Library opens to five people at a time

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The Point Roberts library is welcoming patrons again ahead of the rest of the Whatcom County Library System after being deemed a low risk “because of the isolation and the lack of Covid-19 cases here,” said branch manager Kris
Lomedico.

As Whatcom County moves into Phase 2, the remaining branches in the system will be open March 1 and, like them, the Point Roberts branch can operate at 25 percent occupancy, accommodating about five people. All patrons need to wear masks, vaccinated or not, and maintain a six-foot distance from other patrons and staff. “That can be awkward if someone is using the computer and needs help, but we’re making it work,” Lomedico said.

The Library Express Foyer, which made library services available while the main library space remained closed during Covid-19 restrictions, has offered Point Roberts library users far more options that users of other branches have had available to them. “It’s been great,” Lomedico said. “It was really a foresight to add that to the building’s design.”

People can come in and pick up holds or choose from some popular book and DVD titles to check out without entering the actual library, a service unavailable at many branches. The foyer is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day and is under camera surveillance.

Under Covid-19 restrictions, Lomedico said patrons had also been making more use of the digital resources the library has to offer, from e-books and magazines to movies and music. These can be accessed at wcls.org.

Having the library itself open offers more than access to materials and computers, Lomedico said. “More people are coming in looking for a place to exhale, with no pressure, just to enjoy.”

The library is open Tuesday from 1 to 7 p.m. and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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