Jeffco Libraries offering curbside pickup of materials

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/2/20

On May 16, Jeffco residents were again able to do one of many things they hadn’t been able to in nearly 10 weeks: drive away from the library with a new book to read. But while the end experience …

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Jeffco Libraries offering curbside pickup of materials

Posted

On May 16, Jeffco residents were again able to do one of many things they hadn’t been able to in nearly 10 weeks: drive away from the library with a new book to read.

But while the end experience of cracking open something new to read will is still the same timelessly familiar and welcome one, the process residents take to get their hand on that latest read or watch now looks different.

Still gone, for now, is the time spent browsing the shelves to pick up any book that strikes one’s fancy. Instead, all materials must now be ordered ahead via an online hold with residents then making an appointment to come pick up their books curbside, just as they might a take out a meal from a restaurant.

“What the (library staff) will do is they will have the person who’s picking up the item open their trunk and they’ll put it in the trunk so it’s a touchless transfer of the items,” said Julianne Rist, who is leading Jefferson County Libraries transition to curbside pick-up. Those staff members are also required to wear masks and gloves.

Curbside pick-up is now available at eight out of 10 library locations — Arvada, Columbine, Edgewater, Evergreen, Golden, Lakewood, Standley Lake, and Wheat Ridge.

“The community has been very happy and glad to see their local library staff, even if it’s from a distance through their car window,” said Rist “And we have we’ve gotten a lot of really nice comments about how glad they are to be able to get a physical book again, even though we’ve had digital services and digital material available. They say they’ve missed holding something in their hand and the paper.”

The libraries are also now accepting returns. However, that does not mean patrons have to again worry about due dates, which were canceled during the crisis.

“We actually have extended the due dates for everything until the end of June,” said Rist. “And then we’ll start with our normal checkout time frames. But of course, you can always renew an item if nobody is waiting for it.”

Rist said that customers wondering about the safety of picking up library books should know that the library’s adoption of curbside delivery was approved by JCPH and is also in line with CDC guidelines. As a precaution, all returned library books are also being quarantined for 72 hours before staff process or shelve them.

While curbside service will continue for the foreseeable future, Gov. Jared Polis has said he will further address the reopening of libraries on a later date. However, Rist said Jefferson County Public Library staff are already making plans for the future.

“We plan on continuing our digital programming in our remote call in our dial in programming. for the foreseeable future,” she said. “It’s been very popular, it’s meeting a need that we didn’t know existed.”

Curbside service will also likely continue after libraries are able to welcome patrons again as many patrons will be unlikely to feel comfortable venturing inside right away.

But while Jeffco Public Library awaits a return to more normal in-person operations, Rist said its staff are also considering how the library may evolve in a more permanent way as a result of the pandemic.

“We’re trying to be nimble and take a look ahead to make some predictions about what some of the changes might be and how they might affect us,” Rist said. “And we are having great community conversations about what the needs are and how the library might fit into those needs.”

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