I suppose that if this story was a Best Seller, it might be titled “Open for Business -- Again.”
Closed for three months due to COVID-19, the Bucks County Free Library system at the end of the month will provide curbside pickup of books and other materials as part of a three-part reopening strategy that sees opening of all sites by mid-July.
The action following state requirements was made possible after the county on June 5 moved into the “yellow” mitigation stage. But fingers are crossed.
“While we have set out an approximate timeline for restoration of other services, please be aware that the timeline may change because the situation remains fluid,” the library system said in an announcement.
Not all libraries will restore services on the same date due to differing preparation needs such as backorders of cleaning and safety supplies, library officials said.
The first phase began June 8 when library staff returned to buildings to handle backlogs of materials and to refigure sites to accommodate social distancing. Library patrons now can return items to bookdrops. More than 165,000 items are to be returned, and all will be quarantined for 72 hours before they are processed.
“Because of the volume, we are asking people to try to use a ‘birthday rule’ in the next few weeks when bringing things back,” officials said. ‘If your birthday is on an even numbered date, please try to return items on an even date. If it’s on an odd date, please try to return materials on an odd date. This will help us to control the flow of materials.”
Curbside pickup is to begin at the end of the month. Items can be reserved for pickup by placing a hold in the catalog or by calling the library. Patrons are then notified by email or a telephone call when the item is ready, and an appointment is made for pickup. When the pickup is made patrons must wear a mask and practice social distancing.
And in the third phase, anticipated in mid-July, buildings will reopen to the public. Library collections will be available for browsing and checkout. And remember this, you must wear a mask and practice social distancing.
There’s one more requirement that makes this story an abridged version: library capacity will be limited to 50 percent.