Library Reopening Plan

June 24, 2020

We are ready to move forward!

See what is in store for now and the rest of the summer at your community library.

Library To Go Pick-up Service

Now that our county has moved to the Yellow Stage of the COVID-19 reopening procedures, Muhlenberg Community Library will be working to initiate a 'Library To Go' pick-up service for holds and orders. Here are some helpful FAQs to help you navigate this new service.

When can I use the Library To Go pick-up service?

MCL's curbside service is scheduled to begin the week of June 22, 2020. Patrons using this service will schedule a specific time slot and date to avoid contact with other patrons using this service. Pick-up days and times will be limited. To support social distancing efforts, MCL is operating with limited staff. We appreciate your patience!
 

How do I schedule a Library To Go pick-up?

Beginning the week of June 22, patrons are welcome to place items on hold by using our online catalog. The hold limits by account type will remain in effect:

  • 10 holds per adult account
  • 25 holds per juvenile account
  • 25 holds per homeschool account

Patrons who do not have access to the internet may call the library at (610)929-0589 to place 1-2 items on hold, request a prepacked Book Bundle Theme, or ask for Reader's Advisory. When the materials are available, MCL staff will call to schedule an appointed day and time slot for pick-up. When scheduling an appointment, or when requesting materials, we will require the following information: 1) Name and phone number. 2) Library card number. 3) The titles of the items that you would like to check out.
 

What can I expect at my curbside pick-up appointment?

Patrons using the Library To Go service will be given a 15-minute time slot in which to access their newly checked out materials. Patron materials will already be checked out to their account and waiting to be picked up from inside the vestibule of the library. Patrons are welcome to simply walk in the lobby, grab their items and go! The library, itself, will remain closed to patrons in order to limit any person-to-person contact. No other patrons will be scheduled during the same time period; however, MCL staff is asking that face coverings be worn during pick-up as a precaution. Patrons should bring their library card to their pick-up appointment in order to match the last four digits of the card to the label on the appropriate package of materials.
 

How do I return materials?

Currently, MCL is asking patrons to return checked out items on the following schedule so as not to overwhelm the staff. Patrons with last names beginning  A - E may return items June 22- June 27.  Patrons with the last names beginning with F- L may return items from June 29 - July 4. Patrons with the last names beginning with M - S may return items from July 6 - July 11. Patrons with the last names beginning with T- Z may return items from July  13 - July 18. A return cart will be accessible inside the vestibule pick-up area as a courtesy, but again, we ask that patrons keep their checked out materials in a safe place at home for the time-being as a precaution. Due dates for checked out items are currently set to July 15, 2020. Please note that MCL safety measures require staff to quarantine returned materials for their own, and patron safety. This means there will be a delay between when items are physically returned to the library and when the items are being removed from the patron account. Please be assured that we will not be assessing overdue fines on items during this time. Fees for items that are lost or damaged during this period will still apply, as well as any fines or fees that were assessed to patron accounts prior to the library closure on March 16, 2020.
 

What if the title I want is at another library?

MCL is unable to reserve items from other libraries at this current time. If there is an item that MCL doesn't have, please call or use the online form to request that we consider purchasing the title for our collection.
 

Do I need a library card?

Yes, patrons must hold a Berks County Public Libraries card to use curbside pick-up. New patrons that do not have a regular library card, can create one using online registration or by contacting the library at (610)929-0589. Staff will need to receive a copy or picture of a valid photo ID and current home address within Berks County to issue a new card. New library cards can be placed with checked out materials for curbside pick-up.
 

Can I come into the library to browse and pick out items in-person?

Unfortunately, we are not permitted to allow anyone other than staff, entry into the building at this time. Please note that this also means there is no patron access to library restrooms during curbside pick-up times.
 

What materials are available for pick-up?

All physical materials currently on the shelf at MCL are available. This includes books, DVDs, audio, etc. Digital content will continue to be available through reading.overdrive.com or the Libby app without curbside pick-up.
 

Can you look for specific items or provide reading suggestions?

Yes we can! Call (610)929-0589 or email muhlenbergcl@berks.lib.pa.us for reading suggestions.
 

What if I have fines?

Patrons may make payments for fines/fees, which restrict an account from checkout, via credit card over the phone.
 

What is MCL doing to protect the safety of patrons and library staff?

This new contactless curbside pick-up model provides maximum social distancing for the safety of our entire community, patrons and staff. Staff use face coverings and frequent hand washing procedures in accordance with the PA Dept. of Health and CDC guidelines, as well as limiting the number of staff inside the library at any given time. The library vestibule being used for curbside pick-up will be cleaned throughout the day between pick-up appointments, as well as at the end of the day. Additional library cleaning protocols implemented prior to the library closure, remain in place for staff working inside the library. All physical materials are quarantined for a minimum of 7 calendar days prior to being handled by any staff or patrons, to ensure safety. Patrons and staff should not approach one another and respect the need for social distancing. Patrons arriving for their scheduled pick-up time should note that there are no other patrons outside the library or inside the library vestibule before exiting their vehicle.

