PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Calvert Library continues to provide curbside pickup of library materials and has recently expanded that service to include a mini-browse experience called Grab Bags. Customers can make an appointment at bit.ly/calvertcurbside to pick up a grab bag of items that they can browse and decide what to keep and what to drop back in the book return. They can make a general request for picture books, kids chapter books, adult fiction, kids DVDs or similar and say how many items they would like to look at. This solution to increase access to library materials came from customer requests made over the phone and via the library’s social media channels to “give me a pile of books.”
What if you want a more tailored choice? Colleen Cano, Adult Resources Coordinator for Calvert Library said, “For customers who like specific reading recommendations from their librarians, we have also launched a PS from Calvert Library service. PS stands for Personalized Suggestions. You can fill out the form online at bit.ly/psfromcalvert with your reading preferences and a librarian will send you suggestions tailored to your needs that you can then place on hold. If you want more help, just give us a call.” Library phones are being answered from 9am to 7pm on Monday-Thursday, 1-5pm on Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturday.
Calvert Library is still waiting for necessary supplies to be able to provide in-building customer service safely. Once those arrive, Executive Director Carrie Willson expects to announce a date for a limited public opening. The library has established staff and customer guidelines for safety in accordance with federal, state and local recommendations and regulations.
All four library buildings (Prince Frederick, Southern in Solomons, Fairview in Owings and Twin Beaches in Chesapeake Beach) have been rearranged to support social distancing. Some computers have been taken offline, seating and toys have been removed and waiting points have been marked for customers to socially distance.
The main library in Prince Frederick will open first with a limit on the number of customers in the building at one time. Per Governor Hogan’s order, customers over the age of five will be required to wear face masks covering their nose and mouth and to maintain a social distance of 6’ from others. Customers entering with children are asked to stay together and help their children maintain social distance. In order to maximize the number of customers who can take advantage of library services, customers will be asked to keep their visit to an hour or less. In-person library hours will be Monday-Thursday, noon to 5pm, Friday, 1-5pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm. Curbside pickup will continue and appointments will be available 10am to 7pm on Monday-Thursday, Friday 1-5pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm.
Calvert Library does not plan to open their meeting rooms for the foreseeable future as those spaces are currently being used for quarantining returned materials and storing furniture not conducive to healthy use of the library. Returned library materials are quarantined for 96 hours prior to being checked in based on a recently released study concerning the length of time the virus might survive on library material surfaces.
When asked if she feels like customers will be safe in the library, Willson replied, “These are challenging times and any sort of human interaction can pose a risk. We take our staff and customer’s safety very seriously and are expecting everyone to cooperate fully with our standards so that we can stay open.”
Hand sanitizing stations will be available at each entrance and customers are asked to use them. Staff are wiping down high-touch surfaces on a defined schedule and as needed. Ms. Willson requests, “Please stay home if you are vulnerable or ill. Our staff can help you over the phone. Calvert Library has always prided itself on being the community’s ‘third place,’” referencing a frequented space that is not work or home, “for connecting to one another and the world.” Willson continued, “At this time, for our community’s safety, our priority is to provide quick access to library materials, information and training that can’t be accessed via phone, email or video chat.”
For more information, call Robyn Truslow at 410-535-0291.