Friday, October 23, 2020

COVID and Libraries - Is your library working for you?


Are you a reader who loves using the library or one who just buys and reads their own books?  Recently Jade, posed a question about libraries in COVID times and, I was curious how this was affecting my blogging friends. If you use your local library, is it open or curbside only and how is this affecting what you've been reading?

Our library belongs to a system along with 148 other libraries in a 60 mile radius. We can select books within that system. This works well especially when our library might not own the particular book I want or, perhaps my library has the print but, I may want the audio version etc. The books then go to a central sorting area from each library and are sorted by the library that requested the books. There is then a delivery van which comes to our library 3x a week delivers those books and picks up books that need to go back to other libraries. With the virus, it takes time to get the books as they quarantine the books for a week when they arrive as well as when books are returned but, I use it all the time. We can put holds on up to 20 books that we want.

My local library (2 miles away) is open 6-days a week now but, you must make an appointment to go inside to browse (45min max). You can take out a max of 50 items: books, movies, audio, magazines etc. They also have curbside pickup - they brown-bag your items with your name and arrange them alphabetically, and you can pick them up during regular hours at the entrance without entering the main library. It has been working out very well. (2) large book drops outside to return items as well. I don't do inside browsing as the curbside has worked out really well.

Right now I have 16 items I'm waiting for (some are for popular new books so I have to wait my turn).
 I also have 4 borrowed books at home: Disloyal; Michael Cohen - The Pull of the Stars; Emma Donoghue and Channel Kindness; Lady Gaga and various authors. - His Truth is Marching On (John Lewis Bio); Jon Meacham

Hope you take a minute to share your library experience.

46 comments:

  1. We have two libraries nearby. One is about 15 minutes south of us and the other is about the same distance and to the north. Neither are open for inside browsing, but they do provide curbside pickup, which I've used a couple of times for my husband's books. I've used this time to focus on my own shelves of unread books, so I'm not feeling the loss of perusing the shelves at the library. When I do, I wind up with so many new releases that I'm eager to read and tend to ignore all the books I've owned for years, if not decades. It feels good to read from my own stacks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Les, I should be doing what you are. AT one time I had over 1,000 physical books but, when we moved in 2009 to a condo, I got them down to about 300. Right now I'm just over 200 (reading some and donating a few more. For everyone I add, I try to donate and equal number).

      Delete
  2. My county library has some buildings open, but the branch closest to my house only does curbside pickups, which is works great for me. :) Pickup is available 6 days a week, but returns are only accepted on Tues / Thurs / Sat. There are no due dates! I have so many things on hold, but in an average week I pick up 2 books. Fortunately, I have a lot of books on my Kindle that I can read if I'm ever in need. So, things at my library are different than they were pre-covid, but I'm still very grateful for everything that is available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure what state you are in but am curious? We have due dates, usually 2 or 3 weeks (2) if NEW item with 1 or 2 renewals (1 if new item). There are waving overdue fine during COVID.

      Delete
  3. Wow, you can go inside the building. Where I live in California you can request books online and then pick them up outside. You call to say you are there, then speak on a microphone to say your last name and an employee opens the door and puts the books on a table while you stand six feet away. It is a joy to get books again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's how ours was at first, you had to call for curbside but now you just grab your bag and go from inside first set of doors(no contact).

      Delete
  4. That's how ours was at first, you had to call for curbside but now you just grab your bag and go from inside first set of doors(no contact).

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm a huge library user so when our libraries here shut down in March for 75 days I was hating it. Then they opened up for curbside only; then they opened up for people to go inside by appointment only; but now they're letting anyone in any time...but they are requiring masks AND counting numbers, so that only a certain number of people can be inside the library at one time. Plus, they're limiting time on the computers and asking everyone else to limit their browsing time to 1 hour. Me? I'm just really glad they're open again. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lark, me too - "Just glad they are open"; I don't care about the inside browsing.

