Exciting News! Sawyer Free Library to Begin Curbside Pick up and Home Delivery Service on June 8th

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Public Library is pleased to announce its phased reopening plan will begin on Monday, June 8. The plan, approved by the Library director and board, lays out phases that move the library toward a return to a “new normal” for its operations.

Sawyer Free Library, which strives to provide a welcoming, enriching, and above all, safe environment for their patrons was closed in early March to the public as a precaution against COVID-19. Now, as conditions allow them to reopen, it is their goal to provide library services in the least restrictive manner possible while preserving library patrons and staff’s health and safety. 

“While we have and will continue to provide a lot of great services and programming online and through digital delivery, everyone at the Sawyer Free Library is anxious to get back to the business of serving our community in person,” said Assistant Library Director Beth Pocock. “However, the health and safety of our patrons and staff remain our top priority. Because of this, we are taking a phased approach to resume services, starting with contactless curbside pickup and home delivery, which I am happy to announce will begin on Monday, June 8.” 

SFL has put together the following steps for using the Curbside Pickup and Home Delivery services:  

  1. Patrons can reserve items online at http://www.sawyerfreelibrary.org or by calling the library at 978-325-5500. Beginning on June 8, you will receive a notification once the items become available. 
  2. Patrons will have seven days to pick up the item(s) during curbside hours 1:00-5:00 pm, Monday – Saturday.  Please call the library in the morning on the day you will be picking up your materials. Be sure to have your library card at this time. 
  3. Arrive at SFL’s parking lot between 1:00 and 5:00pm that afternoon. Remain in your vehicle, and SFL staff will approach your window from a safe distance to ask for your name. Open your trunk or a back door where they will deliver your next read to you in a secure paper bag. 

If you would rather have your reserved items delivered to your home, starting on June 8, you may call the library to arrange a contactless home delivery by library staff.  Both these services are only available for physical library cardholders, not digital library cardholders. Those that would like a physical card can now register for one online and the library will mail it to you.  Vist the libary website for more details about this service 

In addition to books, SFL is also making technology available as a part of its curbside pickup service. Patrons can schedule an appointment to borrow one of the library’s new full-sized Chromebooks or a Hotspot. These can only be checked out once per day and must be returned the same day. Patrons can schedule an appointment by calling the library, emailing info@sawyerfreelibrary.org, or using the Ask a Librarian instant messaging service on the library’s website. 

For those not sure what to read and during this time when browsing at SFL is not possible, the library staff is happy to recommend titles that fit your reading tastes. They have developed a Personalized Reading Recommendations form that patrons can fill out, submit online, or call into the library. From this, the staff will then recommend five titles to you within two business days. SFL Library staff is also available to identify print and electronic sources for those with specific information needs by using the Ask a Librarian service online or by calling the library.  

Those looking to return books, videos, or other library items they have at home can now do so as the library’s return bins are open. Customers can return items at the drive-up/walk-up drop boxes, which have 24-hour access without the worry of late fees as SFL is fine-free. It may take up to four days for returned items to disappear from library accounts, as materials will be in quarantine for this time before they are checked in by staff.

Before June 8, all SFL staff members returning to work to provide curbside and home delivery services, or to process returned materials and holds, will be trained on COVID-19 safety protocols and be issued PPE to support a safe environment.

Phase Two of the plan includes limited public access to the library, and Phase Three would restore full access. No dates have determined, and transitioning to these phases will depend on guidelines and restrictions from state and local officials. 

For detailed information about the Sawyer Free Library curbside and home delivery procedures and policies, and COVID-19 updates, please visit sawyerfreelibrary.org.