Cook Memorial Library

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Cook Memorial Library

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Library & COVID-19

Library Reopening Plan - Current Stage













Click to read the COVID-19 Library Building Reopening: Phased Plan in full.

Library Take-Out Service

Your Library Is Open For Take-Out!

Online — search the Sage Catalog, place your holds (Limit 9. If you need more than 9 items, call us instead.), and then wait until we call you to confirm your order. Please be patient as it may take up to 24 hours (longer for weekends) for us to fill your order.

By Phone — Call us at 541.962.1339 and provide us a list of titles or ask us to curate a selection of items based on your reading/viewing/listening interests.

Orders subject to availability. Consider ordering a few extra items. Items ordered from other libraries may be delayed or not available.

Contactless checkout! Items will be checked out to you at the time the order is filled. A receipt and a complimentary mask will be included.

Once your Library Take-Out order has been confirmed, you may pick up your order Monday-Friday between 10:00am-Noon or 4:00pm-6:00pm.

All take-out orders must be picked up at the 4th & Adams entrance.  When you arrive for your appointment, call 541.962.1339 or ring the doorbell to let us know you’re here and we’ll bring your order right out. Please follow all physical distancing guidelines and signs and, for the safety of library staff and yourself, please wear a mask. If you need an accommodation, please let us know when we confirm your order.

All returns of items must be made thru the book return slots; library staff will not personally accept items (oversized items excepted).

Currently, we are not assessing overdue fines. 

Want to know more? Read our Library Take-Out & Returns Procedures.

Items Due

Due dates for all items checked out, including those items from other libraries, have been extended to June 16. Due to these unusual circumstances, we will work with anyone with items that were already past due before the closure. Please disregard any overdue notices you may receive. 

Book Drops

Book drops have reopened as of Monday, June 1. All checked out items must be returned thru the book drops; please call the Library at 541.962.1339 to arrange for the return of oversized items that will not fit into the book drops. Returned items will be placed into quarantine for 72 hours before they are checked in and removed from your account. No overdue fees will be charged to your account at this time.


Holds listed as Ready for Pick-up will be held for 5 days after the library reopens. Please disregard the pick-up date listed on your account. You may continue to place holds for items through the library’s catalog. All holds will show as suspended until the library reopens. 

New Library Cards

During our unexpected closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online library card applications will be expedited if you provide a valid email address or phone number. We'll provide you with your library card number & PIN within 48 hours. Once received, the card number can be used immediately. Once we reopen, you may come to the library to fully activate it. All applicants must be residents of La Grande or any part of Union County not served by another library (Elgin, North Powder, and Union).

Existing Library Card Numbers and PINs

If you have a library card and do not know your number, please call us M-F 9-5 at 541.962.1339 or submit a comment form with the full name on your card. We will send your card number to the e-mail or phone associated with your account as soon as possible. 
Library Card PINs are 4 digits long. The PIN defaults to the last 4 numbers of the phone number associated with your account. You may have also opted to reset your PIN to a 4-digit number of your choosing. If you've forgotten your PIN, Library staff can reset your PIN for you; contact us one of the two ways described above.

Meeting Room Reservations

Out of an over abundance of caution, we are canceling all meeting room bookings through May 31. We are not currently accepting any reservations for any date in 2020 as there is a lot of uncertainty around the safety of public gatherings even after the pandemic peaks.

WiFi Access

If you have a critical need, we have extended our WiFi access to our library parking lot and building entrances. WiFi access is 24/7 during this time. You'll want to connect to LGPLWiFi; it is an open connection and no password is needed.

Account Questions

If you have questions about your account or how to access digital resources contact us via telephone at 541.962.1339 or by completing a comment form (be as descriptive as possible).

Message from the Director

Cook Memorial Library Begins Library Take-Out Service June 8

Dear Library Patrons:

UPDATED: 4:49pm, June 1, 2020

As Oregon and Union County moves toward the next phase of its reopening plan, the Cook Memorial Library is preparing to get physical library materials back into the hands of patrons eager to read print books and watch DVDs. So many of our patrons prefer reading a physical book over an eBook while many more may not even have internet service at home; our inability to circulate materials during the pandemic has meant that the library hasn’t been able to serve the patrons who likely needed our services the most. Starting Monday, June 8, the library will begin offering “Library Take-Out” - contact-less pickup of materials reserved in advance - the first non-virtual service since the pandemic forced the closure of the library on March 17. 

