Local libraries to begin curbside pickup in June

May 22, 2020

More than two months after closing to stop the spread of Covid-19, Dartmouth’s libraries will soon allow patrons to pick up physical books and reference materials again — at least from the parking lot.

While Governor Charlie Baker’s reopening plan allows for curbside library pickup beginning May 25, Dartmouth’s libraries are planning curbside programs starting June 1.

“I’m glad we’re finally able to do something,” Director of Libraries Lynne Antunes said. “A lot of people rely on the libraries.”

She said while the library is not able to welcome patrons back through its doors quite yet, they will be able to pick up books Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with returns at the book drops outside of both library branches or Town Hall. 

During the pandemic, the libraries are offering a variety of online resources like e-books, research catalogues, and access to periodicals. There have also been regular youth programs such as virtual storytimes for children and songs for babies through Zoom.

For Dartmouth residents taking part in curbside pickups, Antunes said to call the call the libraries before pickup at (508) 999-0726 before heading out.

This will allow staff members to gather orders, check library cards, and package books. “Be prepared to tell them your library card number as well as your name,” Antunes said.

The order will be left in a paper bag or wrapped with a piece of paper and a rubber band labeled with the first initial and last name of the patron will be marked on the bag or the paper.

Under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, any library items library items will be quarantined for three days upon their return.

A date for opening doors of all branches during phase two is still to be determined, she said. Any planned summer reading activities, crafts and programs will all be virtual while Antunes works with her staff to figure out how to create a socially distanced environment for the second phase.

“I’ve got good people to help support me,” Antunes said.