 

 

 

Updated 6/5/2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update – June 1, 2020 Dear Patrons, We hope that you are all doing well and staying safe. As Berks County transitions to the Yellow Phase, you might have some questions about what to expect regarding library services. Below are the answers to some of the more common questions we’ve been asked: When Berks County moves to yellow, MCL will open, right? After Berks County moves to yellow, the library will recall staff to prepare the library for reopening. It will be several weeks, or possibly months, until patrons will be allowed into the library building. Until that can happen, we plan to offer curbside services, tentatively beginning on June 22. More information will come as soon as possible regarding how this process will work and the definitive start date.

When will materials be due?
Due dates have been extended and no late fees will accrue during this time. We are still encouraging patrons to keep materials at this time.

Do you foresee any changes in operations?
Yes. We will be setting limits on the number of people who can be in the library, limiting the days/hours we are open, and minimizing one-on-one assistance. We will be following CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines, including quarantining materials. We will also start offering new services, such as Curbside pick-up.

What if I don’t have a library card or have trouble using my card online?
If you don’t have a library card, please register for a card online or give us a call when we reopen. If you experience trouble using your card, please email me at muhlenbergcl@berks.lib.pa.us. When we reopen, you can also call us for assistance.

What about programs and Summer Quest?
Currently we are only able to offer virtual programming. Please follow our Facebook page for notifications of the various programs we will be offering. Summer Quest will take place online and more information about this and the amazing summer programs available will come soon. We miss you and can't wait to see you again!

Until we are able to physically reopen, please explore the many online resources we offer, such as e-books, eaudiobooks, and more. Please stay safe and know that we think of you all and hope to see you soon.

Sincerely,
Melissa J. Adams, Library Director

Book returns

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Image removed.We are ready to move forward!

See what is in store for now and the rest of the summer at your community library.

Library To Go Pick-up Service

Now that our county has moved to the Yellow Stage of the COVID-19 reopening procedures, Muhlenberg Community Library will be working to initiate a 'Library To Go' pick-up service for holds and orders. Here are some helpful FAQs to help you navigate this new service.

When can I use the Library To Go pick-up service?

MCL's curbside service is scheduled to begin the week of June 22, 2020. Patrons using this service will schedule a specific time slot and date to avoid contact with other patrons using this service. Pick-up days and times will be limited. To support social distancing efforts, MCL is operating with limited staff. We appreciate your patience!
 

How do I schedule a Library To Go pick-up?

Beginning the week of June 22, patrons are welcome to place items on hold by using our online catalog. The hold limits by account type will remain in effect:

  • 10 holds per adult account
  • 25 holds per juvenile account
  • 25 holds per homeschool account

Patrons who do not have access to the internet may call the library at (610)929-0589 to place 1-2 items on hold, request a prepacked Book Bundle Theme, or ask for Reader's Advisory. When the materials are available, MCL staff will call to schedule an appointed day and time slot for pick-up. When scheduling an appointment, or when requesting materials, we will require the following information: 1) Name and phone number. 2) Library card number. 3) The titles of the items that you would like to check out.
 

What can I expect at my curbside pick-up appointment?

Patrons using the Library To Go service will be given a 15-minute time slot in which to access their newly checked out materials. Patron materials will already be checked out to their account and waiting to be picked up from inside the vestibule of the library. Patrons are welcome to simply walk in the lobby, grab their items and go! The library, itself, will remain closed to patrons in order to limit any person-to-person contact. No other patrons will be scheduled during the same time period; however, MCL staff is asking that face coverings be worn during pick-up as a precaution. Patrons should bring their library card to their pick-up appointment in order to match the last four digits of the card to the label on the appropriate package of materials.
 

How do I return materials?

Currently, MCL is asking patrons to return checked out items on the following schedule so as not to overwhelm the staff. Patrons with last names beginning  A - E may return items June 22- June 27.  Patrons with the last names beginning with F- L may return items from June 29 - July 4. Patrons with the last names beginning with M - S may return items from July 6 - July 11. Patrons with the last names beginning with T- Z may return items from July  13 - July 18. A return cart will be accessible inside the vestibule pick-up area as a courtesy, but again, we ask that patrons keep their checked out materials in a safe place at home for the time-being as a precaution. Due dates for checked out items are currently set to July 15, 2020. Please note that MCL safety measures require staff to quarantine returned materials for their own, and patron safety. This means there will be a delay between when items are physically returned to the library and when the items are being removed from the patron account. Please be assured that we will not be assessing overdue fines on items during this time. Fees for items that are lost or damaged during this period will still apply, as well as any fines or fees that were assessed to patron accounts prior to the library closure on March 16, 2020.
 

What if the title I want is at another library?

MCL is unable to reserve items from other libraries at this current time. If there is an item that MCL doesn't have, please call or use the online form to request that we consider purchasing the title for our collection.
 

