Library’s Curbside Service Remains Popular

BERLIN – Officials this week highlighted the successful launch of the Worcester County Library’s “Grab and Go” browsing services.

In Tuesday’s meeting of the Worcester County Library Board of Trustees, Library Director Jennifer Ranck shared the success of its new “Grab and Go” pilot program.

“People come in, know what section they want to browse, pick up the books they are interested in and go …,” she said. “Everybody’s been very patient and compliant with the new way of doing things.”

Beginning Monday, Nov. 16, all five branches of the Worcester County Library began a “Grab and Go” pilot program, allowing patrons to make appointments to browse the library collection. The decision to offer “Grab and Go” services came less than a week after the Worcester County Commissioners voted unanimously to have the library system come up with a plan for reopening the libraries.

Ranck told board members last month the “Grab and Go” program would be offered on a trial basis and would largely depend on the number of COVID-19 cases in Worcester County. This week, she said the library would continue to offer browsing appointments, as well as appointments to access computers, use copy machines and register for a library card.

“I have not heard anything that would make me think we would need to stop,” she said.

Library patrons who reserve a time for “Grab and Go” services are asked to wear a mask, sign a screening form and use hand sanitizer upon entry. The library is also asking visitors to refrain from reshelving items.

Ranck added that the library system would continue curbside pickup for library materials. She noted that curbside services continued to be the library’s most popular program.

“Curbside is much more popular than our appointments,” she said. “We are still doing pickups for materials.”

In Ocean Pines, for example, the branch has reported between 40 and 50 curbside pickup appointments each day.

“We are basically shopping for our customers,” said Branch Manager Harry Burkett.

Ranck told board members this week the library would continue to monitor COVID-19 positivity and case rates and adjust its reopening plan, if needed.

“At this point I recommend holding steady where we are,” she said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.