Library Adjusts Capacity and Visit Times Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Posted By:  Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted:  11/17/2020

Deschutes Public Library is adjusting building capacities and duration of customer visits as well as increasing employee teleworking following Governor Kate Brown’s November 13 announcement of new statewide regulations meant to limit interactions among Oregonians. The Governor’s mandate provides no specific guidelines for libraries.

“After reviewing the Governor’s mandate and Deschutes County’s health protocols—as well as working with our peers at the State Library of Oregon—we will further limit the number of people in the buildings and the length of their stay,” said Library Director Todd Dunkelberg. “We feel this is the best way to give customers access to needed resources while also minimizing the number of people who interact at any one time.”

While book drops will remain open and Library hours remain unchanged, as of November 18 there will be changes to operations, including:

  • Building occupancy in public spaces—reduced in June from normal levels to allow for physical distancing—will be further reduced by 50-percent
  • Customer visits will be shortened from a maximum of two hours to 30 minutes
  • No public seating is available, except for when using a public computer for up to 30 minutes
  • Compliant face coverings required at all times with no exceptions, with an immediate 30-day exclusion for non-compliance
  • Customers are asked to use hand sanitizer (available in all library locations) when entering and exiting libraries
  • Library volunteers will not be in Library buildings during this time
  • Staff who can work remotely will work from home so as to further decrease the number of people in all buildings

Customers are encouraged to use the Library’s online resources as much as possible. Customers can browse the online catalog ( and reserve items online; they can then quickly pick-up those items when they’re available. Customers can also request curb-side pick-up for items they have on hold by calling their library when items are ready (phone numbers for all six library locations are available at

Deschutes Public Library offers a wealth of free online resources that the public can access from home or anywhere they happen to be with an internet connection, including eBooks and audio books, streaming movies and television shows, digital magazines and music, information databases, and more. The Library greatly increased its collection of digital materials, such as eBooks and digital audiobooks, in 2020. Visit for more information about digital resources. Staff are always available to assist customers over the phone; visit for phone numbers.

The Library’s YouTube channel ( also provides a diverse range of story times, presentations, and activities that are available 24/7.  

The Library continues to ask that if staff members, or someone in their household, experience symptoms of the coronavirus—such as fever, cough or shortness of breath—that they do not come to work and that they contact their health care provider for information on next steps. Likewise, the Library asks the community to follow the same precautions. For those without a primary care physician, information on free or income-based health services can be found at

For additional health and safety information, visit:


Page Last Modified Wednesday, June 23, 2021