The Pickerington Public Library is accepting returned materials through book drops and is offering curbside pickup of materials.

Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the main library and the Sycamore Creek Plaza branch were closed to patrons and numerous operations and procedures have been suspended.

Library director Tony Howard said in an April 29 news release that to ensure public and staff safety,all materials returned via the drop boxes would be quarantined for 72 hours before staff processes and redistributes the items to the public.

The library will accept items including hotspots and launchpads, but for now, patrons are asked to hold onto nature kits and board games.

Howard said starting Tuesday, May 12, virtual library services will be expanded with curbside pickup at both locations – the Main Library, 201 Opportunity Way, and the Sycamore Plaza Library, 7861 Refugee Road.

“This process is very similar to grocery and food pickup at some local businesses,” said Tony Howard, library director. “This allows us to serve our customers while continuing focus on the health and safety of our staff and community. We will be closely following protocol set by health officials.”

Patrons can reserve books and other items online or by phone using the library’s new mobile app, Howard said.

Patrons will be notified by email and through their library accounts when materials are ready for pickup.

They can go to the specified library during set hours and call the number on a sign posted in the parking lot, Howard said.

Library employees will check out and deliver the materials and place them in the trunk of the patron’s vehicle. As with nearly every business, service or family, the library’s operations have been altered because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and library officials said they are working to address those challenges.

“At our most recent board meeting, some very difficult decisions were made due to the current economic situation,” Howard said.

“To adjust for lost revenue, the library cut over $300,000 from the operating budget. These cuts include a 10% reduction in hours for all nonexempt staff and 3% reduction in pay for all exempt staff with the expectation that they continue to work their full schedule.”

Library officials said they do not have a timeframe for how long adjusted services because of the pandemic – including e-branch programming and pickup – will continue in their current formats.

They said they are working on plans and safety procedures that will be utilized when facilities are allowed to be opened for public use. Additional information and updates can be found at pickeringtonlibrary.org or via social media @PickeringtonLib.

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