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July 11, 2020

Watsonville Library not shelved during Covid-19 outbreak

WATSONVILLE—The Watsonville Public Library continues to maintain a host of services, from online classes and movie streaming, to book checkouts during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Though the Freedom Branch is closed, its inventory is still obtainable, either online or through curbside pickup at the Main Branch’s front door.

“We’ve been doing a lot of our regular services for over two months now,” said Library Director Carol Heitzig. “The main thing people should know is that you can call in to reserve books and pick them up at Main Branch, or you can go online if you choose. In most cases you can pick your material the next day. And, of course, our reference services are open as well; just leave a message if no one answers.”

Heitzig said visitors can use the Virtual Library service to download ebooks, a variety of more than 500 online classes, music and more. They are continuing their Summer Reading Program and Virtual Storytimes online. Library items can also be mailed to patrons.

As far as keeping the library in tune with health and safety standards, Heitzig said her staff is in full accord with current standards.

“Everything is safe,” she said. “All our books are wiped down. We wear masks. The library itself is closed until further notice. We’ve been super cautious.”

On top of numerous online craft projects, library staff is also handing out free crafts kits to take home for hands-on summer projects.

Thanks to a recent $5,000 grant, the library has increased its collections of downloadable ebooks, Heitzig said.

The library has also joined a statewide CENIC Broadband project that will energize its online service with a much faster and more reliable connection.

“When we’re open people will be able to come in and really connect in a big way with their computers or ours,” Heitzig said. “We won’t get overloaded. And people will be able to work outside the building, even in the parking garage. It will allow much greater flexibility.” 

She added that the outside service is subject to regulation at their choosing.

All library staff have been working, some with staggered shafts, others remotely. 

Heitzig said keeping the 42,000-square-foot, two-story facility clean and safe is an ongoing project for staff.

The library has a new newsletter that people can subscribe to.

Though the Freedom Branch is closed, people can return books there.

“Also, there are no fines accrued until further notice,” Heitzig said. 

The Main Branch Library hours are noon to 4:45pm, Mon-Fri. A card is needed to check out material. For information, call 768-3404 or visit


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