Library to open drive-thru for book pick ups and check outs

Published 7:00 pm Monday, May 11, 2020

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The LaGrange Memorial Library and the Hogansville Public Library will begin curbside service starting May 18.

According to a news release from Keith Schuermann, regional library director, the curbside service will allow patrons to pick up holds at the library in a contactless manner in 15-minute intervals. The news release said staff members would check out materials on behalf of patrons, and then deliver them to vehicles through the LaGrange library’s drive-thru and in bins set outside the Hogansville library.

Schuermann said the book drop in Hogansville will be open at all hours, and the exterior of the LaGrange Library will have bins set outside its drive-thru entrance for returning items during operating hours.  

The news release from the library said returned materials will remain in bins and will be quarantined for 72 hours before check-in. Additionally, no overdue fines will be charged in May. That policy could continue into June and July, but that will be determined at a later date.

According to the news release, leading up to May 18, library staff will call patrons who have had fulfilled holds waiting to be received before the March 17 closure. Following those holds, the library will tend to the list of holds that have been building up while the libraries have been closed.  

Schuermann said patrons will be given a window of time to schedule their pickup. 

Patrons can call the libraries directly to request materials but are encouraged to use the PINES online catalog to select materials.

Schuermann praised library staff members, who were tasked with developing a staged plan for reopening that placed the health and well-being of users and staff as the highest priority.  

“We’re asking for patience from our users as we navigate this process,” he said. “Every two weeks, we will consider public health data, and if we are able to open up to greater access as the summer evolves, we will do so. Likewise, should things worsen, we will take a fallback position. Like many of Georgia’s public services, we’re building this plane and learning how it operates in the midst of our trying to flying it.”

According to the news release, following two weeks of curbside, as a next stage, the libraries anticipate introducing metered access to facilities that will limit both the number of patrons allowed inside and the available services offered.  

Kate Chambers, manager of the LaGrange location, is creatively answering the important call of summer services.  

“We’re excited to do things a little differently this year,” she said. “Live-streamed guest performers, circulating prepackaged activity kits for families and continuing our virtual storytimes will be unique elements of this summer’s program.”

Wendy Knight, manager of the Hogansville Library, said her staff is happy to get back to serving the community.

“Before COVID-19, we had so many programs lined up, and our patrons were so excited,” she said. “We are eager to get back to work so we can still share these programs with our community. Plus, we miss seeing the friendly faces of our regular patrons.”

For more information about hours of operation, the library’s reopening plan, and to browse the PINES catalog, visit the library’s website, at