By Vanessa Montano Rodriguez
When Covid-19 began to close schools and businesses, the college librarians decided to continue providing service but as a curbside pickup, taking care to observe all precautions.
This service began to be offered Sept. 8 Curso students would not miss the opportunity to continue checking out books.
“The curbside pickup was designed to support the needs of the students and faculty,” reference librarian Stephen C. Dingman said.
To request a book:
- enter the library page at https://saclib.on.worldcat.org/discovery.
- choose your book or other materials for checkout.
- request the materials be prepared for a pickup.
“After we receive the student request, we prepare the items, send the student an email to set up an appointment for you to come to pick the items up,” Dingman said.
“When we receive an application, we make sure we have the book available and when we have it, we pack it with bags to maintain sanitization precautions and provide the student with a safe and reliable service,” Dingman said.
At the appointed time, students can pick up materials in Lot 16 east of Moody Learning Center.
Once on campus, simply send a text message with the word “pickup” to 210-714-1649 or call 210-486-0570 to describe the transport vehicle.
Then open the trunk or rear window to facilitate contactless delivery.
If scheduling does not allow the students to pick up the materials themselves, options are available.
“We have not been picky,” Dingman said.
“If the student cannot come, you can send a friend or family member.”
“We will only need some information, such as your Banner ID to confirm which student will be responsible for the item,” Dingman said.
Students can check out up to 10 books per semester with no deadline to return, which also means no late fees.
However, if students want to borrow a textbook from the reserve desk that is used for a class, they must return that book within two days.
Before the pandemic, reserve desk items were on loan for only two hours.
Of the five colleges in the Alamo Colleges District, only San Antonio and Palo Alto colleges are offering curbside pickup.
“The service turned out to be a success,” Dingman said. “It became very popular in such a short time of obtaining it, so far.”
Library Supervisor Karen Briere, MLIS reference librarian and instructional designer, said, “Currently, we have served over 250 students with our library curbside pickup, and we intend to continue to offer curbside after we return to campus.”
Briere said librarians can see how well received the service is.
“We find that many students arrive on campus either in a rush to get to work or in the car with a sleeping child, and they really appreciate the quick and easy service,” Briere said.
Students may return materials to the book return near the east entrance to Moody.
Librarians take extra precautions with returning materials.
Once the book is returned to the library, it goes through a cleaning and sanitizing process, which takes up to three days before being returned to the shelves so that it is ready and safe for other students.
“When we receive the books, we do not return them (to the stacks) simply because we know they are being handled,” Dingman said.
The pickup service is available noon-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
For more information, call the library at 210-486-0554 or visit www.alamo.edu/sac/about-sac/college-offices/library/.