The library district has started providing patrons with curbside delivery of books, movies and other library materials at staffed FVRLibraries locations
VANCOUVER — After three months of closure to the public, Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries officials are pleased that the governor recently provided guidance for libraries to start curbside distributions of library hold materials as part of Phase 2 and beyond of the state’s “Safe Start” phased reopening plan.
After spending a few weeks ensuring that staff is trained in the new service and that safety protocols were in place before starting, the library district has started providing patrons with curbside delivery of books, movies and other library materials at staffed FVRLibraries locations in Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat Counties, as well as the city of Woodland. With the exception of the Vancouver Mall Library, which serves its “curbside pickup” via a table inside the mall in front of the library, each location has pickup locations that are accessible by car, foot, or bike.
“We’re excited to start getting materials back in the hands of the community,” said Amy Lee, director of Public Services. “We know how much patrons miss having access to the library and our materials, and we certainly miss serving them. We can’t wait until we’re able to open our locations further. In the meantime, we know this provides support for our communities at minimal risk to everyone.”
How the process works
For patrons, the library is trying to keep the new curbside service consistent with many of the processes patrons already use, while providing the safety and convenience of “contactless” delivery of materials right to patrons. The process is simple:
- Patrons place a hold as usual, whether that’s via the library’s online catalog, the library app, or calling the library to place a hold.
- Schedule a pickup appointment. Depending on the contact preference in their account, patrons will get an email, phone call, or letter when their items are ready for pickup. Once notified, patrons can call the library at (360) 906-5000 (1-888-546-2707 from area code 509, and 1-800-921-6211 from Yale Valley) to schedule an appointment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Each location has many appointment slots available — generally between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. with a break for lunch and cleaning. Library staff answering the phones will help patrons schedule times that are convenient for them.
- Pick up items at the appointment time. Patrons will look for Curbside Pickup signs at the library and call the number on the signs. Items will already be bagged and checked-out to the patron’s library card. Staff will place them in car trunks or use another contactless method arranged ahead of time.
More information about FVRLibraries’ curbside holds pickups is available at www.fvrl.org/curbside
Virtual Summer at Your Library, new safety protocols, and other library recovery efforts
Although things may be different this year for everyone, the library’s popular Summer at Your Library program is back to help celebrate summer with books, activities, events, and prizes. As usual, patrons of all ages track their activities online or on a game board, with a drawing for prizes after Aug. 15. With library locations closed and limits to public gatherings enforced, the library district has created a slate of virtual programs, videos, and activities featuring favorite summer performers. And yes, there will still be snakes, jugglers, music, and more, just from a social distance. Visit www.fvrl.org/summer-reading for more information and to sign up.
As part of FVRLibraries’ commitment to keeping patrons and its staff safe, the library is following the latest health guidance on cleaning, social distancing, and staffing practices to protect patrons and employees as they work to restore in-person library services to its communities. While the library recently reopened its materials returns, this includes quarantining materials for a minimum of 72 hours before they are checked in, shelved, or used to fulfill holds.
Providing a virtual Summer at Your Library, curbside delivery of holds, and enhanced safety and cleaning protocols are just a few of the many things that Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries has been working on over the last few months to ensure services for patrons can be rolled out as they become available and allowable under Washington’s “Safe Start” guidelines. Recently, the district launched virtual programs for patrons and ensured that Wi-Fi access was available from most branches’ parking lots. With one county in the district already moved to “Phase 3” under “Safe Start,” the library is making plans for and seeking guidance from the state on what other services can be made available soon.
For more information about the library’s response to COVID-19 and updated information about the library closure and recovery efforts, visit: https://www.fvrl.org/coronavirus-response
Information provided by Fort Vancouver Regional Library District.