Library to introduce curbside pickup

In May, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Central New York had met the requirements to begin a phased reopening of its economy after months in shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While businesses in industries such as construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade are listed in Phase One of the reopening, libraries are included in Phase Two for restricted services only.

According to a May 26 “Service Update” from the Cazenovia Public Library & Museum, “library buildings will not be reopening and going back to the way things were. It may be some time before patrons and groups are allowed inside our building,” the update continued. “…Libraries are in a unique situation as our traded materials pass multiple hands — from browsers, to staff, to borrowers and back again — within a very short time. Until we understand more about its spread, when circulation resumes, hold and wait times may be longer to accommodate (natural) decontamination.”

According to the update, the library has been carefully reviewing and adapting a plan drafted by the MidYork Library System committee to ensure the safest and most efficient means of reopening.

The first onsite service that will be offered is curbside pickup.

Starting June 15, orders may be called in, emailedor sent via social media along with an anticipated pickup time. Patrons can also place a hold/request through the online Mid York Catalog.

The library staff will remove the book or other item from the shelf, sign the item out, place it in a labeled bag and leave it outside on a table by the Albany Street entrance (upstairs) or the Riverside Drive entrance (downstairs) for pickup.

“Actually, people can request more than one item at a time,” said Library Director Betsy Kennedy. “Also, people can ask us to choose an item for them by giving us what they like to read or watch. Or they might want books on a subject, like gardening, history, travel, etc. We will choose them, check them out and put them in a bag.”

In addition to traditionally available items (e.g., books, DVDs, audiobooks, etc.), the library will be loaning more unusual materials, like “Grandma Sally’s Book Bags,” nature kits, agriculture kits, croquet sets and fishing rods.

According to Children’s Education Coordinator Jenna Wright-Martin, each Grandma Sally’s Book Bag contains a collection of 10 thematically related picture books and a folder with song and activity ideas for families.

The nature kits include nets, magnifying glasses and bug jars, as well as colored pencils and a notebook for kids to document their outdoor discoveries.

Offered through a partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County, the agriculture kits feature several books and activities.

Fishing rods will be checked out with a small tackle box containing extra hooks, weights and bobbers, as well as a local fish guide and a notebook.

Each croquet set comes with mallets, balls, wickets and basic directions on how to play.

“After all the online activities that families have been doing for school and work and all the video chatting with friends and family, there is a real sense of digital fatigue,” said Wright-Martin. “Our activity kits offer screen-free ways for patrons to connect with each other and with nature and our wonderful surroundings. We have so many great spaces to explore and play in, and the library hopes to help families connect in new ways.”

According to Kennedy, all curbside pickup procedures will follow the recommendations from New York state, Madison County and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“All our plans are based on a vast amount of research and consultation with other professionals,” Kennedy said. “All returned items will be quarantined for four days or whatever the experts tell us is the best method. [As of June 1], only 50 percent of the staff can be working in the building at the same time. Our goal is to protect the public and the staff while providing library materials to the public.”

Drop boxes were unlocked June 1.

Initially, the library will be staffed Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hours may change based on demand.

Patrons will not be permitted to enter the building until the library has received permission from the state and prepared the space for social distancing.

The library staff is currently investigating socially distanced events and summer reading programs.

In addition, the Friends of the Library bookstore committee is researching the safest way to begin selling items at Carriage Barn Books.

In the meantime, patrons are encouraged to take advantage of the library’s downloadable books, movies, audiobooks and magazines. Visit the website for instructions on downloading the necessary apps.

For additional information, updates and online resources, visit or

By martha

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