Sunday, August 14, 2022

Williamsburg Regional Library offers new curbside pick-up, free printing opportunities

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

The Williamsburg Regional Library is again stepping up to provide its customers with needed resources during the coronavirus. 

When the library closed in March due to the pandemic, many lost access to materials they had been checking out from the library. In the meantime, the library stepped up their online catalog with thousands of new items.

Patrons can now check out items with the new “WRL To-Go” program.

“This is something we’ve had a lot of requests for during the time we’ve been closed,” said Alicia Phinney, circulation services director for the library, in a news release. “We’ve been hard at work figuring out how to make it happen in the safest, most accessible, and most convenient way possible, and we’re very excited about what we’ve come up with.”

Williamsburg Regional Library announced last week it would again be providing physical items to patrons with a new touchless curbside pick-up program. 

The appointment-only program started Tuesday. It allows users to reserve and retrieve their items from the library building while maintaining their own safety and that of library staff.  

Patrons can put items they’d like to check out on hold through the library’s website, through the mobile app, “WRLibrary,” or by calling the library branches at either 757-259-4050 for the Williamsburg location or 757-259-7720 for the James City County location.

The patron will receive a notification based on their method of communication specified when the hold was placed.

Patrons can then call or text the library phone number to set an appointment for their curbside pick-up. 

At the time of the appointment, patrons will park in the parking lot and then walk to the marked pick-up area outside the library entrance. There will be pre-bagged items placed on a table and organized alphabetically by name. The bags will be marked with the first four letters of the patron’s name and the last four numbers of their library card barcode.

Pick-up times for appointments will be staggered.

Library staff will not be present at the pick-up area and if someone is in need of assistance, they should call the library number.

The new service is currently in its trial stages but staff are already looking at how to expand its offering, whether through a weekend schedule or car-side delivery as the state continues its re-opening stages.

“There’s a lot of potential for how this offering can grow to further meet the needs of our community,” Phinney said. “We’re thrilled to finally be getting our materials back into the hands of our users, and we’re already brainstorming what may come next.”

The library is also now offering free printing at its mobile hotspot locations. 

The library started offering various locations throughout the community where patrons could drive up and use free WiFi connection through mobile hotspots. 

Library vehicles have now been equipped with printers which can be connected to an individual through their personal devices using the free WiFi. Print jobs will be “hygienically transferred” to the individual using an envelope that is placed outside the vehicle for retrieval, according to a news release from the library.

The print services will be available at Williamsburg Regional Library hotspot locations, except the Midtown Row location, on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

A full list of hotspot locations can be found online.

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Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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