Niagara Falls Public Library will be offering customers a limited contactless Curbside Pick Up service beginning Monday, June 8th.

As a compliment to our digital collections, the Library is committed to offering access to our physical collections through a Pick Up service that is safe for customers and Library staff. Please do not use the Pick Up Service if you are unwell or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. 

The Details

  • All pick ups take place at Victoria Avenue Library.
  • A maximum of 10 items can be borrowed in one pick up appointment.
  • Most materials are available to borrow, with the following exceptions: Board Games, Nature Kits, Book Club Kits, Magazines and Story Walks. We apologize for any disappointment this may cause.
  • All materials will have a 3 week borrowing period.
  • Until August 31, 2020, there will be no fines charged on overdue items.

How it Works

1. Request your items starting June 8th - there are many ways to do this:

  • Use our catalogue and place holds on the items you want.
  • Call the Library at 905-356-8080 and staff can assist you with placing holds.
  • Email us at AskUs@nflibrary.ca with your request and include your full name and library card barcode.
  • Don’t know what you want? We can help you with that! Give us an idea of what you’re looking for and we can make some selections for you using our "Grab Bag" form. 

2. Book an appointment after we notify you that your items are available - We’ll notify you by phone or email when your material is ready. You can then make an appointment to pick it up at the Victoria Avenue Library. After you book, we’ll let you know about procedures to follow during pick up so that it’s a safe process for you and Library staff.

3. Visit us for contactless pick up - Arrive in your assigned Pick Up Spot, pop your trunk and staff will drop in your items. Returns must be put in the Library’s Return Box.

FAQs

Q: What safety precautions is the Library taking with the materials I’m borrowing?
A: When library materials are returned through return boxes, they are quarantined for 96 hours. After the quarantine period, items are individually cleaned with a medical-grade disinfectant before they are reshelved. When your selections are gathered by staff, they are handled by staff wearing gloves and are cleaned with disinfectant prior to being packed for pick-up.

Q: Why was the decision made to quarantine items for 96 hours?
A: Niagara Region Public Health and the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health have made the recommendation that items are quarantined for 96 hours.

The library world is interested in seeing the results of an ongoing study in the United States that is testing the staying power of the COVID-19 virus on five common library materials, sourced from the Columbus Metropolitan Library, in what’s called the REALM Project (REopening archives, libraries and museums). Results are expected this summer.

Q: Am I limited to borrowing only the items available at Victoria Avenue Library?
A: No, you can request items from any of our locations and they will be delivered to the Victoria Avenue Library for you to pick up.

Q: Why am I limited to borrowing only 10 items in one pickup?
A: In order to observe physical distancing, limited Library staff is working to handle your requests. We anticipate great demand for library materials. To allow for efficient workflow, and to be fair to all who want to borrow, we are limiting customers to 10 items in one pick up.

Q: If I put on more than 10 holds, how will my 10 items be selected for check out?
A: You will be given the first 10 items on your list of holds that have been received for you. We cannot accommodate individual requests to choose from the larger group of materials that have arrived for you. We will not lapse your holds before you’re able to get them.

Q: Why do I need an appointment?
A: Our primary concern is to maintain physical distancing. Appointments allow for a structured approach and ensures the process runs safely and smoothly.

Q: What is the Curbside Pick Up schedule?
A: Appointments will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am-4 pm. 

Q: Why is pick up available only at Victoria Avenue Library?
A: Curbside Pick Up is a brand new service for Niagara Falls Public Library. We want to make sure that the service is working safely and efficiently for all involved before expanding it to other libraries.

Q: I have an appointment to pick up an item. Now I've discovered I have another item that's come in, do I need to make a second appointment?
A: Library staff will do their best to add any items that come in after you've made your appointment.

Q: Do items that I pick up at Victoria Avenue Library have to be returned there?
A: No, return boxes are open at all locations of the Niagara Falls Public Library, so you can return your materials to any location.

Q: What are you doing to protect the safety of customers and Library staff during the Pick Up?
A: Prior to your appointment, staff will prepare your materials while wearing gloves and they will wipe the materials with a medical-grade disinfectant prior to packing them. 

The Curbside Pick Up is contactless, meaning you will not come into contact with a staff member. At the time of your appointment, you will park in your designated spot, open your trunk and wait in your car.  Library staff will be looking out for your arrival and will put your materials in your trunk. Staff will be required to wear a mask and gloves during the pick up procedure.

Q: Can I arrive for Curbside Pickup on foot or bike?
A: Yes, please stand in your designated spot by the sign. Remain in place and staff will place your items on the ground approximately 2 metres away from you.

Q: I miss browsing your collection. I often don’t know what I want until I see it. How can I get library materials?
A: Use our Grab Bag form and we’ll be able to get you a variety of materials. If you’re only looking for 2 books, please consider requesting up to the maximum of 10 in case you’re already read some of the books we selected. You can also browse newer materials online. 

Q: Can I return the materials I’m borrowing during Curbside Pick Up or that I had out before the Library branches closed?
A: Yes, return boxes are open at all locations of the Niagara Falls Public Library. For safety reasons, all materials must be returned through the return boxes. Staff cannot take them when you pick up materials.

All items borrowed during Curbside Pick Up have an extended 3 week borrowing period. Until August 31, 2020, there will be no fines charged on overdue items. However, because this is a collection that all borrowers share, we ask you to keep in mind that others may have a hold on your item and may be looking forward to getting it.

Q: My account says I owe some fines. Do I have to pay those before I borrow?
A: All previous fines on customer accounts can be paid when the Library locations reopen.

Q: Why is the Library using plastic bags during Curbside Pick Up?
A: Plastic bags protect our items in inclement weather during the Pick Up process. We also have many library customers who will arrive for Pick Up on foot or on bicycle and plastic bags help them keep library materials safe and dry.