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Caring for Our Community

Library Take-Out!

In order to continue to provide access to the library’s physical collection, on June 16, 2020, Durham County Library launched Library Take-Out! The service allows customers to place holds on books, DVDs, and CDs, and schedule a time to pick them up at the library once they’re available. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Between June 16 and August 31, 2020, a total of 108,209 items were checked out through the service. One customer wrote in to say, “With the world so topsy-turvy, I love what you’ve done to keep the library’s resources available to the public. Thanks.”

While the service is labor-intensive, with staff quarantining returned books, answering phones, screening staff as they start their shifts, filling holds, wearing masks, and operating inside locations while maintaining social distancing, staff have risen to the challenge.

In early fall, Durham County featured staff helping provide Library Take-Out! on social media as part of Durham County’s #dcostories spotlights on county staff adapting to the new demands of working during the pandemic. Here’s what library staff wrote in about their experiences providing Library Take-Out:

Desiree Peterson, Teen Librarian
North Regional Library

“I’m lucky to work with the team that I work with. They’ve all been so flexible and open about discussing what’s working and what isn’t in a positive, supportive manner. We’ve all got the same goal and everyone here at North is committed to providing reading materials to the residents of Durham County. Many hands make light work!”

Celeste Holtzmann, Office Assistant
East Regional Library

“One of the most exciting adjustments for me is the introduction of Library Take-Out! and the chance to interact with our patrons again. This service has made it possible to start checking items out to our patrons once again and to encourage them to explore our online resources and programs. It’s wonderful to be able to interact with the public again and see how much they enjoy being able to access the library in some way during these unique and trying times.”

Laura Broadwater, Library Associate
South Regional Library

“It has been great to return to the library and have a chance to share our resources again with patrons. I know they have missed us, and we have missed them too! Although these times can be challenging, we have a unique opportunity to break out of established molds and find new ways of serving the community.”