MOUNT DESERT—Patrons of the Northeast Harbor Library will be able to get a sumptuous serving of their favorite literature, beginning in June, from a takeout window at the Joy Road facility.
Also referred to as curbside pickup, the libraries in Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert and Bar Harbor have decided to enter Stage 2 in June and offer materials for patrons while their doors remain closed to the public.
“It’s been quite a process with weekly talks, 200-plus librarians on Zoom, conversations with the Maine State Library, Hancock County librarians meeting to sync our services and talk about various issues,” said Bass Harbor Memorial Library Director Lisa Murray. “None of the Governor’s checklists address the unique situation libraries are in, so we [the libraries of Maine] have come up with our own checklist that we are lobbying the Governor to sanctify and mandate.”
Each library will set up access to their materials in a way that makes sense for their facility. Folks are encouraged to visit library websites for updates.
At the Northeast Harbor Library, there will be a takeout window open for folks Monday through Friday from 1-3 p.m., according to Director Eleanor Andrews. For patrons unable to go to the building to pick up books, deliveries are scheduled to take place on Mondays.
“This is really for June,” said Andrews in a conversation with the Islander. “We’re trying to do things together. Everybody is offering things digitally. We offer something different every week.”
Because the library in Northeast Harbor is also the library for Mount Desert Elementary School, Andrews said they have been lending out books during the pandemic to teachers and students.
“When books do go out, we quarantine them for 72 hours,” she explained. “For July, we’re just waiting and seeing. Everybody is waiting and seeing.”
Bass Harbor Memorial Library in Tremont has been offering pick up from a dropbox at their temporary facility on Tremont Road since they closed their doors due to COVID-19. As a renovation project on the library building in Bernard wraps up, library personnel have begun packing materials for the move. Library services in Tremont are suspended for the month of June and are expected to resume in July, Murray said in an email.
While the Jesup Memorial Library has been closed because of COVID-19, construction on an expansion of the library has been taking place. Library Director Ruth Eveland said the front door of the library will be accessible when they begin lending books again on June 2. Details are still being worked out for how the process will go.
“Generally, people will be able to either call or use an online form we will make available to request either specific titles or a general concept (historical fiction, WWII, graphic novels, etc.) and number of books wanted,” wrote Eveland in an email to the Islander. “They will also be able to put a hold on a title in the Jesup’s collection (not interlibrary loans yet) through the usual catalog access.”
Curbside pickup in Southwest Harbor will begin on June 1. Patrons can begin placing holds on materials via email, phone or the online library catalog beginning May 26.
“As these holds are fulfilled, patrons will receive notification and the items will be ready to pick up on the following day outside the library near the Village Green [Way] entrance,” wrote Director Erich Reed. “Those picking up their items are asked to follow safety guidelines of maintaining six-feet safe distancing and the wearing of face coverings.”
To ensure safety for patrons of Southwest Harbor Public Library, all items will be quarantined for a minimum of seven days, Reed added. Patrons unable to pick up their items during service hours are asked to call the library. Final hours of operation for June are still being worked out. Check the library’s website for specific details.
“We are all excited to be able to offer you materials from our various establishments and try to bring a sense of normalcy back to our communities,” Andrews wrote in a press release sent out last week.
This article has been updated.