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Nevada County libraries are an open book at the tap of a phone


Nevada County library patrons can have the whole catalog in their hands, as the library system has implemented curbside pickup for books and other materials.

A variety of options exist for patrons desiring to access curbside pickup. It’s similar to restaurant or grocery take away, and for frequent users is a quality of life issue.

Malaika Bishop is a Nevada City resident who borrows regularly from both Nevada City and Grass Valley library branches.

“Our children always have six books out because they read one each on their own and read one with each parent,” said Bishop.

She added her children, Amari, 13, and Oriah, 11, have not known life without a library.

“They’ve gone to the library since they were really little. We used to go to the kids’ sing-a-long, they especially enjoyed.”

“The libraries offer as many options as they can because what works best for an individual can be the best for all,” said Mellisa Hannum, youth services librarian at the Royce branch in Grass Valley. “So we like to be accessible as we can to everybody.”

People can visit http://www.mynevadacounty.com/library to place a hold on up to 20 books. Users must enter their library card bar code number and their four-digit PIN number.

“But what I recommend is download the library’s app. It’s free at the App Store or Google Play — look for the ‘Nevada County Library’ and it takes you to the app,” said Hannum. “I think it’s really easy to use. You can do self checkout with the app, or you can also scan an ISBN to see if it’s in our collection.”

Apps also contain library hours, locations and directions. Patrons can also phone the circulation desk to place books on hold. In addition, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, e-books and magazines can be selected. They will automatically renew, as long as nobody else has placed a hold on the material.

Bishop’s family, who go to the library nearly every week, use a variety of its apps, including the curbside pickup service.

“We used curbside pickup all through the pandemic when the library was closed,” she said. ”And go in person since the library opened a couple of months ago.”

Once books or other items are placed on hold they are then moved to a hold shelf. A patron must call the circulation desk to schedule a pickup at the particular library branch the hold was placed, preferably with an hour or two of notice.

“The more advance (notice) we get, the easier it is because there are some real live people grabbing books and CDs back here,” said Hannum.

Bishop’s family also enjoys e-books they can view on the phone.

“We use them on long car trips,” she said. “And there’s an app for audio books you can have on your phone. That was also kind of crucial (to have).”

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at wroller@theunion.com

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