      Delete
  6. My library has curbside pickup by appointment. It is working very well for me. If we did not have the internet that could never happen so I feel fortunate. During the months they were closed entirely, I certainly bought more books than usual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy, it seems curbside is working well for everyone. My son and daughter live in same state, diff towns and solely uses curbside as well.

      Delete
  7. Here in Orlando, Florida we have a huge library system that is open 6 days a week until 6 pm. You have to wear a mask to go inside, and there is a time limit of one hour. I usually request my books online we can request up to 20, and they deliver them to your home. Our books are checked out for 3 weeks, and fines still apply for overdue items.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I think we can request delivery (at least seniors can), another nice bonus.

      Delete
  8. My library is only 1.1 miles from my house. It belongs to a "reciprocal borrowing agreement" with many libraries across Florida.

    It is fine free, and books you borrow have no due dates, they automatically renew until someone else puts them on hold, or you return them.

    It was closed for a few months, then you could put books on hold online and they would bring them out to your car and put them in your trunk, or borrow ebooks or audiobooks using the different apps like Hoopla. They then went to only curbside, and are now open but enforce the 6 ft. spacing and masks. If you don't want to go inside to return books there is a walk up and a drive up book drop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vicki - thats great no fines - ever or just COVID? I also us the Libby App for audio downloads.

      Delete
  9. Right now we don't really have access to the brick and mortar library though I'm making good use of their digital offerings! We could get a library account in Memphis but I haven't wanted to deal with it. Our library at home started offering curbside pickup pretty early on and they did grab bags - 10 books of one particular genre - to kind of make up for not being able to browse and I thought that was really fun. I believe they are open now with somewhat limited hours and with limited capacity but they still have curbside for those that don't want to go in. I also saw they were doing socially distanced story times at local parks on nice days which I thought was fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The parks for story times sounds nice as long as the kiddos stay apart.

      Delete
  10. My library is open and also offers curbside pick up. I've gone in a few times to pick up holds. We do self-check out. Mostly I borrow audiobooks online.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I must confess I seldom go to the library anymore. Since I read on Kindle, I get my books there, purchasing most of them. My older daughter is a voracious consumer of the library and goes usually about once a week. My younger daughter is a former librarian who went on to a career in IT. So, we are definitely a library loving family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like my Kindle as well and, I will often download new ones from the library. I also still read prints and listen to audios from the library or my shelves.

      Delete
  12. Our library is operating much the same, with curbside pick up and quarantine procedures as well (although I think they only q them for a couple days, not a week). To be honest though I haven't been using my library as much- I guess with the pandemic I've been afraid to take out books, even with them quarantining them. although now that I've had Covid I guess I'm probably immune for a while! Our health dept told me I probably have roughly 3 months of immunity, but of course they don't know for sure.

    Anyway... I'm glad the libraries have been able to open in some capacities, I imagine being able to get books is helping people stay sane! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Greg, not sure why but I thought you worked at a library. Guess, I confused you with someone else. Glad you recovered well from COVID.

      Delete
  13. I couldn't be happier with my library system. Ours is part of a county-wide system, and I can get most any book I want that way. I also belong to several other library systems, and two of these are for a big city (Houston) and county (Houston's county). Most of these are closed to the public, but my local library does curbside and that has been great for me.

    ReplyDelete
  14. My city library is only open for holds pickup and that too by appointment. It works fine but since I'm busy most of my workday, it's hard scheduling a time that works for me. So I took another library card - of a library farther away but it offers curbside and browsing services (no appointment needed) though they do limit how many can be inside at a time. I found that for my schedule, I needed the flexibility more than the convenience of distance though I don't go there that often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It tough with all you have to juggle to fit in library, by appointment, I'm sure. Flexibility is key.

