As we approach the beginning of the Fall 2020 term, we at the Music Library are busy investigating various strategies for accessing music library materials, while maintaining safety protocols to protect library users from exposure to COVID-19. Despite the fluid and uncertain circumstances we find ourselves in, I think it would be helpful to provide a brief update on the status of our plans and considerations. Please bear in mind that we are still very much in the planning stage with respect to opening retrieval access to the Music Library, and these plans could very well change in the coming weeks.
Robarts Library has been piloting a curbside pickup service that provides access to books housed in the Robarts Library building stack and storage locations that are not available in the HathiTrust Emergency Library. You can find instructions on how to sign up for a 30 minute window to pick up materials from Robarts Library here. The service is being very well-used and is running smoothly. Curbside pickup is tentatively expected to expand to library collections across the St. George Campus in mid-August. Many libraries on the St. George Campus are planning on leveraging the existing Robarts Library curbside pickup service, with a plan to transfer requested materials from their home libraries to Robarts upon request. While we are considering this possibility for the Music Library, we feel it would be most advantageous from a user-perspective if we can provide curbside pickup from the Edward Johnson Building. This would likely be the quickest and most efficient method of delivering materials to our users. While there are still a number of details to be worked out, Robarts Library provides us with a great model for how to set up a safe and efficient curbside pickup service. We are taking lessons from them and are currently optimistic that we can establish our own, similar service prior to the Fall 2020 semester. Assuming this tentative plan moves forward, we expect the service to function much the same as the Robarts Library model, with requests being placed online and limited pickup windows provided to pick up materials from the front doors of the Edward Johnson Building in a safe and timely manner.
We realize that this is a very challenging time for students, faculty and researchers, and we are doing all we can to ensure that our library users will have access to the materials they need in order to be successful in their work. All this uncertainty may understandably be cause for panic or frustration. If so, may I briefly direct your attention to a couple friendly mice at Nashville Public Library, who have utilized their surprisingly deft grasp of rhyme and lyricism to share their own curbside pickup plans with their users. While we cannot promise our proposed curbside pickup service instructions will offer the same production value as Nashville Public Library, we are confident that safe and timely access to Music Library materials should be available for the Fall. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to our Music Library staff with any questions you may have.