Ahead of the rollout of this new service, the library’s book drops will reopen on Monday, June 1 to allow patrons to begin returning all the items they had checked out prior to the library closing. All library checkouts have been renewed thru June 16 in an attempt to prevent all 8700 items currently checked out from being returned all at once. Once an item is returned, it will be placed in quarantine for 72 hours – the current guidance on library materials from the IMLS and CDC – before being checked in and removed from the patron’s account.  

Also on Monday, June 1, patrons can start placing their “Library Take-Out” orders! They will be able to begin placing holds on specific items in the library’s online catalog found at or they can call the library at 541.962.1339 and tell us what they’d like to read, watch, or listen to. Library staff will prepare patrons’ orders and schedule a pickup time starting Monday, June 8. 

How will “Library Take-Out” work?

•    A patron can search the Sage Catalog and place holds (limit 9) on the items they want to order. A library staff member will then call and confirm the order and will schedule a pick-up time. Pick-up times are 1 hour time slots with 4 patrons scheduled per hour. The library asks for your patience as it may take up to 24 hours for us to fill an order.
•    A patron can also call us at 541.962.1339 and provide us with a list of titles or ask us to curate a selection of items based on their reading/viewing/listening interests. We’ll schedule a convenient pick-up time as well.
•    Orders are subject to availability. We encourage patrons to consider ordering a few extra items as items ordered from other libraries may be delayed or not available yet.
•    Items will be checked out to the patron at the time the order is filled. Each order will be packed into a free reusable tote bag along with a receipt and a complimentary disposable facial mask because “wearing is caring.”
•    All take-out orders must be picked up at the 4th & Adams entrance. When a patron arrives for their appointment they will call 541.962.1339 or ring the doorbell to let library staff know they’re here. We’ll bring their order right out. We ask patrons to please follow all physical distancing guidelines and signs and consider wearing a mask. If a patron needs any special accommodation, they should let us know at the time of making their appointment.
•    All returning items must be made thru the book drops; library staff will not personally accept items (oversized items excepted).
•    All items checkout for 4 weeks. No overdue fines will be assessed at this time.

“Library Take-Out” will continue thru the end of June at least. I know our patrons miss their library – the browsing of books, the in-person story times and book groups, the public use computers, the quiet study areas, and their interactions with our wonderful staff. As much as you miss us, we may miss you even more; afterall, public service is what we do. We are working as quickly as possible to get to a point where we can open the doors to our patrons.
The library has a phased reopening plan in place. Because the library is a high-touch environment that serves all ages, including many who are in high-risk categories for the virus, the library’s plan is a cautious one that requires ongoing consideration of a range of issues – the extent to which browsing of new materials will be available, for example, and how to provide access to public computers. There will be a number of other restrictions, including on the number of patrons allowed in the library at any one time, stacks and browsing areas may have to remain closed as will seating areas. The library is also working to implement various safety measures, including social distancing floor stickers and shielding.

In terms of computer access, the library’s public computers are essential for those without a computer or internet access at home. While specifics have yet to be finalized there will be a number of restrictions once that service reopens, including more limited hours and new social distancing measures. The library will be expanding its wifi hotspot program by adding an additional 10 hotspots in the near future. It’s vital that we make sure to have some kind of public computer access available to our community.

Library employees worked almost entirely from home while the state’s stay home/save lives order was in effect but have since started to return on a limited basis. Currently, library staff are working in the building in four-hour shifts with the same colleagues, with other duties still being performed at home. That way we can keep the contact between staff down and follow the safety protocols that the governor has laid out.

During the crisis, the library has launched a host of virtual resources and programming. The librarty staff are to be praised for their efforts to stay connected with the community; I expect the virtual approach will remain a staple of the library’s programming going forward, particularly with in-person programming likely not possible until later in the year at the earliest.

I can’t be prouder of our library staff, because they literally within a week switched from providing in-person services to being content creators and doing content online. They’ve been just amazingly flexible and resilient throughout the whole process.

UPDATED: 2:37pm, May 15, 2020

As Union County enters Phase 1 of Governor Brown’s reopening plan, what does that look like for the Library?  The Library has implemented a 6-phase plan that will reopen the building and carefully reintroduce people to our physical space, our materials, and in-building services with new health and safety protocols in place. Each phase’s details include proposed timelines, restrictions and extensions of services, hours, and places, prerequisite needs for supplies and materials, plans for continuation of remote working; and descriptions of how the Library will determine when it would be ready to move from one phase to another. Additional assumptions include the potential for reversion to earlier phases if new infections occur and government mandates to shelter at home are reinstated. With so much uncertainty around COVID-19, this plan will continue to be developed as we learn more and is subject to change. Click to read the COVID-19 Library Building Reopening: Phased Plan in full. The TL/DR version of the 6 phases:

Phase 1 – Library Closed, Minimal In-Building Staffing – All library programs, services, and collections online only. Library closed on March 17.

