Just as the season is changing, so too is the Rochester Public Library's curbside pickup service.
The library announced Thursday morning that the popular service will be moving its location on Oct. 5. On that day, the library will move its curbside operations into the Civic Center Ramp and incorporate an appointment-based system for pickup of materials.
A new digital tool will allow patrons to make appointments to pick up their items, cutting down on wait times.
The library is also adding two walkup windows at the southwest corner of the library building. The installation of the window is funded through CARES Act money.
Moving the pickup service will also library staff to then focus on its next phase: in-person browsing and borrowing. Like the new pickup service, it will be by appointment only.
"When we are asking people 'what is it that you are missing about the library' and there are two things that people keep saying; 'I want everything back to normal. I just want to be able to take my kid to story time.' Unfortunately COVID is preventing that from happening," said Karen Lemke, head of marketing and community engagement at the library. "The other thing they say is 'I really miss browsing. That's how I choose my reading material. It's not by the latest reading list, it's not by people recommending books, it's me browsing.'"
Library staff can't end the pandemic but they are working to provide some browsing time, she said.
Since the end of April, library patrons have placed more than 130,000 items on hold to pickup curbside along First Avenue Southeast.