Do I need a library card?

Yes, patrons must hold a Berks County Public Libraries card to use curbside pick-up. New patrons that do not have a regular library card, can create one using online registration or by contacting the library at (610)929-0589. Staff will need to receive a copy or picture of a valid photo ID and current home address within Berks County to issue a new card. New library cards can be placed with checked out materials for curbside pick-up.
 

Can I come into the library to browse and pick out items in-person?

Unfortunately, we are not permitted to allow anyone other than staff, entry into the building at this time. Please note that this also means there is no patron access to library restrooms during curbside pick-up times.
 

What materials are available for pick-up?

All physical materials currently on the shelf at MCL are available. This includes books, DVDs, audio, etc. Digital content will continue to be available through reading.overdrive.com or the Libby app without curbside pick-up.
 

Can you look for specific items or provide reading suggestions?

Yes we can! Call (610)929-0589 or email muhlenbergcl@berks.lib.pa.us for reading suggestions.
 

What if I have fines?

Patrons may make payments for fines/fees, which restrict an account from checkout, via credit card over the phone.
 

What is MCL doing to protect the safety of patrons and library staff?

This new contactless curbside pick-up model provides maximum social distancing for the safety of our entire community, patrons and staff. Staff use face coverings and frequent hand washing procedures in accordance with the PA Dept. of Health and CDC guidelines, as well as limiting the number of staff inside the library at any given time. The library vestibule being used for curbside pick-up will be cleaned throughout the day between pick-up appointments, as well as at the end of the day. Additional library cleaning protocols implemented prior to the library closure, remain in place for staff working inside the library. All physical materials are quarantined for a minimum of 7 calendar days prior to being handled by any staff or patrons, to ensure safety. Patrons and staff should not approach one another and respect the need for social distancing. Patrons arriving for their scheduled pick-up time should note that there are no other patrons outside the library or inside the library vestibule before exiting their vehicle.

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MCL has always been here for you! Now we need you. As we prepare to move forward into unprecedented areas of librarianship, we need you more than ever!

Even with our physical doors closed, MCL has striven to continue services to our community and our patrons from afar. We have been present with you through our Facebook page and very soon, we will be serving you with curbside pick-up of library materials.

Mr. Garland Bear, a longtime supporter of MCL, has recognized our need for support and has offered to match donations made to the library up to $1,000. Donations may be made via JustGiving or by mailing checks made out to Muhlenberg Community Library.

Mr. Bear honors his late wife, Pat Bear, with his donation matching challenge. Pat Bear was fundamental to the foundation of the Muhlenberg Community Library and a lifetime supporter of its work.

No one could have foreseen the library closing its doors, every temporarily, to a pandemic. The current times are fluctuating and uncertain. Mr. Bear would like to ensure that the library doors will not only reopen, but stay open! Will you join him in his unwavering support?

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Summer Quest 2020 is going virtual!

Imagine Your Story Summer Quest will run Jun. 15 - Aug. 15.

Summer Quest will still be happening!

Programs will be done virtually through Facebook and Zoom.

Check the MCL Facebook page for upcoming events and up-to-date info!

*We will be using a platform called READsquared for families to keep track of accomplishments such as books, minutes read, programs attended and more!

Prizes will be of a great variety as always! And, as always, it will be so FUN!

Keep your eyes and ears open for more posts with other Summer Quest 2020 information!

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June Special Programs Schedule


June 15 | First Day of Summer Quest!
 
June 18 @ 2PM | Virtual Storytime Series by Parties with Character: Mal. Please register before June 18.
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Series Info: Join us for a Virtual Live Superhero & Princess Storytime Series + GIVEAWAY every other Thursday! This interactive event series begins on June 18 at 2pm eastern with a Live Storytime full of singing, dancing, and engaging storytelling--Plus, the character will respond to your child's comments by name!

TO JOIN IN:

1) Visit www.facebook.com/groups/MCLStorytime now and request to be added to the exclusive event group. Join BEFORE 6/18/2020 for access to the Live Event.

2) Visit our group every other Thursday right at 2pm eastern starting on June 18th for the Live Storytime Events!

GIVEAWAY! All attending families are automatically entered to win a 10 minute Parties with Character Diamond Package Video Call with the storytime character directly after the event!


June 20 | Chalk & Walk. Share your photos on Facebook using #MCLChalkWalk or email them to Miss Jacki at muhlJMC@gmail.com.
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June 25 | Tell Your Story Art Series: Art Gallery - Submit photos of your artwork to Miss Candice at muhlcbk@gmail.com to be included in an MCL online Art Gallery Exhibit.

June 27 @ 1PM | Shadow Puppet Storytime Show with Matt Sandbank's Shadow Factory.
Image removed.This special storytime will take place LIVE on Zoom. Please email muhlJMC@gmail.com to register and you will receive the link to join the program. Learn more about Shadow Factory.

*All summer programs are being held virtually through Facebook or Zoom. The library will not be open to patrons during this time.