The Watertown Library building remains closed, but its collection will be open to be borrowed using curbside pickup beginning May 11th. The library sent out the following information:
The Watertown Free Public Library will offer curbside pickup of library items for Watertown residents while the library is closed, starting the week of May 11.
“The library is a lot of things to a lot of people,” said Library Director Leone Cole, “we often talk about how the library is more than just books, but to some people, those books are a lifeline. We know people are struggling mentally and emotionally and we hope that doing this will offer respite and a little extra energy for everyone to stay committed to physical distancing until it is safe to live our lives more publicly again.”
Curbside pickup will not be “library business as usual”–only items that are currently available in the library can be checked out, no holds can be placed for items at other libraries or items that are already checked out, there’s a limit of five items, and only Watertown residents are eligible for the service. “We’d love to be able to do more,” Cole said, “but it just isn’t possible at this time. We’re working with extremely limited staff and we want to be safe and cautious about how we do this.”
Placing Orders: Starting Monday, May 11, Watertown residents can call the dedicated curbside pickup line at 857-228-8308 to place an order. Calls can be made Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A library employee will take orders for up to 5 items that are currently available in the library catalog. Anyone that does not have internet access may call for personal assistance with choosing materials.
Picking Up: Beginning Wednesday, May 13 library materials will be available for pickup on Mondays from 1-4, Wednesdays from 11-2 and Fridays from 9-12.
For the health and safety of library staff and patrons it is preferred that patrons pickup via car. There will be 8 dedicated parking spots. Park in these spots and text the curbside line with the space number and order number. Windows must be up, patrons must wear masks, trunks must be open, and patrons must be in the vehicle before staff will drop the items. Library staff will then place the order in the trunk and the patron will close the trunk after library staff is not within 6 feet of the vehicle. Library staff will be wearing gloves and face coverings.
Patrons who cannot drive should text the curbside line 5 minutes prior to arriving. The order will be left in a paper bag labeled with their order number on the granite bench outside of the parking lot (rear) entrance of the library. There will be no hand to hand delivery.
Returning: The current due date for all library materials is June 30 and items can be kept until then. Based on CDC guidance given to the Institute for Museums and Library Services, any books that get returned will be quarantined for 24 hours and, as an extra precaution, misted with a list N disinfectant for use against SARS-CoV-2 before returning to circulation. Returns can be put in any of the library drop boxes, staff will not accept them in person.
For more details on curbside pickup visit www.watertownlib.org/pickup
About WFPL: The Watertown Free Public Library provides access to a wide variety of popular materials, resources, services, and programs that fulfill the informational, cultural and recreational needs of Watertown and surrounding communities. WFPL works to create an environment that attracts and welcomes users of all ages and abilities. watertownlib.org
I’m so relieved to hear this. I’m not sure who decided that libraries were not essential, but I think it was a terrible decisions.