Libraries across the Santa Clarita Valley have begun to reopen, offering limited services to their cardholders for the first time in months.
On Monday, some L.A. County libraries, including the Stevenson Ranch location, began offering sidewalk services so residents could begin picking up items on hold.
While due dates on existing checkouts have been extended to July 15, book drops for returns also reopened Monday at all county libraries, and returned materials are expected to be quarantined before being reissued, as recommended by health officials.
“During trying times, libraries are such a critical resource — helping the unemployed with skill building, job searching and resume writing; helping families who have become homeschoolers with activity ideas and storytime; providing a safe space, even a virtual one, for those in need,” county Library Director Skye Patrick said via email. “While we have continued to reimagine our offerings digitally throughout our closure, the fact that we are able to begin reopening with contactless pickup of physical materials indicates that we can also begin planning for next steps, and we look forward to gradually resuming the variety of in-person services we offer that we know are so essential to our L.A. County communities.”
The county’s digital offerings, which includes virtual storytime and its online summer reading program, will continue to be available, according to library officials.
Similarly, Santa Clarita Public Libraries have begun offering curbside services, including pickups and returns.
While both the Canyon Country and Newhall libraries remain open, the Valencia Library has announced it would be closed until further notice as protests continue in the area, and held items are expected to be available to customers at the Newhall Library by Tuesday.
“Due to the Valencia Library’s proximity to our public safety partners at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the Valencia Library will remain closed to allow deputies unimpeded access to keep local protesters safe and protect our community,” city of Santa Clarita spokeswoman Carrie Lujan said via email.
At both county and city libraries, new holds can be placed using the library’s online catalog or over the phone, while customers with existing holds are set to be notified of availability. Customers will be able to pick up their items at an outdoor table without any direct contact with staff, according to library officials.
Though entirely virtual this year, the Santa Clarita Public Library also announced the launch of its 2020 summer reading program, which is free and set to begin Monday and continue until July 25.
This year’s theme of “Imagine Your Story” invites participants to do just that, with reading challenges, virtual events, interactive activities and more.
While children can enjoy grab-and-go summer art kits, which are available while supplies last from library branches, teens can participate in online writing workshops and virtual art hour, and adults can join virtual book clubs, history talks and other panels.
The library is also expected to host Lunch at the Library, offering free and healthy lunches for those 18 and under in partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley School Food Services Agency through the USDA Summer Food Service Program.
The Stevenson Ranch Library is open for sidewalk services 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit LACountyLibrary.org/express-service.
Santa Clarita Public Libraries are open for curbside service 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, visit santaclaritalibrary.com or call 661-259-0750.