Phase 2 – Most Staff Return to Work in Building – On Monday, May 18, staff return to work to prepare building for eventual reopening under the “new normal.” Required PPE and cleaning supplies are still backordered. Book drops will open Monday, June 1; items will be held in quarantine for a minimum of 3 days per safety guidelines.

Phase 3 – Limited Public Service Restored as Restrictions Continue to Ease – Provided Union County hits all the required benchmarks, June 5 is when the Governor’s Phase 2 would begin and would allow the Library to begin limited service. Starting on Monday, June 8, the Library will resume 6 day service and regular hours of operation. Service will be limited to curbside pickup of library materials. Patrons will be able to reserve items thru the online catalog or call and request items; staff will check the items out to the patron, bag them, and leave them outside for pickup. (Full details coming soon.) The Library is exploring ideas for other limited services.

Phase 4 – Library Building Reopens Under Grab-n-Go Model – This phase assumes that all PPE and cleaning supplies are available and that the virus has further abated. Most programs and services will remain virtual; however, the building would reopen with restrictions. Patrons would be able to pick up items inside, use the computers, and possibly browse the collections. Patrons would not be allowed to linger in the building. Date: TBD

Phase 5 – Majority of Library Services Are Restored – Programs resume with attendance restrictions. Some seating and tables will be reintroduced. Browsing the collections will be allowed. Date: TBD

Phase 6 – The New Normal – All library programs and services are restored following all established COVID-19 public health guidelines. This phase assumes the infection risk to be very low or non-existent or that there is a vaccine in place. Date: TBD

UPDATED: 10:13am, March 23, 2020

The Library's book returns have been sealed shut today and will remain closed until which time the Library reopens. Thank you for keeping all library materials safely in your possession at this time. All materials are renewed until we reopen and no overdue fines will be assessed. Thank your for your cooperation.


UPDATED: 11:56am, March 16, 2020

To our Community:


In the interest of protecting the well-being of our La Grande community, and following information from state and federal public health authorities regarding the mitigation of the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Cook Memorial Library will temporarily close to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17.


This was a difficult decision to make. We value our role as a gathering space for La Grande, but remaining open is not in the best interest of our community at this time. The scientific community is in agreement that extreme social distancing is essential to slowing the spread of the virus and reducing the burden on our health care system. Our library team is dedicated to providing excellent public service, and the best way we can serve our patrons and community right now is to aid in slowing the spread of the virus, especially as our patrons include many older adults and others at high risk.


We believe that libraries are partners in promoting a healthy community. At Cook Memorial Library we will work creatively to leverage our resources to support as many of our patron’s needs as possible during this period of social distancing. We will remain a source for trusted information and a provider of research databases, streaming movies & music, and eBooks & eAudiobooks. These services are free to access with your Cook Memorial Library card; if you need a library card, please complete this Request Library Card form and we’ll create a temporary eCard that you can use until we reopen. We will continue to provide high-quality reference services ranging from book recommendations to tech help to community resources; we will provide these services virtually via telephone (541.962.1339), e-mail, our online patron comment form, and through social media.


Don’t worry about returning or renewing your materials. We will be extending due dates and waiving fines during the closure. Please return your materials when we reopen; however, our drop boxes will remain open. If you have an item on the holds shelf it will be waiting for you when we reopen. If you have items on hold that haven’t arrived yet, you will maintain your place in the holds queue.


At this time, it is our intention to staff the library to the extent possible. We are looking at ways to make additional materials available via online platforms and we will be exploring possible methods to make physical items available to our patrons. As we make headway on these initiatives, we will be back in touch via our website and social media. Additionally, to assist with your internet connectivity need, we have enabled the library’s WiFi (connect to LGPLWiFi) to function 24/7; the signal extends to the parking lot and the library entrances.


It's vital to remember that COVID-19 isn't connected to any race, ethnicity or nationality. Stigma and bias will not help fight this illness. Sharing accurate information from trusted sources is critical to reducing misinformation. You can find reliable and current information about this pandemic from local, state, and national agencies here.


Our library team looks forward to welcoming the community back into the library. We will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly. Follow the Library on social media (Facebook & Twitter), check the website and sign up for our weekly eNewsletter for the latest updates. In the meantime, we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we do our part to support the health and safety of our community.


