Curbside Book Service at Heritage Elementary

Curbside Book Service Supports Students’ Love of Reading
Posted on 10/16/2020
Rhoda Murillo Library Media Technician

What’s a school library to do when schools are closed to in-person instruction because of the pandemic? Offer curbside book service, of course. Heritage library media technician, Rhoda Murillo, encouraged students to use an app called Follett Destiny to digitally “browse” the school’s print library and put a “hold” on the ones they liked.

Once a week, Mrs. Murillo checks the “holds” list, pulls those books off the shelves, and prepares them in a bag with the student’s name. Parents drive up on Wednesdays from 12:15 - 2:15 p.m. and Murillo puts them in the parents’ vehicle trunk. They may also bring their library book returns at that time.

“The first week I had only 10 holds, the second week I had 15, and this week 20,” Mrs. Murillo said. “I hope it keeps growing!”

Several other District schools also have launched library book curbside service. This is a service in addition to the “eBooks” typically offered online in the Follett Destiny system. With so many electronic reading devices and so many online learning accelerators in use during the pandemic, it is easy to forget that print materials are still treasured. The Chula Vista Public Library recently began offering “Takeout” service, where library patrons place books on hold for pickup at a “Takeout Table.”

School libraries are similarly adapting locally, and across the country. Students can log-in to their library account, reserve/place two books on hold, then the librarian media technician will make the books available for home learners at the curbside “grab and go.”

Sporting a Cat in the Hat red-and-white top hat, and Dr. Seuss-themed T-shirt, Mrs. Murillo enthusiastically loaded books into vehicle trunks as parents pulled up to the curb. Students and their families appreciate breaking from the routine of isolation, she said.

“Our school is making it easy for students to check out books to take home and enjoy, helping students ‘unplug’ even as they continue distance learning,” Mrs. Murillo said. “Kids need that human touch. They drive up, they come to pick up their books, they wave ‘hello.’ You get a chance for human interaction even if for a moment. Right now, this is an opportunity for a warm smile.”

And a good read.

“The idea is to cultivate and nurture students’ love of reading, provide equitable access and personalized learning opportunities that grow student(s) literacy skills,” said Heritage Elementary Principal Ruth Diaz De Leon.

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