BOOK LOCKERS Whitney Hopkins enters her library card PIN to access a book she has on hold at the new BiblioBox, just installed at Healdsburg Regional Library. (Photo by Christian Kallen)

The Healdsburg Regional Library staff is recovering from our very busy summer reading programs this month, recharging and preparing for Back to School activities, as are many of you. This month, I’ll focus on reminding you about ongoing programs and services that you may have missed or may be interested to hear more about.

You may have seen the Sonoma County Library BiblioBus in the Twilight Parade, at Día de los Muertos or at another event. I’ve heard a few questions about it. This mobile library may be found throughout Sonoma County, providing services at a variety of locations. The 29-foot bus has many shelves of books, DVDs and other materials that you can borrow, as well as free WiFi, giveaways, information about library programs, services and events provided on screens and flyers.

Lately, the bus has been making the rounds in Healdsburg at the Harvest Grove and Canyon Run apartment complexes, and we are working on visits to other sites as well. One of the most important purposes for the bus is to provide access to the library for people living in areas that are far away from our buildings—in parts of west Sonoma County, for example—and that effort will continue as well.

In addition to the BiblioBus and our own BiblioBike, we are pleased to roll out another helpful tool with our BiblioBox, an outdoor locker system at the library that will allow you to pick up requested items at any time, 24/7, day or night. 

We know that sometimes people have a hard time getting to the library during our open hours. Some people have work and family commitments that prevent them from visiting; others have a hard time coming into the library building—there are so many possible reasons for this, from medical and health concerns to dogs and other pets. 

Whatever the reason, we expect that our BiblioBox will be very handy for many of our community members. 

The BiblioBox will be operational starting on Aug. 14. In order to use it, you will make a request in our library catalog for books, DVDs or other items, just like you would’ve before. But when you go to select a location for pickup, you will choose between Healdsburg Library and Healdsburg Library Bibliobox. The latter will flag the item for our staff so that your items will be placed in a locker for you to pick up. 

Once you are notified to pick your items up, you will come to the BiblioBox with your library card, scan it and enter your PIN. A locker will pop open, providing you with your items. Once you take them out and close the door, your transaction is complete. 

Since you could pick up your item any time of day, even at 3am, the pickup window is shorter. Unlike the seven day window for regular requests, BiblioBox items need to be picked up within three days. If this service helps you get the materials you need, we encourage you to give it a try.

Jon Haupt is the branch manager of the Healdsburg Regional Library, 139 Piper St., open daily.

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