A visit to the library

16 Jun

School ended for kids on Thursday and for teachers yesterday. That’s big news. But the best news was that I finally went somewhere new.

In normal times, I go to the library at least once a week. My last visit was on March 9th. When it was announced on March 17th that public libraries would close, I regretted not stopping on my way home from my last day at school to pick up my holds.

Two weeks ago, Multnomah County Libraries announced that they would begin offering holds pick ups. The first branches would open on June 8th. My local branch would open on the 15th. I was elated. On Thursday, I called the number they posted and made an appointment for 10 a.m. on the 15th. I can’t tell you how excited I was.

I arrived early, but they were already open. There was only one person ahead of me so I stood on the spot that marked our new norm

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The process was quick and efficient. I walked up to the table that filled the library’s doorway and gave my name. They found it on the 10 a.m. spreadsheet.

“You have quite a few,” the masked librarian told me.

“I know. I brought a bag,” I replied, holding up my library bag.

She walked over to the piles of books in neatly arranged around the lobby and grabbed  my stack. Back at the table, she placed them on a tray and slid them towards me. I stuffed the books in my bag and she slid the tray back.

“Do you need to see my card?” I asked.

“No. They are already checked out,” she replied.

I had already read one of my new books, so I dropped it in the book drop. When I made my appointment, the person on the other end of the line told me that any books I returned would be quarantined for a few days before being checked back in. It seems a reasonable precaution.

As I walked back to the car, I looked through the library windows and saw piles of books stacked atop bookcases in the children’s section. Must be the rest of today’s pickups, I thought.

Through the next window, I saw the books in quarantine. Apparently, I’m not the only one happy to be able t use the library again.

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3 Responses to “A visit to the library”

  1. arjeha June 16, 2020 at 9:22 am #

    Each new reopening brings its own joy with it. Our local library hasn’t reopened yet since we are still yellow until Friday – then we go green. Hooray!

  2. Lisa Corbett June 16, 2020 at 12:39 pm #

    I need to call my library and figure this out! In the meantime, I brought a bag full of books home from my classroom today. My children are set for a few weeks. I think all of us wish we’d had a bit of notice that everything was going to shut down. Maybe the shopping would have been out of control though.

  3. Ramona June 17, 2020 at 2:38 pm #

    We’re at 1.5 and have to reach 2 before we can have library pick ups. Hoping it happens soon for us. I can sense your joy at being able to pick up your holds. I did manage to drop by on the last day before closure, but none of us realized how long that would be then.

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