The County library board voted June 10 to begin curbside pickup at its Dysart et al branch starting June 25.

The plan would allow people to borrow books by placing them on hold and then arriving at a designated time to pick them up from outside the library. If successful in Dysart, other branches would also begin to offer the service, starting with Minden.

Board members were cautious and decided to delay implementation at their May 27 meeting. But with the province lifting more restrictions June 12, board members said they felt comfortable enough to proceed.

“Things opening up, not everyone is accessing online. There’s still a lot of people who like and need to hold a book,” vice chair Andrea Roberts said. “People may have to wait a little bit longer, but I really think we should.”

Board member Cec Ryall said he was still concerned but added it made sense to try it.

“I’m not sure if this is going to have the amount of value everyone seems to think it is. Having said that, I think it’s definitely worth doing a prototype,” Ryall said.

Holds will be able to be made via the library website, phone or email. Books will be picked up from an outside table under the overhang of the Dysart branch. Staff will sanitize the table and door handles, while also quarantining books for 72 hours after use.

Sullivan also said staff members can decide whether they are comfortable being part of the program. Books will initially be given out in 20-minute blocks to give staff time to process and sanitize, but Sullivan said that will quickly be shifted to 15-minutes if things go well.

Board members also decided staff could bring back access to library computers by appointment if curbside pickup goes well. The province allowed for that with the start of Stage 2 of its reopening plan June 12.

“We’re all facing challenges, even in our municipalities, with people working from home with less than efficient or sufficient internet speeds,” board member Carol Moffatt said. “I’m keen to get – with appropriate safety protocols in place – people back to computers and their window to the world.”

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