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Libraries launch new service plan

Posted On: March 19, 2020

Doing its part to protect the public from coronavirus spread, Volusia County’s library system will transition to online, telephone and curbside service beginning Monday. And children’s story time, a popular feature at Volusia’s libraries, will be streamed live on Facebook starting next week.

To make way for the transition, Volusia’s 14 libraries will close to the public, beginning this Sunday, March 22. The online, telephone and curbside service only will begin on Monday. County officials have implemented several provisions to make the service as convenient as possible for library patrons. The moves follow the recommendations of both the American Library Association and the Florida Library Association and are prompted by health concerns and the difficulty of keeping library patrons a safe distance from each other while inside the facilities.

“The health of our community and library staff is forefront in our thoughts,” said Volusia County Library Services Director Lucinda Colee. “When library users come in to our facilities seeking services, it makes social distancing incredibly difficult. We simply don’t want to place anyone at risk.”

Beginning Monday, library cardholders are encouraged to access the library’s vast on-line digital catalogue of materials. Additionally, all outstanding library fines are being suspended in order to lift access restrictions that have been placed on any cardholder accounts.

For residents who don’t have a library card, they can call their local library and arrange to get one over the phone.

With Monday’s start of curbside pickup service, cardholders can reserve materials online or call any one of the 14 branches to reserve up to 20 items for checkout. Library staff will pre-check the materials to the patron using their library card information. When they drive up to the library, the patron is asked to phone the library from their vehicle and the materials will be brought to them at the curb. For materials that have already been checked out, the due dates have been extended to May 1; However, library materials also can be returned through book drops located at every branch.

Telephone services at the libraries, such as the ask-a-librarian service for reference questions, will continue. All in-facility services, such as programs, browsing materials and public access computers remain closed until further notice.

For fans of storytime, get ready for the live feed every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Residents who follow the Library Service’s Facebook page will get invitations prior to each session notifying them about the age group and theme for each session. Library Services also is planning online movie reviews and other resources as available.

For residents who’ve forgotten their card PIN number – which is needed to access online services – or want to register for a library card or reserve materials, a list of libraries and their addresses and phone numbers can be obtained by clicking on the following link:

https://www.volusia.org/services/community-services/library-services.stml.

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