In July, the San Francisco Public Library announced its contact-free SFPL To Go program, which it was hoping to roll out sometime in August; the rolling, alas, will start August 10 at the Main Library on 100 Larkin Street.
To the giddy delight of local bookworms, audiophiles, and purveyors of cinema transcribed onto DVDs, the San Francisco Public Library's curbside pick up program is officially set to start August 10 at the Main Library. (The Excelsior Branch on 4400 Mission Street, too, is set to launch the program the following day.)
Announcing #SFPLToGo, our front door pick-up service. Launching Mon, Aug 10, @ Main Library + Tues, Aug 11, @ Excelsior Branch, patrons can safely pick up requested materials. Find out more in the link in our profile.— SF Public Library (@SFPublicLibrary) August 1, 2020
We can't wait to see you!#sfpubliclibrary pic.twitter.com/bMgmqAJAqy
“Books are back!” said SFPL Librarian Michael Lambert in a press release Saturday, according to the SF Examiner. The impending launch of the program — that will operate under the city-approved health and safety plan — was announced alongside words from Mayor Breed.
“We are thrilled to launch SFPL To Go and to see all of our patrons again at our front doors," says Lambert. "We thank everyone for their patience as we implement contact-free service throughout the city."
Per the SFPL, patrons will need to arrive wearing face coverings and practice proper social distancing when in line to be helped. Upon reaching the help table, library cardholders will be asked to utter the last four digits of their card or account number; on-site staff will then fetch a bag containing the reserved items on the table for people to pick up.
Also, take note: library staff will not be "able to answer general reference or other library questions at the door."
Like the City's macro-strategy dealing with the pandemic, more SFPL pick up locations will go online in the weeks to come as part of the "phased" curbside program. Branches at Mission Bay, Eureka Valley, and Lake Merced are next in the queue.
“The San Francisco Public Library has significantly increased digital access to its collection during the COVID-19 health emergency, but I know that for many of us nothing replaces the feeling of holding and reading a physical book,” said Mayor Breed in the release.
You can request rentable materials — books, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, etc. — by visiting sfpl.org and placing them on hold through your library account. Should you hit a snag or can't access your account online, SFPL cardholders can also email [email protected] or call (415) 557-4400 to request materials.
When it comes time to return those rented materials, only branches operating the SFPL To Go program will take them. Once returned, those same materials will be quarantined for at least 72 hours before staff handles them again; SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen responsible for COVID-19, can live on most surfaces for a maximum of three days.
"We can't wait to see you!" writes the SFPL on Twitter in regards to the program's nearing start.
Image: Wikimedia Commons