'We're trying to bring the library out to you'
First it was virtual storytime and curbside pickup. Now the Lake Oswego Public Library has another way to access books and other services: go outside.
The "parking lot library" has tables of books to browse and full-service booths for checkout and signing up for library cards.
Patrons also can speak with an adult or youth librarian, check out movie bundles, sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge, get tech help and print documents.
Patrons are asked to use the hand-sanitizing station before browsing books.
Currently, the Lake Oswego Public Library is the only library in Clackamas County to provide a wide range of services outdoors.
"We're trying to bring the library out to you," Youth Services Librarian Allison Staley said.
Curbside pickup was a great start in getting books into people's hands, but Andrea Milano, youth and technical services manager, hopes the outdoor booths will help alleviate some of the burden of curbside orders.
Milano said when the library was only doing curbside pickup, there were still so many books on shelves that are normally always in circulation.
She said the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books were just sitting on the shelf, so when they started their parking lot library, she brought them out and they were checked out within a couple days.
Milano said the parking lot library will be open as long as they can't open the building to the public, and as long as weather permits.
"Especially for kids, browsing books is so important," Staley said.
The parking lot library is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Milano said they'll be flexible, possibly expanding hours if larger numbers of people start arriving, to ensure physical distancing.
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