The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis continue to affect Tacoma Public Library operations. On April 29, 2020, Tacoma Public Library announced the temporary layoffs of 85 staff members, effective May 4, 2020, through July 25, 2020, though some employees could return earlier.
Staff layoffs and the ongoing temporary closure of branch locations will affect the 2020 Extreme Reader challenge. Participants can access updated program details through the 'Updates & FAQs' section on the Extreme Reader webpage, the TPL Extreme Reader 2020 Facebook group, and this newsletter.
We know that the library closure impacts your access to its physical collection, which may in turn be a hurdle in completing the Extreme Reader challenge. Our goal is to ensure that this challenge remains equitable for all participants, and although we have a large selection of eBooks and digital audiobooks, we don't want lack of access to "the stacks" to impact anyone's ability to finish.
Due to this unforeseen circumstance, and based on how long we have been closed in compliance with Gov. Inslee's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, we will be reducing the number of books required to complete the 2020 challenge and pushing back the first day you can turn in a completed reading log.
Current program updates:
Registration - Remains the same, final day to sign up is July 31 (online registration only at this time)
Completion - TBD (no longer Aug 1), this date will most likely be pushed back and has not yet been determined at this time
The new challenge requirements are as follows:
Adult Challenge - Read 40 books (previously 50)
Teen Challenge - Read 20 books (previously 25)
We may further reduce the requirements as we continue to adapt to ongoing developments with the COVID-19 crisis.
We recommend utilizing Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla to access eBooks and audiobooks to continue your Extreme Reader Challenge from the safety of your home.
Staff layoffs will affect the current Extreme Reader staff team as well. A few new staff members will be stepping in to help keep the challenge running smoothly and the Facebook group going as other team members will not be working during this time. We hope to continue with regular components such as the newsletter and (fingers crossed) host Overbooked virtually through Zoom down the road. We appreciate your patience and understanding as our team goes through a transition and we all adapt to a new environment.
Updates and additional changes will be made as information and decisions evolve regarding staffing levels and branch reopenings.