Greetings from the Peabody Institute Library! My name is Cate Merlin, Library Director, and I wanted to provide you with an update regarding our services for the rest of this year. After six years at the Peabody institute Library, I became the Director in March, and it's no understatement to say that these past months have certainly been a dramatic learning curve for myself, library staff, and library Trustees, as we navigate these strange and scary times.
We have been offering contactless Curbside Pickup since July, including the following services at the Main Library (more information is available at each link):
We’ve also been delighted to offer virtual services, including virtual programming, online and phone reference help, and of course our vast array of streaming services, online databases, and ebooks that can be found on our Online Resources website.
During the past five busy months of virtual and curbside services at the Main Library, we've received lots of feedback from you regarding how the process could be easier and more convenient, especially as everyone's lives get more hectic as the holiday season begins. Starting on Tuesday, December 8th, our curbside car delivery service will transition to a Self-Serve Contactless Pickup service, in the Children's Room entryway of the Main Library, off of the Wallis Street Parking Lot. You'll receive the same notifications that your items are ready and can make a pickup appointment via our online calendar or by giving us a call, but to make things easier, your items will be waiting for you in the Entryway. When you arrive in the Wallis Street parking lot, park your car, put on your mask, and come into the Entryway to grab your labeled bag. Staff will be available via intercom to answer questions, but this will eliminate time spent calling/texting us, and waiting for us to come to your cars. We hope this will make the process quicker and easier!
While we are excited to bring you an easier and more convenient way to access the items you want, we are unfortunately unable to maintain our current pickup schedule. With such economic uncertainty during these past months, the library, like many city departments, was faced with a difficult budgetary situation that resulted in a reduction of library staff. Therefore, in order to provide you with consistent and reliable services given our current situation, beginning the week of December 7th, Self-Serve Pickup will only be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10am-4pm.
Items returned to our South and West Branch book returns may remain checked out to your account for up to two weeks after you return them. Items that you place on hold from the Branches may also take up to a week to be ready for pickup at the Main Library. No fines will accrue for any items during quarantine periods, and no fines are being charged on Peabody items at all right now.
Another unfortunate result of these staffing reductions is that we are unable to put in place the safety precautions that would allow us to welcome you back into our buildings, meaning that we cannot offer any in-person services at any of our three locations for the foreseeable future. We know this is disappointing for our patrons and it disappoints us, too. Fortunately, though, our membership in the NOBLE network allows you to access other libraries that are able to offer in-person services such as browsing and computer use. At the time of this email, the Beverly, Danvers, Lynnfield, and Reading libraries are offering limited in-person services, and more information can be found on their websites.
Please feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-531-0100 x16, or to reach out to our Board of Library Trustees at email@example.com, with any questions or concerns. I hope that you have a safe and happy holiday season, and that we can see you in person next year.