Library branches in Baltimore will be rolling out book drop-off and curbside pickup services this month

Just in time for your summer reading plans, Baltimore County Public Library is gearing to reopen its branches as early as next week. Residents can look forward to the return of book drop-offs and the introduction of curbside pickup as COVID-19 restrictions lift across the state.

“We are delighted to be taking these next steps to make the library more available to the citizens of Baltimore County. We are a vital part of the community and want to provide as many resources and services as possible while keeping our customers and staff safe and healthy,” said Baltimore County Library Director Paula Miller in a statement.

Beginning Monday, June 15, libraries will prepare their facilities by processing materials and implementing safety protocols to keep guests safe when physical locations open. Select staff members will be on-hand to process 8,000 new books, gather 58,000 holds, and prepare for the 400,000 returns of items checked out prior to the pandemic.

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Courtesy of Baltimore County Public Library's Facebook

Outdoor book drop-offs will open at noon on Tuesday, June 16, and be open 24 hours daily. Following the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) health and safety guidelines, items will be isolated for 72 hours before reentering the system for checkout. The library is waiving all late fees accrued from materials checked out before the pandemic, and patrons have until August 31 to do so. Indoor book drop-offs will remain closed.

Curbside pickup will be offered beginning Monday, June 22. Patrons can pick up materials on hold between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday by walk-up or drive-thru methods. Ten of the library branches, including Towson and Catonsville, will offer external Wi-Fi outside the buildings.

While the libraries have been closed since mid-March, their popularity hasn't slowed down in the slightest. Their digital presence has been a boon for connecting the community—2,332 new library card registrations, 388,000 digital downloads, and a 43-percent uptick in views on their Youtube channel have occurred over the last few months alone. It shows there's nothing cooler than supporting your local library!

All branches will be participating in the reopening, though Reistertown and Loch Raven branches are closed for renovations. For more information and updates, be sure to check their website.

Baltimore residents, what do you think of this news? Will you take advantage of the Baltimore County Library's services? Let us know in the comments!