Elgin County Library begins Curbside Pickup service starting this week (June 29th) but what exactly is Curbside Pickup and how does it work? We asked Elgin County’s Library Coordinator, Natalie Marlowe to answer some of the questions library customers have been asking. For other inquiries, please call your library branch or (519) 631-1460 x 109 or check our Curbside Pickup web page for details.
Welcome Natalie! You must be busy as the Library will be opening soon. What is Curbside Pickup and what did you need to get ready to provide this service? Thanks. Yes, even though the Library branches have remained closed during Covid-19, we have been busy supporting the needs of our County’s three Long-term Care Homes. Also, we have been working hard to maintain our digital services such as Hoopla, Kanopy, and Libby to provide customers with more options while our physical services were unavailable.
In order to offer this Curbside Pickup service, much preparation had to happen. Thousands of library items that have been returned have had to be checked in, shelved, and moved from branch to branch to fill material requests from customers. We are still working on this piece and ask for your patience. We’re working hard to fill those holds requests, process new materials, and gradually return to service. Curbside Pickup means we can provide our customers with the physical materials they’ve come to love from our vast catalogue, but it does not mean branches are open to the public yet.
If the Library branches are not open, how do we get our materials and return borrowed ones? When your reserved “holds” items arrive, a staff member will call you to arrange a pick up time during your branch’s Curbside Pickup hours. For now, they are limited to a few hours a week, but we hope to slowly expand this as we increase our capacity and it remains safe to do so. A staff member will meet you outside the branch, either outdoors or in the foyer, and hand you your items which will already be checked out to your Library account. Any items that you are returning we ask to be dropped into our book drops to reduce handling. We will place all items in quarantine, so expect to still see them on your Library account for up to 7 days.
Can we put any items on hold at this time? Right now most of our collections are available, but we have limited some such as our board game collections and our Grab and Go bags because they are less easily sanitized after use. Our books, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and much more are still available. Plus, our digital collections have increased offerings at this time to be able to provide more for access at home. During our closure, many customers who only read physical books have tried eBooks and eMagazines and have loved them, which has been a neat outcome.
We have missed you and look forward to seeing our community members. We have heard from many of you during our closure and want to thank you so much for your support. This community loves its libraries and we are glad we can start putting books back into your hands.