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Wood County library ready to begin providing curbside service

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg and Wood County library branches will begin curbside service on Monday.

Director Brian Raitz said the service is being offered at their Emerson, South and Williamstown locations.

“For people who request materials online or by telephone they can come and pick those up at one of the three sites,” he said. “The Library will contact you when the materials are ready to pickup.”

The pickup arrangements will vary at each location due to the physical setup of each site.

“It will be different at each location,” he said. “(The library staff) will give them instructions when they let (the patron) know that the materials are ready to pick up.”

There will be a way for the patrons to call in and let the staff know they are there to pick up and it will be determined how they will be able to get the materials to the patron. The staff will tell each person what will happen for them to get the materials.

“Patrons who use curbside services are asked to be respectful of other patrons and maintain a safe distance of at least 6-feet from others,” Raitz said. “It would be nice if they could wear a (face) mask when they are coming to pickup.

“They are not required, but it would be nice if they would wear a mask.”

Patrons are strongly encouraged to reserve materials online.

“It makes it easier for us to get the materials together,” Raitz said. “It takes a long time to do them by telephone.

“If people do them by telephone, we will limit it to five items per patron. We have to go through all of the legwork to find the materials, make sure they are available and put them on hold.”

If they do it online, the library will be able to contact them once they have everything available to pick up.

Depending on when the computers process it could be around 24 hours as the staff gets the materials ready for pickup.

“We will contact them and let them know the materials are available and then they can come in and pick them up.”

Right now, the interlibrary loans from other libraries around the state may be difficult to do as many libraries have not opened back up yet.

Most of the materials being reserved right now are going to be part of what is available through the collections at the local branches, Raitz said.

The Library is asking patrons to make their requests online using their account in the library catalog, which can be accessed through the Library website at http://parkwoodlib.com. Information on how to place the holds/requests are on the site. People will need a library card number and pin number to do so.

Patrons may also request items by calling Emerson (304-420-4587) or South (304-428-7041), but those reserves are limited to five items per patron.

“We strongly request that patrons place their requests online if they are able to do so,” Raitz said.

All the branches have book drops available for returns of both books and audio/visual materials. Although the library itself will remain closed, people can still drop off materials at the book drop at the Waverly location.

“If they have materials, they can be returning them right now,” Raitz said. “It is available 24/7.

“The Library is quarantining and cleaning materials for 48 hours when returned, so it may be a few days before items are actually checked in and taken off of your account.”

The Library will not be billing patrons at this time for overdue materials checked out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Library is not hosting meetings or doing any in person programming at this time.

They will continue with their online story times, crafts and programming.

AARP volunteers announced that they will not be returning this year to do taxes for free.

Online materials and resources are available through the Library website. WVREADS and Hoopla are the two main sources of ebooks and downloadable audiobooks. Staff are available to help people access these materials.

The WiFi hotspots are still available at each site, including Waverly, for people to access the internet from the parking lots.

At this time, the Library branches themselves remain closed to the public.

“However, the Library is working to establish guidelines for how and when a full reopening can take place,” Raitz said. ” The Library’s primary interest is to keep the patrons and staff safe and healthy.”

They are continuing to watch the guidelines as they come out from the state and federal government and based on those and the Library’s available staffing they will make their announcements for the next steps as they move towards reopening to the public for internet use and people being able to come into the library to check out materials, Raitz said.

“At this time we are just doing curbside,” he said.

The hours for each site are:

* Emerson: Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

* South: Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

* Williamstown: Monday through Friday 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

* Waverly: Closed for now. Book drop is open for returns.

* The bookmobile is not running.

* All locations will be closed on the weekends due to staffing.

Contact Brett Dunlap at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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