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Library institutes ‘Reader’s Café to Go’ measures

MARSHALL — The Marshall-Lyon County Library is getting into the take-out and delivery business — in the form of food for the brain.

“Although the library stacks and internet computers are currently closed off from the public, you can still check out materials, including puzzles, cake pans and toys and games, plus DVDs, audiobooks, music CDs and, of course, books,” said Paula Nemes, the public services manager. “All you need to do is order ahead for take-out, delivery or digital-only service.”

To use the service online, patrons can place their own holds with their library card and PIN on the library’s website: marshalllyonlibrary.org. Once notified the item or items are in the library, patrons can come in and pick them up, either checking them out with the desk staff or using the self-checkout.

Of course the library has taken steps to maintain the health of its staff and patrons.

“For take-out items, their materials are checked out to them, placed in a bag, and set out on a table for them to pick up,” said Nemes. “For holds pick up (if they ordered it themselves online), we ask patrons to place their cards, barcode side up, for us to scan and lay out their materials so we can scan the barcodes w/out touching the books. If someone comes in and asks for a specific title, we will find it, bring it to the desk, and staff will check it out same as with holds. We also have the self-checkout station and a small table and chair where they can wait away from staff while their item is being pulled or to fill out a request form.”

Items are regularly cleaned.

“We are doing our part in keeping distance between staff and patrons, with no direct physical contact,” Nemes said. “All returned items are sanitized. All surfaces are sanitized regularly. Help us help you by returning your materials (with the exception of large items) in the front or drive-up book drop.”

There are a variety of ways to contact the library.

“You can call 507-537-7003, send an email to library@marshalllyonlibrary.org, or contact us via FB messenger with your request. It’s OK to ask for specific titles or subjects or a general request for ‘3 westerns’ or ‘2 cozy mysteries and a 1,000-piece puzzle’ or let one of our librarians pick out something for you. Give us a time you are able to come in to pick your items up and we’ll have them checked out and waiting for you,” she said.

People 60 and older or those particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 coronavirus can get items delivered.

“We will call when we arrive at your home, leave your items at your door, go back to our vehicle and wait there until you pick up your items. If you have things to return, we will pick them up after you are back inside. As with other holds, call, email or message us on Facebook. We’ll get back to you to arrange a drop off date and time,” she said. “Please note that because so many libraries in our region and across the state are closed, many items may not be available at this time. We hope that you will accept a staff-picked substitute if necessary.”

Teens are welcome to join the teen social hour at 3 p.m. Monday through Friday on the online chat application, Discord. This includes regular Dungeons and Dragons sessions. Teens can check the website for more information.

For those who don’t have a library card and can’t come in to get one, they can apply for a digital card.

“This allows you to access to free e-books and e-audio, and if you live in Lyon County, you additionally have access to free digital movies, music, and comics,” she said.

Many community members read area newspapers at the library.

“You are welcome to spend up to 30 minutes in the Community Room where you can read the papers and use the library’s Wi-Fi on your own device,” Nemes said. “Wi-Fi is also available outside the building in our parking lot.”

The library is planning online programming including story times, activities, writing groups, and book clubs. The current hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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