      Delete
  15. My library system works pretty much the way you described your own, Diane, with the exception that we are not allowed inside at all right now. It's strictly curb pickup for us. That worked really well until the early voting in Texas started and my library became a popular spot for folks to line up and wait their turn to vote. The last two times I went to pick up my books, I had to wade through people lined up near the return window and near the table on which the books are placed for pickup. But I'm really not complaining...and I'm thankful that I can still get library books because they remain the main source of my reading, coming in at something over 50%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am an avid library user as well. More so since I worked in libraries nearly 15 years. Glad it works for you Sa

      Delete
  16. Our library is open for browsing, with masks required. They still have curbside pick-up from 12-3 M-F, which I have been using. Mostly I borrow ebooks and audiobooks from our island library and also from the county library system. I haven't been in to browse yet though. Some children's programming is still happening, but adult programs, book clubs, etc. have all been cancelled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do both JoAnn. Honestly, this would be a great time to read from my shelves, yet, it isn't something I tend to do a lot sadly.

      Delete
  17. Our library is open and doing curbside pickup but I'm taking this time to either catch up on ARCs and/or read from my stacks. I figured this may be the time I can make a dent. Haha...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yes I'm still able to use my local library with a mask & hand sanitizer at front door ... Usually I pick up a book on the hold shelf for me and I'm gone in 3 mins flat. I marvel if you have 148 libraries in your system to get books from, wow! That seems really good. We don't have to make an appointment to enter our library currently / but just mask & hand sanitizer. Nobody seems really to stay in there for long!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think most are doing curbside from all the bags on the tables, but, I know some come in by appointment to use computers etc.

      Delete
  19. Interesting post and comments, Diane! My library is offering some services. I hadn't been there in ages, but I went recently to drop off my ballot. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting, our ballot drop off was outside of Town Hall. The Town Hall is not open to the public but they do have boxes for ballots and bill paying.

      Delete
  20. Ooo... I loved hearing about your library experience shared here & on my blog, Diane - and thoroughly enjoyed reading through all the responses you received here. It seems to vary from place to place, but also most seem to be on a similar path just at different progression points.

    I greatly miss browsing at the library, but am thankful for the plethora of digital content available via the library app - something I didn't really utilise pre pandemic.

    Thanks for the mention also :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Our libraries are not open for browsing. We can order and pick them up curbside but I've just been using OverDrive, like I nearly always do. It's been good. Between three library systems I can usually find what I am looking for with little to no wait.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ti, I like the downloads as well, however the wait for new releases can be up to 5 mths in some cases as only a few copes are available at one time.

      Delete
  22. Your library system is very similar to that of Fife, Scotland. We don't have kerbside drop offs though and have to go into the library to browse. Our weather is too damp to leave books outside. You can see what I have borrowed here.https://piningforthewest.co.uk/2020/10/20/library-books-5/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting Katrina. Our return (2) boxes are like big mail boxes and emptied several times a day during COVID.

      Delete
  23. Interesting Katrina. Our return (2) boxes are like big mail boxes and emptied several times a day during COVID.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm a big library user. I live near a branch of my city library (a few miles away), but I actually like my nearest county library branch (about 15 miles away) better since it's bigger, brighter, and better organized. It has been open for curbside pickup for a while now. They put your books in a bag and bring them out to your parking spot, where they are placed on a chair for you to get out and grab. A couple weeks ago, the library started doing "Pop-in Pick-up" in addition to curbside. You go inside the library to get your holds and you can browse a small selection of books. The library is supposed to open fully next month, but we'll see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Our libraries have been open since July, but curbside is still offered and people do still use it. They quarantine books for 4 days when they are returned (at first it was 72 and then a study out of Columbus said 4 days was safer. Masks are required and they are strict about it because they want to stay open! I do the ongoing book sale and we quarantine books for a week once donated. Technically we aren't accepting donations, but the sneakier among us always find a way :) Our country system has 27 libraries and they haven't had a covid problem yet. Oh, they do now have a full-time cleaner there when open to clean screens, bathrooms and such around the clock. I'm happy that so far it seems to be working. Still no events or groups allowed to meet, although they've made an exception for ESOL and citizenship classes :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.