BANGOR/BREWER – As businesses start to reopen, libraries are beginning outdoor book pick ups.
The Bangor and Brewer Public Libraries are set to reopen on Monday, June 1 after being closed since March due to COVID-19.
“We’re really thrilled to be getting books into people’s hands,” Bangor Public Library Director Ben Treat said. “We’ve had tons and tons of calls from people saying, ‘When are you gonna reopen? The thing that’s hurt the most is not being able to get library books, not being able to read something new.'”
Although the public will not be able to go inside either library, they will be able to search for books using online catalogs.
“They can go to our online catalog and look at the books that way,” Brewer Public Library Director Darren French said. “They can also just call us and talk to us, and we’d be happy to help them out, and they can email us as well.”
Both libraries are providing systems for safe outdoor pick ups.
“We’re going to have people call up and email us, and we’re going to put their books into a paper bag, and we’re going to put it out on the table for when they arrive, so it’s no-contact pick up,” French said.
“After a person’s put a hold on the book, they’ll get a notice that it’s ready for them,” Treat said. “Then they can give us a call when they arrive, and we’ll check the books out to them and have them ready to just serve them up right at the front door here.”
There are stakes in the ground with duct tape next to them that measure out six feet, so people can social distance while waiting.
All books returned since the libraries closed have been disinfected and will continue to be cleaned between uses throughout this time.
“We have a box in our book drop that we just take out of the book drop, and we put in quarantine, just put aside for 72 hours,” French said. “Then we wipe them down and allow them to dry, and then we re-shelf them.”
Treat said Bangor Public Library plans to continue having virtual events throughout the summer and have its summer reading program.
French said Brewer Public Library hopes to allow computer use inside soon.