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A service update at the Austin Public Library

By Julie Clinefelter

Austin Public Library Director

Greetings from the staff of the Austin Public Library! We have missed seeing your faces, but hope you are staying home, healthy and safe. Our curbside pickup has gone very well, and we thank all those who have participated for their patience and enthusiasm. In the month of May, we have averaged about 150 items checked out each day. As a result, we expanded our pickup times to Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In June, we will offer additional pickup hours Saturday mornings, from 10 a.m. to noon. We hope these expanded pickup times will help hold you over until the day we can return to our face-to-face encounters.

Also starting June 1, we are pleased to offer access to library computers (by appointment only, during limited hours). One hour-long session will be allowed per person, per day. At this time, we can only offer these sessions to those who are at least 16 years old. A library card is not required, but if you have one, please bring it. The appointments are for computer use only. For the safety of patrons and staff, we are unable to allow access to our shelves or other library areas at this time. If you are interested in an appointment, please call the library at 433-2391.

While you cannot physically come into the building right now, know that our librarians are here to help you find the materials you need. You can call in and speak to a trained professional who can help select books for you. (It’s like having your own personal shopper!) “Readers’ advisory” is an important aspect of a librarian’s schooling, and one of the most fun parts of the job. So please call in and let us see what we can find for you. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Please note: until the library is fully open to the public again, no additional fines will be assessed on items currently checked out. If you have books that are overdue, you may return them to the book drop outside the libraryor renew them online or by phone, but even if you do not renew them, you will not accrue a fine. Keep all materials until you feel you are safe to bring them to the book drop.

The extension of due dates includes Hotspots and Chromebooks. If you have a device and are using it, please continue to do so. If you are finished with the device, please bring it back to the library so we can get it out to someone else who needs it.

Again, on behalf of the Austin Public Library and its staff members, I thank you for your patience and appreciate your desire to see the library open again. The employees continue to work hard to provide as many services to you as possible in this strange time. For those of you wondering about Summer Reading, please watch our website (www.aplmn.org) for updates and details.