We know there has been a lot of interest in curbside pickup since Gov. Little loosened the statewide isolation order in mid-April, and it was an option we considered carefully. Every method of distributing books at this time carries some risk, and we have an obligation to rely on public health information, consider our unique challenges and strengths as a library, and select the method we think is safest for our staff and our patrons.
Because Silverstone is a branch library with a smaller collection, we were able to work out a version of holds pickup similar to curbside. We wanted to find a way to introduce some services at Silverstone prior to reopening the location during Stage 4 of Gov. Little’s Idaho Rebounds plan.
There were several reasons we decided to focus our resources and training efforts at our Cherry Lane location on home delivery instead:
Curbside pick-up presents logistical challenges at our Cherry Lane location. Having patrons park alongside the building to pick up items would block a fire lane, and leaving materials outside the building for patrons makes it difficult to enforce social distancing and monitor contact with library materials.
We have years of experience meeting patrons where they are. We already have a limited physical footprint as a library district, and we are accustomed to going out in the community to provide services. Much of the framework for home delivery was already in place.
We were already preparing for an unusual summer before COVID-19 impacted our operations. ACHD is set to begin a crosswalk construction project in June, which will limit parking and restrict access to our Cherry Lane location. We plan to continue offering home delivery of materials through the duration of the construction project.
There is still a lot of uncertainty about what the coming months will look like. We see home delivery as a sustainable way to continue distributing materials, even if the number of COVID-19 cases starts to rise again and we have to pull back other services.