Book readers pipe up, the Portsmouth Public Library and its branches have readers in mind and starting a Materials Pickup Service.
The Library and its branches have been closed since Wednesday, March 18, at the beginning of the stay at home order for COVID-19, and many of the elderly community and many others have been without their choices of the many many books and services available for them to use from the library. Now, the library has come up with a way to get materials, without risking the public of a chance of getting the virus.
Paige Williams, Portsmouth Public Library Director spoke with the Portsmouth Daily Times about the new service. “We have been approved to offer a contact-free service right now, to allow patrons to get some materials without coming into the library.”
Williams explained the process, “How they will be able to do that is that the patrons can go on to our website and if they have a library card and a pin number they can go ahead and place their own holds for materials they want to check out or they can call their local branch and request those items on the phone and then they will make an appointment at a certain time and date and they will come to the entrance and pick those materials up. They can have a limit of 10 items, we are circulating everything that we normally do, except for magazines. We’ve got DVD’s, we’ve got hardbacks, paperbacks, audios, music and everything we have, except the magazines.”
As for drop offs, Williams said that they opened the drop-offs Wednesday (May 27) and all materials have to be returned in the book drop off because they have to go through a very stringent process, they have to quarantine all items that are coming back to the library for 72 hours and then at the end of that 72 hour period, they will clean and sanitize them and then they can be returned into the collection.
Williams said that there were already some libraries were offering curbside delivery even before COVID 19, but for right now because nobody knows for sure how the virus is transmitting to different people, they are not actually going out and meet the people at their vehicles.
Williams said, “All the different things we are doing right now are guidelines by the Ohio Department of Health and we also have to have approval by the local Department of Health. All of this so far has been approved by them too.”
Williams said that today, Monday, was the first day and she said they were swamped. “People were just placing their holds today and tomorrow we actually start the actual pickup. Since we opened the phones, people are being turned away, we had to put a note to please keep trying. It is in all our locations, so if you go to say the South Webster branch, just call there. It is available at all of our locations.”
For those people who typically use the bookmobile, they will have to choose a location to come to because right now according to the guidelines that even when the libraries are able to reopen that library is so small that as of the current guidelines, they cannot open it. The bookmobile patrons are welcome to come to any location to get materials.
Williams added that because they haven’t been open for a while, people are desperate to get the books and materials. She said, “There is a Federal Report that we are waiting on this month about how the virus lasts on books, DVD’s and it’s a big federal report, so a lot of libraries are waiting to reopen until we get that report. If we find out we don’t have to quarantine items for three days or it’s not such a risk, then we are going to be much more open. Unless another order comes down from the state that we would have to shut down, I’m hoping all of the libraries will be able to open, I’d say by the first of July or maybe earlier if everything goes well.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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