 people.

Patrons who come to search for books will need to sign in, receive a time limit, then sign out before leaving.

In-person storytime is still on hold, but Missy Grammon has been livestreaming storytime on the library’s Facebook page.

The summer reading program planning is still in process, but will likely combine outdoor and online activities.

As he looks ahead, Stokes projects the library’s cleaning budget will increase.

“We’ll more than double the janitorial budget for next year,” he said.

Although not set, he said the hours for the limited reopening in June will probably be the same as the current drive-up hours.

The branch libraries will have different schedules and services. For details, here are the numbers for each branch:

• Haines Library: 541-856-3309

• Halfway Library: 541-742-5279

• Huntington Library: 541-869-2440

• Richland Library: 541-893-6088

• Sumpter Library: 541-894-2253

Each branch also has a Facebook page.

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