After weeks of serving customers virtually, Library staff are preparing to return to the branches on Monday, May 18, to launch—for the first time in MCPL’s history, I might add—curbside service!
In addition to dropping off your returned items to your local branch’s book drop, you will now also be able to pick up Library materials that you put on hold and were notified were ready (via an email or postcard from the Library). Simply contact your branch to let them know you are ready to pick up your materials, follow the directional signage at your branch, and a staff member will bring your items directly to you. For more details on this new process, visit mymcpl.org/COVID.
We are very excited about this next step, which our team has been tirelessly planning for over the past few weeks. Like many organizations, we’ve never offered curbside delivery before, and there many preparations that had to take place before we could start! We created new safety procedures related to lending and receiving materials based on comprehensive research and the latest recommendations of public health officials, we ordered bulk shipments of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for our frontline staff, we trained our staff on all these changes, and we developed directional signage for each of our branches.
Whew! It’s been a busy few weeks behind the scenes at MCPL! In fact, our staff has been in the process of quarantining and processing more than 350,000 returned items this past week! However, as I mentioned earlier, curbside is still a brand-new service for our Library system. So, while we certainly feel well-prepared, we know there will be hiccups along the way, and we greatly appreciate your patience as we work through these unprecedented times together!
I know many of you are wondering when the Library will open its doors to the public, and the truth is, we don’t know. We greatly miss our customers, and we know that you miss us as well. Curbside service is in no way a substitute for an in-person visit to your local Library, and we are anxious for the day when we can go back to “normal.” However, our utmost priority (now and always) is the health and safety of our staff and customers. And at this time, the safest way we can provide service is through these new methods.
I can promise you that we are working very hard to create a plan for the future, and as soon as we can safely allow people back into our facilities, we will. There is no roadmap for situations like these, and like you, we are doing our best to make the right decisions, even when they are tough.
In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you in our parking lots—from a safe distance! And we continue to wish you and your loved ones good health.
Steven V. Potter
MCPL Director & CEO