Hooray! Limited Library Services Have Restarted!

The Wake County Public Library System began allowing people who ordered books on hold to start picking them up as of yesterday, June 15. To me, that’s worthy of a celebration! So let’s have a little music…

That is courtesy of the Nashville Public Library–so cute!

When I got the notice about being able to put books on hold again, I got on the website EARLY yesterday to add to the several books I had on hold before the libraries shut down (they haven’t been allowing us to request holds since early March). I was so excited to get an email this afternoon that one of my books was available!

The process with the Wake County Libraries is a little different than in Nashville. Only a select number of libraries are participating, mostly the regional libraries. At least at the Cary Regional Library, you get an email saying your book is ready and you make an appointment to pick it up. In that appointment, you give your name, text number, email, and library card number. The staff checks out the book for you and places it in a bag (as seen above). The books are on temporary shelves in the opening space before you actually enter the library itself, arranged in alphabetical order. A staff person is outside, because only one person is allowed in the space (which is fairly small) at a time. There is also a big bin in which you can put returned books.

At this point, it is totally quick and easy. I had to wait until the guy before me came out, but the whole thing couldn’t have taken one minute. I imagine that will not continue to be the case as the numbers increase, but that’s OK. I’m just so glad to have access to library books again.

One of the reasons that more libraries aren’t offering this service is that Wake County transferred 110 of the library staff to work as Contact Tracers during our coronavirus crisis. Therefore, there are a limited number of library staff to provide this new “Books on the Go” program. Contact Tracing is, of course, super important…but, then, so is being able to get library books, at least in my opinion. Therefore, I’m willing to be patient as the libraries start allowing us to check out books again.

One last thing….any guesses about what is the first book I got to check out from the library?

I’ll let you think for a minute….

OK, here it is:

My regular readers may remember that in one of my posts last week about white bias in literature I said that I hadn’t loved Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, and didn’t understand why it won so many awards. So I thought I should give his latest book, which ALSO won a Pulitzer Prize, a try.

It just happened that this was the first of my books on hold to come in, but maybe it is also an omen. I’ll let you know how I like this one.

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