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Looking back at '11: Newport library closes

The Washington County Library System's Newport branch, which closed Dec. 30. Bulletin photo by Scott Wente

Budget cuts mean book lovers in Newport will be getting their favorite novels in a new way after the Washington County Board voted to close the city's branch of the county library system in November.

In its place is what county officials call Library Express: an automated locker system set to be installed at Newport City Hall next month that will allow library card holders to reserve materials online and pick up and return them via the secure lockers and book return.

The current library won't disappear for good, though. The nearly 150-year-old has reopened as a community reading room, with a collection of 200 donated books and computers equipped with Internet access. The former Baptist church has housed a library for more than a century.

-Jon Avise