Sno-Isle Libraries cancels all events to help address public-health concerns

Sno-Isle Libraries is canceling all events at community libraries through March 31.

In addition, events scheduled for public meeting rooms at the libraries are canceled and Library on Wheels services are suspended also through March 31.

“In light of the actions ordered this morning by Gov. Inslee and officials in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties, these steps by the library are prudent and necessary,” Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Lois Langer Thompson said on Wednesday, March 11.

“At this time, all 23 community libraries and the Service Center remain open and operating on normal hours,” Langer Thompson said. “We are also heeding Gov. Inslee’s advice from today for school districts and joining them in planning now for the implications of a possible order in coming days to close facilities.”

Sno-Isle Libraries is taking these actions out of concern and care for customers, communities and employees, Langer Thompson said. “The Governor, health experts and the ongoing and evolving issues related to the coronavirus call for us to examine how we can take positive steps toward curbing this public-health crisis,” she said.

Thompson said the decision to curtail events is an attempt to balance the roles of community libraries in their customers’ lives with the orders and recommendations from government public-health experts.

“We understand that this decision may be a burden for our customers who depend on our wonderful programs,” Thompson said. “This also comes at a particularly pivotal moment for some programs such as those related to the census. We encourage people to visit us online or call for assistance”

In addition to in-library programs, Sno-Isle Libraries is temporarily halting Library on Wheels services.. Thompson said the decision was informed by the March 10 announcement by Gov. Inslee mandating that nursing homes and assisted-living facilities increase their efforts.

“We will continue to monitor the information coming from local, county, state and federal levels,” Thompson said. “Decisions that have already been made are under continuous review. As changes in the situation warrant, we will make additional adjustments as needed.”

Langer Thompson reminded it is important to remember that viruses don’t discriminate.

“We’re stronger as a community when we stand together against discrimination and stigma,” she said adding that King County and the Centers for Disease Control have informative anti-stigma resources.

Information from health experts about the coronavirus is available on the Sno-Isle Libraries website. A regularly updated message from Thompson to library customers is also available online.