While the Rome-Floyd County Library and other Sara Hightower Regional Library System buildings remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future, the library system is now offering curbside pickup service to their patrons.
“Each branch will have their own individual hours for their location, but patrons can call ahead to their individual library branch and place items on hold,” Amelia Blackmon said. Blackmon serves as the system’s outreach librarian and oversees branch services.
People can also go online to the library’s website to order books for pickup by clicking on the curbside service link for details. A person can reserve up to 15 items for pickup, which includes not only books but movies and audiobooks as well.
When they arrive for pickup, the person can call the branch and let them know they’re ready and a staff member will meet them outside.
“They’ll check the library cards to make sure it matches the library card number that was given to us when the hold was placed, then hand the items over,” Blackmon said.
When the items are returned after two weeks, they’ll be placed in a 24 to 48 hour quarantine before they’re officially checked back into the system. However, during this period, no late fees will be charged to the person.
For the time being, library administrators and staff are working on a reopening date with local officials and the Library Board of Trustees.
“We want to make sure safety precautions are in place at all branch locations,” Blackmon said.
When they do reopen, plexiglass will be installed at the circulation and reference desks and markers will be set up around the library to enforce social distancing of at least 6 feet. The Library Board of Trustees would be in charge of deciding if a mask mandate would be enforced, according to Blackmon.
Currently, staff are wearing masks and gloves at all times when working inside the building and doing curbside service.
After finishing their summer reading program, which Blackmon described as a “huge success,” staff is working on more virtual programs to offer to patrons, such as virtual storytime and craft videos.
“We’re excited to be able to offer the curbside services and our virtual programming and we do look forward to the day we can reopen,” she said.