After sitting around the house for over a month, area residents can indulge themselves in the books that their local libraries have to offer.
On Friday, April 24, libraries across the state were able to begin a curbside pickup option that is available to all. Libraries have been closed since March 16 as they were not deemed “essential” during the initial “Safer at Home” order by Governor Tony Evers.
As part of the Badger Bounce Back plan to slowly and safely reopen the state, libraries were given the OK to partially resume services with the curbside pickups.
“We are thrilled that the Governor feels it is once again safe for us to begin offering curbside service,” Poynette Area Public Library Director Jodi Bailey said.
Director of the Lodi Woman’s Club Public Library Alec Le Clair added, “We’re very happy about it. We’ve kept busy since closing, adapting to things the best we can, but everyone misses working with the public.” Lodi began its curbside pickup Monday, April 27.
All libraries must comply with social distancing and use proper sanitary etiquette. Because the Poynette Area Public Library is small, the only staff member in the building during the day is Bailey. Another staff member is working from home, keeping the website and Facebook page up to date.
“The rest of our part-time staff will begin coming in only as needed, on a carefully coordinated schedule, in order to maintain social distance and maximize staff safety,” Bailey said.
Le Clair said that the Lodi Public Library is likely to have just two or three staff members in the building at one time, and that they all will be working in separate areas.
“Our main focus is getting community members the books and magazines and DVDs that they’re interested in,” Le Clair said. “We’ve developed a system similar to what we’ve always done where people place the holds, we find the materials and set them aside. Obviously things are different in this phase, as we’re trying to avoid contact as much as possible.”
Le Clair added that staff members will now be wearing masks at all times. Staff will also be cleaning work spaces more and maintaining distance from one another and when delivering materials.
Both libraries are limiting each curbside pickup order to 10 items at a time. Poynette is asking patrons to set up specific pickup times, while Lodi has limited hours for curbside pickup.
Lodi has created a few extra options as well. It will have a “Surprise Me” and “Lucky Day” option. Both require people to call or email the library, letting staff know what they want.
“The ‘Surprise Me’ option is where patrons let us know what they like or are looking for and we find up to three items that hopefully meet that criteria,” Le Clair said. “We also have a ‘Lucky Day’ collection, which is an assortment of additional copies of high-demand items that are only available in-house. There is a limit of two items per patron. Because those extra ‘Lucky Day’ copies don’t appear in the catalog, we’re doing our best to advertise them in other ways, such as putting a list on our website and Facebook page.”
In Poynette, items order will be available on a table at the back door of the library. Patrons are asked to take their entire bag with them. Bailey said the library will sanitize the outdoor pick-up area between each scheduled appointment time.
“Our patrons are excited for this service,” Bailey said. “The safety of our patrons and staff is our priority.”
Items only located at the Lodi and Poynette libraries will be available as delivery from other libraries has been temporarily suspended.
If interested in renting materials from the Poynette library, call 608-635-75777 or email email@example.com to request items. Hours for pickup are from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday. Hours are subject to change. For more information on the Poynette Library, visit www.poynettelibrary.com.
In Lodi, there are no appointments, but Le Clair has asked all patrons not to come to the library until a confirmation of their requested items has been sent to them. Le Clair also asks all patrons to call the library before leaving your home to notify staff of your time of arrival and what kind of vehicle you have.
If coming by car or truck, park in the designated areas and open your trunk for staff to deliver materials. If arriving on bike or foot, wait on the “X” near the bike racks. For all pickups, patrons should have their last name clearly written on a piece of paper so staff can see. If you’re returning items at the same time, put them in the outside drop box before picking up your current order.
Le Clair said that it’ll be nice to see members of the community again, albeit from a distance, and that the staff is looking forward to the current service.
The Lodi Public Library will quarantine all returns for one week before putting them back into circulation. Its curbside pickup will currently be available three days a week — on Mondays from 1-4 p.m., on Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m.-noon.
For more on the Lodi Public Library, call 608-592-4130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve items.