December Message from the County Librarian

Dear Library Community,

Back in March, when the shelter-at-home order began, none of us had any idea how long the lockdown would last nor how thoroughly COVID-19 would impact every part of our lives. The Library’s goal from the beginning was to keep offering online services (and even improve them!) and to make it as safe and comfortable as possible to return library materials. That meant extending checkout periods and asking all of you to keep library materials until we could reopen.

Now that we are in month nine and aren’t sure when we will be able to welcome the public back into our facilities, we’d like to ask you to start bringing your library items back. All our book drops are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have been open for Front Door Service at 24 locations since June and many locations have bins right at the front door where you can drop any returned materials contact-free. We would like to get some of the long overdue materials back on the shelves, available for checkout to others and circulating in our communities again. After a quarantine period, the materials will be cleared from your account and any lost material fees will be removed. And since we no longer charge for late returns, there will be no daily overdue fines added to your account.

Although we do not know when we will be able to welcome you back into our buildings, we are continuing to move carefully through the steps that will allow us to reopen library facilities to the public sometime next year. We don’t know when, but with COVID-19 cases on the rise we expect it will be a while longer. Please continue to be patient with us as we tackle these new tasks and follow guidance from the county health department.

If you aren’t already, I invite you to try our many online resources, which include access to the East Bay Times and New York Times, dozens of resources for kids who need help with distance learning, Rosetta Stone,, and many more. All of these fabulous resources are free with your library card and available anytime at

I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and may 2021 be a very happy new year for us all! Please stay safe and healthy.


Alison McKee
Interim County Librarian