At this stage of the pandemic, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, as more vaccinations are becoming available. While restaurants are now able to increase their indoor dining capacity, that doesn’t mean that people are flocking out of their houses yet.
While stuck at home, people have become more accustomed to accessing their needs, mainly by ordering goods directly to their doors. Supermarkets are delivering, as are liquor stores. There’s hardly anything that you can think of that isn’t being delivered these days, including books.
I’m not talking about Amazon book delivery in this case. I’m talking about the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library that is now delivering books to people’s front doors. This new “borrowing” service is not just for people who are unable to leave their homes during the pandemic, it’s also for those who lack transportation, or who have an illness or disability.
At no additional cost, the Library is ensuring that cardholders have access to books, without resorting to purchasing them online. And it’s not just books that the Library is delivering – people can borrow audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, and international language materials as well.
At no cost to them, users can borrow up to three items at once with a borrowing period of six weeks; items can be renewed for an additional six weeks by contacting Library by Mail staff.
This new Library by Mail program is available to to any Erie County resident that finds himself or herself homebound. The service is for anyone that is “temporarily or permanently unable to visit a physical library.”
“The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library is committed to providing free and equal access to recreational and informational resources,” said Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski. “This means working to identify and eliminate the barriers that prevent Erie County residents from accessing valuable Library services. Launching the Library on Wheels Bookmobile in 2016 allowed us to reach rural populations that do not have physical libraries, and the Library by Mail service will help us provide enriching and entertaining materials to an often-overlooked part of the community.”
Materials arrive in a prepaid postage canvas bag, which also serves as the return envelope; borrowers simply place items in the bag, reverse the address label, and return via the U.S. Postal Service.
To learn more and apply for Library by Mail service, residents should call 716-858-7156 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This service is available to all Buffalo & Erie County Public Library cardholders. For more information, including instructions for getting a library card, call the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System at 716-858-8900 or visit www.BuffaloLib.org.
Lead image: Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi