As I write this, it is nearly one year since Beaverton City Library was forced to close its doors to the public during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking back, so much has happened since that time. All of our events and programs have gone virtual, expanding our programming reach well beyond the walls of the library to welcome participants in other cities and states! We enhanced our information services “hotline,” available via phone and email, and we began giving away free books at Beaverton School District free lunch sites.
Not long afterward, we launched our curbside delivery service, BCL To Go, and added book bundles for kids (i.e., a package of books on a particular topic), crafting activities, and even tax forms, all delivered to your car, bicycle, or book bag. The book bundles proved so popular, we added them for adults, too.
We began revisiting local childcares to get books and other materials into the hands of residents. We also provide WIC, Head Start, childcares, and Beaverton School District Pre-Kindergarten classrooms with a weekly storytime video.
And we began servicing approximately a dozen local Little Free Libraries, replenishing their book collections and even sprucing up the little libraries’ interior and exterior.
Later, we opened a computer lab in the Cathy Stanton Conference Room, off the lobby at the main library, to provide much-needed computer and internet access to residents, along with wireless printing.
Most recently, we launched BCL Grab & Go, permitting residents to pick up holds and browse the collections inside the library, first at the main location and then at the Murray Schools branch.
Meanwhile, since last spring, physical improvements to the library and surrounding areas have occurred: deep cleaning of the carpet, refurbishing of woodwork, and restriping of the east parking lot.
While the pandemic may have compelled us to change the scope of our services, the library adapted to the new reality by finding new ways to provide familiar services, along with some new ones.
The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive and we are grateful to City Council, Library Advisory Board, the New Friends of the Beaverton City Library, Beaverton Library Foundation, Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS), and the Department of Health and Human Services for their support throughout this time.
Most importantly, we look forward to continue to serve you, whether that be at the curb, in the library, or online.
Director, Beaverton City Library