The Scarborough Library is offering curbside pickup, where library members will order materials beforehand and will receive a call from the library when they’re ready. After arriving to the library, people can call 883-4723 and press option 2. Library staff will then bring out books, movies, etc.

SCARBOROUGH — In order to provide library members physical materials, the Scarborough Public Library has created a curbside pickup program, running five days a week. Public computers are also available as of June 2.

Tuesday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., patrons can order, like books and movies, with the library’s online catalog, over the phone (883-4723), or through email ([email protected]), said Lucy Jackson Norvell, the library’s coordinator of programming and communications. Items can be picked up during those same hours.

The library is providing three different options for people to request materials, as the staff want to give members a choice in what they feel comfortable with, Jackson Norvell said.

After materials have been ordered, the library staff will reach out to patrons when their materials are ready, she said. Books and movies have been quarantined for at least 72 hours, especially if they were checked out.

Courtesy photo of Lucy Jackson Norvell

When arriving at the library, people can pull into the curbside pickup spots and call or text the library’s main number, 883-4723, providing a name and phone number, said Jackson Norvell. Callers will be prompted to press option 2.

Visitors, their pets, and children, are asked to remain in their vehicles, she said.

“It just began on Tuesday, May 26 so this is our first week,” Norvell said last week. “It’s new and we’re learning and refining it as we go, but we want to offer the community access to the collections.”

“We have a very large movie collection and it circulates widely,” she said. “I think people have been watching a lot of stuff and people can use their library card to stream from our online services.”

People who aren’t sure what they want can also ask the library staff for suggestions, Jackson Norvell said. By calling the same number shown above, staff can recommend books in a caller’s favorite genre or a new release from a favorite author.

“So if they want to talk with someone about children’s titles, they can press option three,” she said. “Adult selection is option four.”

People can also talk to staff over email, she said, or simply browse the online catalog on their own.

When the pandemic started in March, the library had over 10,000 materials checked out, a substantial amount of the library’s collection, she said.

The library is glad to be able to offer physical materials once again, Assistant Director Catherine Morrison said.

“We are very happy to offer our library patrons curbside pickup after 10 weeks of offering only virtual services,” she said. “It’s been great to catch up with patrons on the phone as they request materials and to see their smiles when we deliver items to their vehicles.”

Besides the new curbside pickup program, as of Tuesday, June 2, public computers areavailable by appointment, according to Jackson Norvell. Four public computers have been moved to the Library’s meeting room. The computers, keyboards, and mice will be fully sanitized between users and cleaning precautions will be taken daily for the entire room, following the COVID-19 checklists provided by the Maine State Library. Computer access will be strictly limited to 30 minutes per session. To schedule an appointment to use a public computer contact Tom Corbett, systems librarian, at [email protected] or 396.6271.

Since its closure, the library has been offering remote services, which can be found on its website,

“We definitely encourage the community to visit our website where they can access videos, and we have an online story time,” said Jackson Norvell. “We have a middle grade novel that’s been read aloud by one of our experienced librarians.”

Weekly and monthly clubs have also been meeting through online video conferencing, she said, like the library’s knitting group and the monthly political forum “Let’s Talk America.”

“We continue to transition some traditional services, such as the Summer Reading Program for kids and author talks for adults, to formats that work with today’s restrictions on gatherings,” Morrison said. “As for opening the building to the public, we are working diligently with the Maine State Library and other state agencies to develop protocols that will allow patrons to once again browse the library’s shelves. We look forward to that day as much as any of our patrons.”

People who don’t have access to a library card can visit the Scarborough Public Library’s website, where information is listed on the homepage. Library cards are available for residents and Scarborough employees, said Jackson Norvell.

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