There are many things I have missed since the pandemic started. The library is at the top of the list. I am within walking distance of the Midland Library in Portland, and I have missed it greatly. This week, on June 1st, a few locations will open their doors to the public for the first time in over a year! To say I am excited is a massive understatement. Although it will reopen, operations will look a little different. Also, I assumed that the news of reopening meant all Multnomah County Libraries would open, but sadly, that isn’t the case. Here are some of the new guidelines, hours, and operations regarding the reopening of our beloved Multnomah County Libraries. 

Locations –

There are 5 locations that will reopen on June 1st:

  • Midland- 805 SE 122nd Ave. Portland
  • Kenton- 8226 N Denver Ave. Portland
  • Gresham- 385 NW Miller Ave, Gresham
  • Capitol Hill- 10723 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland
  • Holgate- 7905 SE Holgate Blvd, Portland

Availabilities – 

What services will be available to the public? Use of technology, browsing, and restrooms will be available to the community. Making an appointment is not required for these services, but the website notes that the services are “first come, first served.” There will also be time slots given. To use the library’s technology, people will be allotted one hour per day. People will be allotted 30 minutes per day to browse books and media. For mixed-use of technology and browsing for families, the time limit is one hour. There are also certain hours that these activities must be done depending on the location. The website explains that Capitol Hill, Holgate, and Kenton libraries are creating time frames to ensure the accessibility of materials and space limitations. Here are the 3 branches specific hours for specific services:

Technology Hours (1 hour per visit per day)

Monday: 12 pm – 4 pm
Tuesday: 12 pm – 4 pm
Wednesday: 12 pm – 4 pm
Thursday: 12 pm – 4 pm
Friday: 12 pm – 4 pm
Saturday: 12 pm – 4 pm
Sunday: 12 pm – 3 pm

Browsing Hours (30 mins per day)

Monday: 4 pm – 6 pm
Tuesday: 4 pm – 7 pm
Wednesday: 4 pm – 7 pm
Thursday: 4 pm – 7 pm
Friday: 4 pm – 6 pm
Saturday: 4 pm – 6 pm
Sunday: 3 pm – 5 pm

The Midland and Gresham branches offer all in-person services under one set of operating hours:

Monday: 12 pm – 6 pm
Tuesday: 12 pm – 7 pm
Wednesday: 12 pm – 7 pm
Thursday: 12 pm – 7 pm
Friday: 12 pm – 6 pm
Saturday: 12 pm – 6 pm
Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm

Currently closed libraries –

The remainder of the Multnomah County Libraries that will not reopen on June 1st still offer services. They have hold pick-ups, grab-and-go book bundles, and wireless printing services. I would encourage people to get comfortable online with the library website. I have spent the whole pandemic browsing endlessly on the library website, putting things on hold, and squealing with delight when they are “ready to pick up.” There is also an option to have books delivered to your home; the price is $3.00. Here is the link to the library. All you need is your library card number and PIN (usually the last 4 digits of your phone number):

Tech Service help –

The library has an amazingly helpful service that offers community assistance with mobile devices, websites, and general online help. People can work with support over the phone or online. The appointments last around 50 minutes. There is a list of available times and whether the appointment is online or a phone appointment on a certain section of the library website. Here is the link:

Library Connect service for students –

An important note with the library’s re-opening is that there is a Library Connect service that allows students in 5 specific school districts to use their student ID card for instant access to the library’s services. Not only are books and media available, but also online tutors. An important, awesome offering. Here is the link for more info:

Summer reading program –

The summer reading program begins on June 16th. Children (and adults!) can grab a gameboard from the library or sign up online. A great incentive to read and a lot of fun. My kids have such a blast every summer to reach their milestones and collect their exciting prizes and T-shirts. For more info, head to this link:

On June 1st, I will line up about half an hour before noon at my local library in hopes of wandering in right when they open. I have been waiting for this day for so long. I am so happy that kiddos can peruse books again, adults can get access to online services they may not have at home, and that homeless people can have a dry, safe place to find a bit of solace in. The libraries are so valuable in more ways than one. They supply knowledge, space, and comfort for many people. Best of luck to you all in embracing your local library in person.         

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