Library Reopening: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted By:  Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted:  5/15/2020

Updated - 07/24/2020

When will the libraries reopen?

The library is reopening in three steps, or “Chapters,” with each Chapter being implemented in consultation with government and public health officials. As of June 22 we are in Chapter 2, during which time the buildings are open for customers to pick up their own holds and check them out at self-serve kiosks. Curbside pick up is still available. Our hours in this Chapter are: 

Downtown Bend Library, East Bend Library, Redmond Library: Monday–Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (9:00-10:00 a.m. are special hours designated for people ages 60+ and immunocompromised individuals); closed Sundays

La Pine Library, Sisters Library, Sunriver Library: Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays


When can I return my library books and other library materials?

Book drops are open 24/7 at all libraries, so you can return your library materials at a time that's convenient for you. 


Do I have to wear a face covering in the library?

Yes. The Governor of Oregon has mandated that face coverings be worn in all indoor public spaces.

Beginning July 24, children 2 and under will not be required to wear face coverings; it is recommended that children ages 3 to 4 wear face coverings, but it is not mandatory. Everyone age 5 and above is required to wear a face covering. Ensuring that safety protocols are maintained for all, a reasonable accommodation can be requested and scheduled for people with a disability or a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. Options to a face mask include a face shield, fandana, or loose item such as a scarf that covers both nose and mouth


When are my items checked in?

All returned materials are held in quarantine for 96 hours prior to being checked in. Please contact the library at (541) 617-0776 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday if your items are still on your account a week after they were returned.


Can I still apply for a library card?
If you are a Deschutes County resident 17 or older and need a library card, you can apply for one online here by clicking on "Pre-apply online." We will process applications online and get a card number to you via email within three business days.


Can I reserve a meeting room?
Meeting rooms and tutoring spaces will remain closed and unavailable for reservations until further notice.


I have a different question. Is there anyone who can help me?
You can call or text your question to (541) 617-0776 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also use our Ask a Librarian service, which provides brief answers to factual questions, as well as providing suggestions for resources that might help you find what you need.


What safety practices is the library implementing?

  • Face Coverings. All Deschutes Public Library staff members are required to wear face masks.

  • Increased Cleanings. The Library’s janitorial service is contracted to work additional hours, paying particular attention to common surfaces such as handrails, doors and handles. The Library also provides cleaning supplies to allow staff to regularly clean their workspaces and public service desk areas.

  • Hand Washing. While public restrooms will be closed during the initial phases of re-opening, outdoor hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer will be provided for Library customers. Staff have regular access to soap and warm water for hand washing.

  • Physical Distancing. Customers will be guided to maintain a six-foot distance between staff and other customers. Physical distancing areas will be clearly marked in spaces where the public tends to gather (e.g., service desks, check-out kiosks).


What about in-person services, such as Thrive and Lawyer in the Library?

Per the state recommendations to limit prolonged interactions, limit gatherings, and maintain physical distancing, Deschutes Public Library reopening plans during Chapters 1 and 2 will not include in-person services such as Open Lab, Book A Librarian, Lawyer in the Library, SCORE or Thrive Central Oregon. All services, except SCORE, have been moved to online formats so we may continue to serve our customers in at least some capacity.

Thrive Central Oregon attempts to return all calls within 48 hours, and will setup a "meeting" with folks needing services depending on preference of phone or video chat.



CHAPTER 2: Limited customer access to library buildings

Chapter 2 began on June 22. In the second chapter, customers have limited access into library buildings. The Library will restrict the number of people allowed in its buildings at any one time to facilitate physical distancing. Limited services will be available at this time, such as picking up holds and checking out materials. Programs, classes and events (story times, computer labs, lectures, etc.) and processing of new library cards continue online only during this time. The Library’s Summer Reading Program, now called Summer with the Library, will be online during July and August. Meeting and tutor rooms, public computers, and children’s early learning spaces will be closed to the public.  

Modified hours will remain in place to allow for deeper cleaning of library spaces and materials. In Chapter 2 the hours are as follows:

  • Downtown Bend Library, East Bend Library, Redmond Library

Monday–Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (9:00-10:00 a.m. are special hours designated for people ages 60+ and immunocompromised individuals); closed Sundays

  • La Pine Library, Sisters Library, Sunriver Library

Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays


CHAPTER 3: Increased access to buildings, resources and services

The third chapter of reopening institutes a broader range of access to all libraries, materials and services. The Library will continue to operate under reduced hours (see Chapter 2) during this time to provide more time for cleaning. The timing of Chapter 3 will be determined by the Library director and board in consultation with government and public health officials.

Page Last Modified Wednesday, March 8, 2023