Libraries See a Big Spike in Demand
The Boise Public Library may not be functioning at one hundred percent, but the demand for books is higher than ever.
The library can be a lifesaver during a regular summer, and during a pandemic, the services are even more popular.
Overdrive is the engine that powers EBooks at most libraries around the country, and they said libraries were already seeing huge numbers before the shutdowns started in March. EBook use was at an all-time high in 2019, and in fact, between schools and public libraries, we checked out 326 million EBooks last year. With all the time at home so far this year, EBook downloads are up by about fifty percent.
Hard copies are popular too. My girls and I regularly place holds on our favorite books, and before the pandemic, we would see one or two hold shelves when we would go to the library to pick up the books. Now, I hear, it's more like ten to twelve shelves containing holds, and libraries are having to rearrange furniture to make new space for all of the hold requests.
The Boise Public Library has been closed under the governor's orders, but the curbside pickup is continuing. That's probably the easiest way to check out a book, and the kids and I love it. They tell me what book they want to read (which is usually a Big Nate or one of the books from the Warriors series), and I place the hold on the library's website. A notification comes to my email when it's ready, and we call the number on the drive-up or walk-up signs when we get to the library, and someone brings it out to us. And the girls usually start reading the book on the ride home.
There are hundreds of businesses that are finding new ways to deliver with all of the new restrictions and closures, and I love it when I notice that all of the hard work is paying off with more demand, and not less. Woohoo for the library.
The Boise Public Library branches are open Monday - Friday, 10 am - 6 pm, and Saturdays, 10 am - 2 pm. All branches offer the curbside pickup. It's just a matter of designating the preferred pickup branch when you place the hold.
Thanks, libraries, for helping us occupy some time!