Sunday mornings, when the Penn Valley Library is usually closed, patrons will now be able to “Go it alone.”

The Penn Valley Library is one of just a few libraries nationwide that will now offer access hours that allows patrons to use the library without staff present.  Beginning July 1st, 2021 the library will add operating days and hours and expand access to the community using the Open+ Access system.  Open+ will add an additional 14 hours of operation each week to the 25 hours that the Penn Valley Library is normally open. 

“We’re really excited about the Open+ system and the benefits it will have for the community.  The library will now be available to patrons on Saturdays and Sundays, which is very exciting.  I’d like to thank everyone that worked so hard on this project – it’s a great example of the County’s commitment to better community service through technology,” said Nick Wilczek, County Librarian.

The Penn Valley Library was selected to participate in a grant provided by the California State Library in partnership with Bibliotheca, a library technology company, to provide library service in a unique self-service model.  The library has been equipped with the technology and security so it can operate using this comprehensive self-service model.  Library patrons who sign the Open+ Access Terms and Conditions and agree to library policies will be able to scan their Nevada County Community Library card at the entrance to gain access during listed extended hours.  Details and instructions on how to sign up for Open+ are found on the library website at  The technology will allow the Penn Valley Branch to provide service with limited resources by maintaining access to collections, holds, and public computer use.

“Penn Valley is a great location to implement this program and will allow many who may not be able to get to the library during regular scheduled hours to access the library with the additional hours,” said Cindy Pawlowski, Branch Manager for the Penn Valley Library. 

Patrons may sign up online or during regular operating hours at the Penn Valley Library.  They must be at least 18 with a library card in good standing.  Parents who are accepted may also bring their children with them.  Additionally, patrons must sign a Terms and Conditions form, follow the Library Code of Conduct and complete an orientation on the system to ensure proper use.

After the passage of Measure A in 2016, the library explored public priorities to meet the needs of the community.  The top listed priority by those taking a survey indicated the need for increased hours and days of operation.  Open+ Access allows the library to meet the request by the community at a minimal cost.

Open+ Access will initially be available Monday 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Patrons can step inside to browse, check out materials, pick up items that have been placed on hold or grab some quiet time.

For more information, or to set up your library account for Open+ access, visit or call (530) 432-5764.