When the Glenview Public Library first shut its doors back in March, we found ourselves scrambling to help our patrons. As time went on, we started adapting to change and coming up with new ways to serve our community, and as winter approached and COVID-19 cases began to rise again, we knew there was a chance that the Library would again close to the public. To best serve our patrons, we knew we had to make some adjustments.
While patrons can check out books and materials through our Drive-Up Window, we knew that a big reason people visit the Library is to access the Internet and use computers. The first step in bridging the gap was giving patrons access to our WiFi from the parking lot. Upon closing the building in November, we boosted our WiFi signal to reach the parking lot, allowing patrons to park and surf for free. This solved the issue for some people: however, we were aware that a lot of many patrons did not have Internet-enabled devices, so the next step was allowing patrons to check out laptops.
In early December, we began allowing Glenview Library cardholders to check out laptops for four-hour time slots. Cardholders ages 18 and older can check out laptops at the Drive-Up Window after signing a one-time liability waiver, informing them that there is a $1/hour fine for overdue items. Laptops are reservable through our catalog, but not renewable. When returned, laptops are put in plastic bags and collected by IT staff who clean and ensure laptops are fully operable. Laptops are stored at charging stations so they are fully charged when checked out by patrons. Mice and power cords can be checked out separately by request.
While we all hope to get “back to normal” soon, until then, we will continue to listen and learn from our patrons and adjust to serve them the best we can. We hope patrons can take advantage of this service, and we are happy to provide it to our great community that has supported us throughout the pandemic.
Our guest blogger today is Kathleen Mammoser. Kathleen is a Project Coordinator at Glenview Public Library.