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The public can peruse the shelves of the library once again after a nearly yearlong closure

PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - Assistant director Kori Buerkle assists a customer on the phone while a patron browses among the stacks at the Newberg Public Library recently.

Four days a week, patrons once again can search through stacks of books at the Newberg Public Library. The library announced in recent weeks that the public would be allowed to return, with plenty of COVID-19 safety precautions in place.

"All of the library staff are very excited to see our community members and friends back in the library once more," library director Will Worthey said. "In some cases, we have not seen some families for over a year. Speaking personally, it's the fun things that the kids say that I have missed the most, not to mention hearing their laughter."

The library building is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Fridays are curbside pickup only from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - Director Will Worthey returns materials to their places at the library last week.

Masks are required for all people age 5 and older entering the library building, and there are a number of policies in place to keep patrons safe during their visit.

"At this time, there is no furniture in the library, and we are watching the gate count closely to ensure it stays well below the OSHA regulation occupancy of 99 persons per floor," Worthey said. "In addition, we have two staff designated to monitor our other COVID measures such as enhanced cleaning. This includes keyboards, handrails and door handles. Materials are still being quarantined for 24 hours before we check them in and, of course, masks are still required to enter the building."

Library programming will still occur exclusively online for the time being, with more information on events posted to Those with questions can contact the library at 503-538-7323, option 6, or email Worthey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

While things may look different on the surface, the function of the library in the community and the joy it brings still remain as strong as ever, Worthey noted. A return to an open building is a positive sign of a return to normal business down the road for the library as the pandemic improves.

"The sneeze guards and directional tapes may be a surprise to folks who have not been in for a while, and the current lack of furniture," Worthey said. "There are COVID-related cleaning stations and hand sanitizer stations all over the library. It's definitely not normal just yet, but we are on the road to getting there.

"One thing has not changed: Our friendly staff can't wait to help folks, so if it's been awhile come and see us. We have missed you."

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