Who let the books out?

Sacramento Public Library is bringing books to the curb for pick up at eight branches.

On May 15, Sacramento Public Library announced a curbside pickup program at the Belle Cooledge and Sylvan Oaks branches. As of May 26, library patrons can place titles on hold for curbside pickup at Arden-Dimick, Carmichael, Colonial Heights, Galt-Marian O. Lawrence, North Highlands-Antelope and Walnut Grove.

“We wanted to open all of them at once, but we wanted to make sure that when we opened the libraries and we’re doing it in a thoughtful manner,” said Lisa Martinez, the library’s communications manager.

Part of that means the library is ensuring that each location has a plan customized to its individual infrastructure and safety needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We really spent a lot of time thinking through the site maps and how everything was going to be delivered so we didn’t see any major obstacles come through,” Martinez said.

Following the smooth rollout of the pilot program at the Belle Cooledge and Sylvan Oaks locations, Sac Library felt confident expanding the program, Martinez said.

Curbside pickup is available through appointments from noon to 6 p.m., between Tuesday and Saturday. Patrons can request books through the Sacramento Public Library website.

The thousands of titles available through the curbside pickup program will be checked out for six weeks with no overdue fines. However, titles available at one location cannot be transferred to a different location.

“For the time being we’re not able to transfer materials from library to library. Before, we were able to do that pretty seamlessly, we’re working on a process to get to that, but we’re not there quite yet,” Martinez said.

An additional caveat to the curbside pickup program is that it is available only for active library card holders. So those who don’t have an active library card are not eligible.

“That’s an obstacle that a lot of folks came across,” Martinez said. “You could go onto our website and apply for library card today online.”

That card will give you access to titles available through the library website, including ebooks, graphic novels, movies and music. In addition, Sacramento Library has launched a number of virtual programs and events.

“Virtual story times on Facebook live for early learning, virtual book clubs and teen spaces. We even hosted a livestream event with Secretary Madeleine Albright through Crowdcast. It’s been a really great opportunity for us to expand our reach digitally,” Martinez said.

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