San Francisco libraries to offer curbside pickup beginning in mid-August

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Public Library will once again allow patrons to bring home books and other items, via a curbside pickup program that starts later this month, city officials said Saturday.

The San Francisco Public Library To Go program will roll out in phases, with the first sites opening at the Main Library on Aug. 10 and the Excelsior Branch on Aug. 11.

More pickup locations will be available in coming weeks at Mission Bay, Eureka Valley, Merced, and Marina branches. Neighborhood libraries will offer the service as staffing capacity allows.

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"Books are back!" said City Librarian Michael Lambert in a press release on Saturday, announcing the program with Mayor London Breed.

The library sites were closed to patrons in March due to the pandemic and nearly half of the library's staffers were deployed as disaster service workers.

"We are thrilled to launch SFPL To Go and to see all of our patrons again at our front doors. We thank everyone for their patience as we implement contact-free service throughout the city," Lambert said.

Each location will operate under a city-approved health and safety plan and will follow all masking and social distancing requirements, and guidelines for safe materials handling.

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"The San Francisco Public Library has significantly increased digital access to its collection during the COVID-19 health emergency, but I know that for many of us nothing replaces the feeling of holding and reading a physical book," said Mayor Breed.

Library patrons can request a book, DVD, audiobook, LP or any circulating library item for pick-up by going to sfpl.org and placing a hold through their library account. They can also email info@sfpl.org or call (415) 557-4400. Once an item is ready, patrons will receive a notice for pickup. Book drops will be open only at SFPL To Go locations during operating hours. See more information here.

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