With appreciation,


Kip Roberson & the Cook Memorial Library Staff


UPDATED: 3:45pm, March 13, 2020

Cook Memorial Library Begins Circulation-Only Service

In conjunction with the state-wide schools closure, Cook Memorial Library will shift to Circulation Only services effective Monday, March 16 until further notice. 

What does this mean for our patrons?

  • The Library is open regular hours but under limited use.
  • The Library is open ONLY for holds pickup, checkout & return of items, and quick browsing.
  • Prolonged use of the Library is prohibited. This includes studying, reading, lounging, using public computers, etc.
  • Seating areas are not available for extended use.
  • Programs and meetings remain cancelled.
  • Frequent cleaning & sanitizing measures remain in place.
  • Coffee service is not available.
  • eLibrary services – eBooks, eAudiobooks, and streaming movies and music – are available for free at with your library card.

Again, this decision was not made lightly. We continue to monitor this fast evolving situation, making informed decisions based on current local factors as well as on the Centers for Disease Control and Oregon Health Authority’s recommendations about coronavirus management/containment. Our intent remains to continue serving your library needs while maintaining the safety and health of our staff and the public.

Updated: 12:50pm, March 12, 2020

Cook Memorial Library Programs Canceled Beginning Friday, March 13, 2020

Cook Memorial Library is actively monitoring information and advice from state and county public health officials about the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are following the advice of these agencies, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, so that we can respond as needed as this situation develops.
Today, we decided that as of Friday, March 13, 2020 we will cancel all of our public programs through April 12, 2020. The Library will remain open and operate on its normal schedule, however. We have also taken the additional step of cancelling all meetings scheduled to take place in our meeting room by outside groups for the rest of the month and we will not accept any new reservations for the use of the meeting room during this time period.
We based our decision on the Centers for Disease Control and Oregon Health Authority’s recommendations about mass gatherings and social distancing. Many of our patrons are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus and by taking these simple measures, we are reducing their risk of exposure. We continue to look to our local and state health officials and our city leaders for what, if any, additional changes need to be made. Our interest is to continue serving your library needs while maintaining the safety and health of our staff and the public.
We will continue to monitor the situation and make future program decisions based on recommendations and capacity. We did not make this decision lightly. We are approaching the current coronavirus outbreak, not with panic but rather with an abundance of caution. We believe that bringing groups of people together unnecessarily does not help to minimize the risk of infection.
In addition, to help control the spread of the virus and keep staff and patrons healthier, the Library is:
•    Providing frequent cleaning of the library counters, keyboards, and entrances
•    Making hand sanitizer, wipes, disposable gloves, and tissues available to the public
•    Removing any hard to clean items such as toys and other soft items
•    Reminding everyone of safety practices regarding virus transmission
•    Encouraging everyone to practice social distancing of 4 to 6 feet

Additionally, we would like to remind visitors that libraries are shared public spaces. For the health and safety of others, please be thoughtful about coming into the library if you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms. If you prefer not to visit the library in person, you can contact library staff by calling 541.962.1339 or by going online at to get your questions answered. If you have items you are unable to return by their due date, please call the Library and we’ll make the necessary accommodations on your account. We have also set up a webpage with informational resources about COVID-19

We will communicate any further impacts to your Library as a result of coronavirus. In the meantime, as a reminder, the Library has many digital services available to you for free, such as eBooks and eAudiobooks; streaming movies and music. All are available at and are free to access with your Cook Memorial Library card.
It's vital to remember that COVID-19 isn't connected to any race, ethnicity or nationality. Stigma and bias will not help fight this illness. Sharing accurate information from trusted sources is critical to reducing misinformation.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Kip M Roberson, Director

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

What You Need to Know

The Library is taking actions to help control the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our facilities & staff teams have increased the frequency of surface disinfection throughout the library. Hand sanitizer, tissues, and nitrile gloves are availble for patron use.

Everyone has a role to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and staying healthy. Stay home and do not visit the library or attend library programs if you are exhibiting signs of the flu or if you are not feeling well. Individuals can practice everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes.

We are monitoring news of the COVID-19 spread and are prepared with a set of responses, including modifying services, to be implemented as needed. We are in communication with our community partners, and will follow guidance of the Union County Public Health Advisory, Oregon Health Authority, and Center for Disease Control.

The Library recommends the following sources of reliable information and helpful tools to help you stay informed. 

Questions regarding COVID-19 should be directed to the Oregon Health Authority or the Union County Public Health Advisory. 

Oregon Health Authority: For general information on novel coronavirus in Oregon, call 211. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911. Sign up for COVID-19 Oregon Alerts.

Union County Public Health Authority: If you do not get your questions answered from 211 or the other sources on this page, please call: 541.962.8800.

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