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Library employees gather books by genre, then prep for pick-up in parking lot.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Newberg Public Library has initiated a new program that allows patrons to request a bundle of books by a particular genre or topic, then receiving the tomes chosen by staff for curbside pickup.

How many books would a bundler bundle if a bundler bundled books?

In Newberg, it turns out, the possibilities are nearly endless.

In recognition of readers craving some literature but unable to satisfy that need due to the pandemic, the Newberg Public Library has produced a solution: bundles of books to stave off literary starvation.

Library Director Will Worthey credited the idea of Book Bundles to assistant director Cory Buerkle, who saw it as a way to better serve the citizenry during the pandemic.

How does it work? A patron fills out an online form on the library website (https://bit.ly/37kW2Lh), saying what genre or topic they are interested in, a release from the library said. The form includes library number, age group, contact information and special interests. If a staff member has a question, they then call the person and assemble a bundle of books.

Once the request is filled the bundle remains at the library for seven days, at which time the patron can contact the library via a special number and set up a time for a curbside hand-off at a special parking spot out front from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays. Once the patron arrives, a library employee will place the bundle in the trunk of their vehicle.

"One lady wanted historical mysteries, but that's a pretty big genre. So when I called her, it turned out she especially wanted Medieval-era mysteries. …," Worthey said. "We want readers to get a fun, quirky surprise they may not have known about to help drive away the COVID blues."

Topping the list of requested bundles, by a three-to-one margin, are children's books. Picture books have also proven popular and can be refined by library staff to include everything from trains and princesses to popular cartoon characters.

"As for adults, the most popular genre is mainstream thrillers by authors such as James Patterson, John Sandford and Harlan Coben," the release said.

One small drawback to the system, Worthey said, is that the books in the bundles are pulled directly from the library's shelves, meaning patrons may not get that particular author's latest best seller.

And added benefit to the system is that the book bundlers are having "tons of fun" constructing the bundles, he added.

"It's a way to keep doing the best we can to service the community," Worthey said.

For more information, call Worthey at 503-537-1256.


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