Wednesday, July 8th 2020
Dear Brookline Library Patrons:

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as the Library staff try to navigate the new work environment we find ourselves in during the global pandemic.

On Monday, July 6, we started contactless pickup. Like all rollouts, we experienced some bumps and bruises, but for the most part it is going smoothly. We are delighted to once again lend out books, DVDs, CDs, and more.

How Contactless Pickup Works

The steps are:
  1. Place a hold on library material. You can do this via the online catalog or MLN app, or call / chat with a librarian.
  2. Wait until you’ve been notified that your hold is ready to pick up. You won’t be able to schedule an appointment until your holds are available.
  3. Schedule an appointment to pick up your hold(s). You can also call or chat with a librarian to schedule an appointment. (If you reserved a craft kit, make sure you put that in the Notes field.)

What to Expect in Your Bag

When you pick up your holds during your appointment slot, you should expect:
  • Your holds will be in a bag (or bags) with your name or alias on it.
  • If you have a lot of holds, check to see if you have multiple bags.
  • All of your holds that were available when the bag was packed will be included for pickup.
    • Bags are packed the workday before your appointment will occur.
    • Items are checked out to your account when they are packed for pickup.
  • Holds can only be picked up at the branch they were ordered from.

Some things that we cannot accommodate:

I have noticed that many of you are using the “notes” section of the reservation system to ask for us to make a variety of exceptions. It pains us all that we cannot accommodate special requests at this time, but as you may know, we sustained a nearly 60% cut to our staff. We are currently working with 20 people spread across the three buildings, and we are processing over 500 bags per day. We are also pulling the books for new hold requests, checking in nearly four months of book drop returns, and unpacking dozens of boxes of delivery each day. We have 20 folks working from home answering phones, chat, and email nonstop.
  • We cannot call you to discuss the holds. Please feel free to call a reference librarian at: (617) 730-2370 (ext. 3), and they can walk you through any questions.
  • We cannot do partial pickups. You must pick up all of the items that are on hold and available for you. If there is something in your bag that you don’t want anymore, please just drop it right into the book drop, and we will check it in after a three-day quarantine.
  • We cannot respond to questions in the notes field. Please call, email, or chat with a reference librarian.
  • Once we have prepared your bag for pickup, we may not be able to add additional items that may have come in for you. We will do our best, but we pack the bags in the morning and sometimes things arrive late in the afternoon.

Some common questions:

  • Are there signs to help me find the pickup location? The pickup locations at Brookline Village (Main Library) and Coolidge Corner are right near the front doors. Putterham is down the driveway at the entrance to the program room.
  • What about rain? If it begins to rain, we will move the items into the vestibules and prop open the front door.
  • Will someone put things in my car? We are not currently offering that service.
  • Do I have to have a car? No!
  • May I convert my e-card to a physical card? Yes! DO put that in the notes, and we will place your new library card in your bag!
  • Are you accepting donations of books / other materials? Not at this time. Please do not put donations in the book drops or leave them outside our buildings.
  • Can I return items? Yes! Book drops are open during the following hours:

Brookline Village:
  • 9 AM - 5 PM Monday, Tuesday, Saturday
  • 1 - 9 PM Wednesday, Thursday
Coolidge Corner:
  • 1 - 9 PM Monday, Tuesday
  • 9 AM - 5 PM Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • 1 - 9 PM Monday, Tuesday
  • 9 AM - 5 PM Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
If you need to book an appointment, you can do that here.

Further detail about contactless pickup can be found here.

Updates from the Library Director can be found here.

We hope that you are enjoying the service. Please stay tuned for any further developments as we work towards welcoming you back into the buildings!

Stay safe and well,

Sara Slymon
Library Director
Public Library of Brookline
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