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Missoula Public Library offers new services amid coronavirus concerns

Missoula Books.jpg
Posted at 9:55 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 11:55:03-04

MISSOULA — The Missoula Public Library is closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak but people can still check out books thanks to a new curbside service.

Some people in the Missoula community are isolating themselves during the COVID-19 outbreak and the library is going to try and help keep them from being bored by offering a curbside pick up service.

People can call in with whatever they want to check out, including books, CDs, DVDs, and even board games -- and those all should help during this time.

“People just call our number at 721-2665. They tell us if they want to pick up there holds or if they want any of their items. We then just bring them out to their car parked out on Main Street,” the library’s Robert Mueller explained.

“It’s great. It answers the question about minimizing contact but at the same time we still have access to our books, so we are good with that,” said Missoula resident Daniel May.

People can browse the library’s catalog to find what they are looking for or can call the library for some extra help. Library staff can even offer up suggestions and recommendations.

“We’ve also gone a little bit beyond curbside because there are some people who are actually stuck inside and can’t even make it here,” Mueller told MTN News.

“So, we also have been taking librarians and just driving around and dropping stuff off at people’s houses directly. So, for people who can’t make it here they can still call and bring stuff to them,” he added.

Whether people are getting books, or already have them, library representatives say there’s no need to worry about late fees right now.

“There’s no fines so don’t worry about [it]. So please, don’t worry about bringing things in right now. Don’t feel rushed, don’t worry about your overdue items -- just keep them,” Mueller said.

“And in the future, whenever we are open again, you can return them then and you aren’t going to be penalized,” he added.

The Missoula Public Library plans on offering these new services as long as they can. Meanwhile, the library will continue to monitor the COVID-19 crisis to determine when they can open their doors again.