By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
The Medfield Public Library (MPL) closed its doors in March out of precaution for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, frequent patrons have been resigned to attending Zoom meetings and doing contactless pickup to get their MPL fix. However, on September 10, the Medfield Public Library partially reopened, and patrons have been nothing short of grateful to be able to browse shelves once again.
Those wishing to take out books have two options when coming to the Medfield Public Library. Patrons are currently allowed to visit the library without a reservation or sign-up for contactless pickup. To use contactless pickup, patrons must have their library card number and password. Using this website, patrons can schedule a pickup, manage an existing appointment, or check-in for an appointment. “We have contactless pick-up hours every day that we are open for anyone who doesn't want to come into the building or would like items from other floors in a hurry. They can place a hold on any item in the building, or at any library in the Minuteman Library Network, and when those are ready for them to pick up, they can book a contactless pick-up appointment and we will check out all of the items on hold for them, bag them, and place them outside the library's main doors during their pick-up window,” explains Medfield Public Library Director Pam Gardner.
Only 12 visitors can be in the library at a time, with each individual allowed 30 minutes to browse or use technology. Those interested in coming to the library to physically browse through shelves are currently limited to the first floor. However, patrons will still be able to get the materials they desire that reside outside of the area, thanks to members of the library staff. “Patrons can ask at either of the two public service desks we have open on the first floor for items on the other floors. We have staff members waiting on both of the other floors for just that reason! We will make a phone call to the other floor and the staff member can bring the desired items to the main floor. Staff members from other floors can also come down and have a conversation through our submarine curtain hanging over the staircase if they are looking for recommendations. This is especially popular for children's items, and our children's staff are experts at finding the right books for any child. We are always more than happy to get items from other floors for anyone, so no one should hesitate to ask!” says Gardner.
Patrons who wish to utilize some of the technology services, such as scanning or printing, should be aware that it is no longer self-serve. “These processes are very similar to how they were in the past, except that we will do the work for you!” explains Gardner. Instead, members of the library staff are there to help. “However, if patrons have their print jobs already attached as a document in an email that they can forward, that is a big help. Also, staples removed from scanning, faxing, and copying documents, and having the number copied down for fax jobs are very helpful. Finally, scanning is free, but the other services do have some fees attached, and we accept cash or check only.”
Over the last two months of partial reopening, the library’s staff has been happy to see people abiding by guidelines and enjoying their time back in the Medfield Public Library. In the near future, patrons can expect to continue seeing Zoom programming and other activities, with signups available on the library’s website. For more information about the partial reopening, and the current schedule can be found here.