Summer is a great time for reading, and libraries offer access to a world of books free of charge. SoCal libraries have closed their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, but filled the gap with an amazing raft of virtual services.
And if, after months of Zoom meetings, distance learning and reading on your Kindle or computer you’ve got screen fatigue, your local library has good news: library curbside service. This allows you to reserve books online, enjoy contactless pick up, then spend the summer turning actual pages.
Each library’s policies are different, but in general patrons request their books through the online catalog or by phone. Once you’ve been notified that your books are ready, you just contact the library to let them know you’ll be picking up, drive to the designated location, give your name and/or show your library card and wait for your books to be brought to an outdoor table for safe, contactless pickup.
Here’s a rundown of curbside options near you.
Don’t have a library card? Most branches will set you up by phone.
L.A. County Library began offering sidewalk service holds pickup at 24 branches beginning Monday, June 8. All bookdrops reopened for item returns that day.
Holds can be placed using the online catalog at LACountyLibrary.org, or over the phone. Once holds are fulfilled, customers will be notified. To pick up, customers will be asked to call the library when they arrive, and their holds will be brought out to an outdoor table, where they can pick them up without any contact with library staff. Holds may be picked up from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Alhambra is offering curbside pickup by appointment from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon.-Fri. as a walk-up or drive-up service. You can request materials from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. by calling 626-570-3212 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number, library card number and request. Walk-up pick up is at the library’s First Street entrance, and materials can be returned at library book drops.
Burbank is offering curbside pickup at its three branches. Just reserve your item online or by phone, and call your branch to set an appointment for pickup once you’ve received an email notification that it is ready.
Appointments are offered at the Central Library and Buena Vista Branch from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thurs. and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.-Sat., and at the Northwest Branch from noon-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. At your appointment time, park in a designated spot and pick up your items from the tables provided, maintaining proper distancing.
Calabasas is allowing patrons to check out physical items by calling the library or placing a hold via the online catalog. When the item becomes available, staff will call you to set an appointment for pick up.
Glendale is offering contactless curbside pickup at its central library location by reservation only from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. Wed.-Thurs. and noon-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Place the item on hold as you normally would through the online catalog or by phone at 818-548-2021. When you receive an email notice that your hold is ready for pickup, you will be asked to schedule a pickup time online or by phone. Call the library when you arrive and park in the spot designated for you in your confirmation email, and staff will ask you to pop your trunk if possible, and will bring your items to you.
Pasadena is offering contactless curbside pickup at Pasadena Central Library and seven branches from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Materials can be returned in nearby library book drops.
Santa Clarita is offering curbside service from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and 1-4 p.m. Sat. at all three branch locations. Just place items on hold using the online catalog, wait for a notification that your items are ready and pick them up at the branch’s designated table.
Exterior book drops are open for returns, and the library plans to launch no-contact checkout/pickup service June 15.