AUBURN – Eckhart Public Library will begin to offer contactless curbside pickup of holds, returns of materials, and document services beginning on Monday, May 11.
The library is working on phasing in services while following the guidelines of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Back on Track Indiana plan.
“We have all been working so hard to refine processes to ensure the safety of all patrons and staff,” said Public Service Manager Darcy Davidson Armstrong. “We are grateful to be able to offer modified services.”
“The modern library is so much more than a building with books,” said the Indiana Library Federation in a press release. “Indiana’s libraries provide access to librarians and digital resources to keep Hoosiers informed, educated, enriched, and entertained through this unprecedented time. We look forward to phasing in our services safely and according to local needs and guidance.”
Library card holders may search for items through the Catalog link on the library’s homepage, at epl.lib.in.us, and put items on hold. They also may call the library at 260-925-2414, ext. 120, to request items. Those who aren’t sure what they want to read or watch next can even ask for items in a favorite genre, and staff will select several items to check out. The library is also implementing a Readers Advisory form on its website at epl.lib.in.us where patrons can request recommendations from specific staff members who share their reading tastes.
When items are ready, an Eckhart Public Library staff member will call to find out a preferred pickup window. Items can be picked up from 9-11 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. During the pickup window, items will be in a bag on a cart outside the Main Library, at 603 S. Jackson St., labeled with the first four letters of the cardholder’s last name and the last five digits of their library card number. Items will be checked out and ready to pick up. Some items will not be available to check out at this time, including puppets, items from the Library of Things, and other items that are deemed to be too bulky or difficult to sanitize.
People who want to return items are able to do so across the street from the Main Library, at the Willennar Administrative Annex at 212 W. 12th St. People are asked to place their items in the provided cart. The items will be quarantined for three days before being wiped down and checked in by staff. Therefore, items will still appear on patron accounts for at least three weekdays before being checked in. No items will be due until July 1, in order to give extra time to people who still wish to remain at home during this time.
The library will also offer contactless, curbside document services at no charge beginning Monday, May 11. People who need items printed can send print jobs to the library through the mobile printing feature on the library’s homepage at epl.lib.in.us or email prints to firstname.lastname@example.org. After items are sent, the patron should call the library at 260-925-2414 ext. 702 to let staff know to look for the print and schedule a pick-up time. When the print is ready, staff will put them on a cart outside the Main Library entrance for pickup.
Those who need to copy or fax can bring items to the cart outside the Main Library and call the library at 260-925-2414 ext. 702. After stepping at least six feet away from the cart, a staff member will retrieve the items, copy or fax them, and leave the documents on the cart.
Eckhart Public Library staff members are observing proper sanitation and cleanliness standards while working with patron items. In addition, all items being returned or sent from other libraries are being quarantined for three days, as recommended by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the CDC. Transmission from paper is considered to be a low risk by the CDC.
Eckhart Public Library has continued to offer services to the public while buildings are closed. Eckhart Public Library is one of more than 350 libraries that is offering Wi-Fi access in parking lots and in areas around library buildings. For a map of participating libraries, visit https://www.ilfonline.org/general/custom.asp?page=Wi-Fi-map.
Eckhart Public Library has also offered expanded electronic resources, including expanding monthly checkout limits from digital service Hoopla, as well as offering items through OverDrive, Libby, and Kanopy services. The library has also created more than 50 virtual programs that have been shared online and viewed more than 20,000 times, as well as being a source of accurate, timely information about the COVID-19 pandemic. The library is also instrumental in setting up and hosting 19secondsofjoy.com, a website full of community resources related to the pandemic and stay-at-home order.
Eckhart Public Library management, administration, and Board of Trustees is continuing to work with the DeKalb County Health Department and follow guidance from the Indiana State Library, Indiana Library Federation, Indiana Department of Health, American Library Association, and Centers for Disease Control, as library services are phased in.