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19 November 2020

An update on reopening the CGS Library from President James Sorenson

I’m sure all of us are eager to see the CGS library reopen for use by the genealogical community. In May and June, the CGS Board discussed various issues and challenges related to reopening our library. Effective October 9, Alameda County said that libraries could reopen at 25% capacity with certain protocols. For CGS that meant: contacting our front desk volunteers about their willingness to come in; incorporating the County protocols with the ones we had already addressed; and developing a training program for our volunteers. We also contacted various area libraries about their reopening plans and learned that for various reasons, none of them had a definite date for reopening; and like us, most were looking at a reservation system for library use. 


We thought we might be able to open in November. However, we contacted the County health folks for some clarifications and were told that CGS would have to meet not only library protocols but also those for offices (which have not been allowed to reopen in Alameda County), as well as the ventilation requirements for movie theaters (since we are windowless). After reviewing the above input, the Board has decided that we should not plan to reopen the library until next year, possibly by March 2021 but nothing definite. Since that decision, the County has officially closed the window on our reopening due to a resurgence of COVID cases. I’m also disappointed to say that I do not expect us to schedule any classes at our library before June 2021. 


Another impact of the closure is that our annual meeting on 9 January 2021 will be held by video conference and although it is free, attendees will have to register ahead of time. We will all miss the opportunity to see each other in person and share our experiences of the past 8 months.

James Sorenson, CGS President

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