New York Public Library considering curbside pickup service

May 27, 2020

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The New York Public Library is reviewing plans for curbside pickup service as the organization prepares to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic. As first reported by THE CITY, cardholders would be able to order books or other materials by phone or online for grab-and-go pickup, under one plan being considered. Books could be picked up in the lobbies or on the sidewalks of some branches.

“As we begin to reopen our doors, we would do probably a small number of locations first and begin phasing in services,” Brian Bannon, the Merryl and James Tisch Director at the NYPL, told THE CITY.

The website also reported that public libraries in Brooklyn and Queens are also looking at ways to get books to patrons as the city starts to reopen in phases. All of the city’s public libraries have been closed since mid-March, but have offered virtual resources, including e-books and other online materials.

But while it’s unclear as of now where public libraries fit in within the state’s four-phase reopening plan, the city’s branches continue to expand their e-book collections and online programming to serve New Yorkers, especially those who benefit the most from its free materials.

Last month, the NYPL reported that e-book checkouts have increased by nearly 10 percent compared to the same period last year. According to library officials, there’s also been a 15 percent increase in weekly e-book readers on average. The library also released a list of the top 10 most borrowed e-books during the COVID-19 shutdown, with Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Tara Westover’s Educated: A Memoir topping the list.

And while bookstores in NYC currently remain closed for in-person browsing, many are open for curbside pickup and delivery. Some, like Brooklyn’s Greenlight Bookstore and Books Are Magic, continue to hold book club events and author talks, virtually.

[Via The CITY]


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