Everett Library's two branches expand their hours
Everett library circulation assistant Rachel Wallis sorts through new book releases that will be available in regular circulation at the main branch of the library in downtown Everett on Thursday, Feb. 17.
EVERETT — The city’s two public libraries are extending their hours starting this week as they climb back toward pre-pandemic service levels.
The main library, 2702 Hoyt Ave., is set to be open again on Sundays; its hours will be 1-5 p.m. Both the main library and the Evergreen Branch, 9512 Evergreen Way, plan to extend their evening hours until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“We’re kind of doing a soft launch of it,” said library director Abigail Cooley. “We’re trying to work our way backwards to pre-pandemic hours.”
The COVID-19 pandemic created an economic crunch that resulted in budget cuts for many city services, including libraries.
Public libraries across the state closed in March 2020 for public health reasons. They are slowly starting to reopen and rehire staff.
Many Everett library employees have been rehired, but Cooley said there is still a ways to go.
“Our ability to operate at full capacity is not there,” she explained.
Cooley is working with city leaders to determine when the libraries might resume offering in-person programs suspended during COVID. There is nothing planned at this point, she said.
Meanwhile, grants and partnerships have created three recent programs offered through both branches.
The newest is free KN90 masks, in partnership with the county health district.
Library patrons can also check out one of two Citizen Science Kits to use for up to three weeks, courtesy of a grant from Arizona State University and SciStarter.
The first kit, Measuring Light in the Night, explores astronomy and air quality. The second, Exploring Biodiversity, teaches how to document and identify plants and animals.
A third program allows library customers to borrow a Discover Pass for seven days, in conjunction with Check Out Washington.
A Discover Pass is required to park a car at a state park or at lands managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the state Department of Natural Resources.
It costs $30 to buy an annual pass or $10 for a one-day pass.
The library system is exploring more grants and seeks private donations to add more services.
“We’re still here for our community. We want to support our community as well as we can,” Cooley said.
The extended hours mark a tentative first step toward resuming full speed.
“Ninety-nine percent of our public programs are funded by private individuals and grants,” said Cooley. “It’s more difficult to find donations for staff positions.”
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