Checkouts available at Wauconda library starting next week

After months of relative inactivity because of the COVID-19 crisis, the Wauconda Area Library soon will join the growing number of suburban libraries offering limited checkouts.

The library board on Monday approved a service officials have dubbed "Grab and Go." Patrons will be able to reserve up to 10 books, DVDs or other materials and then pick them up at the library entrance.

To reserve items, customers should call the library at (847) 526-5225 or use an app called myLIBRO. Items will be pulled from shelves by employees, checked out and bagged.

With staffers' help, patrons will retrieve items at the library's entrance at scheduled pickup times. They'll use digits from their phone numbers as identification.

People can begin reserving items and scheduling pickups June 22, Director Elizabeth Greenup said.

First, though, staffers will fill requests placed before the library closed to the public in March. That'll start Monday, June 15, Greenup said. Hold requests for about 200 patrons have been sitting unfulfilled since the COVID-19 crisis began, Public Services Supervisor Sara Esquivel said. Employees will call those patrons to see if they still want the requested materials.

Items likely won't be available the same day hold requests are made. Delayed scheduling is important to prevent long lines of cars on Main Street leading to the library, Greenup said.

"People are hungry for materials," she said.

Officials also want to control the flow of materials going out and coming back in, Greenup said.

The Cook Park Library in Libertyville, the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills and the Grayslake Area Public Library are among the libraries that have resumed limited checkouts in recent weeks. The Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee was scheduled to begin contactless pickup service today.

Wauconda library patrons have been able to return materials since late May. Overdue items have not been accruing fines. Returned materials are being quarantined for seven days on tables in the library's meeting room. After quarantine, items are checked in and shelved.

Employees must watch a video about proper mask and glove use, Esquivel said. They're also being trained how to maintain social distancing at the library.

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