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ALACHUA COUNTY ‒ The Alachua County Library is looking forward to a busy August with new ways for people to participate, connect and discover more about their local libraries. This month the library is launching virtual book clubs and Grab-and-Go book bags. They are also continuing to offer computer and copier appointments. The next phase is the gradual reopening of local library branches.

Curbside service continues at all branches Monday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Residents are asked to visit the library’s Current Services page for the latest information.

One-hour computer appointments will continue to be available at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Monday – Saturday at all library branches.

Copier appointments will also continue to be available Monday – Saturday for 15-minute intervals from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Library visitors are required to complete a health screening, wear a face covering and maintain six feet of distance from staff members and other patrons during appointments.

Anyone wishing to use the library computers or copier is asked to call ahead for an appointment time.

Copiers and printers accept silver change and $1 or $5 bills. Library staff is not able to provide change. The staff is also not able to offer one-on-one computer assistance due to social distancing recommendations. For the same reason, browsing is currently not allowed, but patrons are welcome to pick up library holds as they leave their appointment. Library visitors are only allowed one appointment per day for the current day and the next business day. Anyone interested in setting up an appointment must call their local library branch.

The new Grab-and-Go service launched Monday, Aug. 3. Anyone wishing to participate may call their local library branch and let staff know what type of books they wish to read. Staff will pull three to five items and have them ready in one hour. Come to the branch and call when you arrive to receive your Grab-and-Go bag.

As summer winds down, library staff has found the best back to school resources for parents. The library can help with early childhood development books, homeschooling tips, free online learning tools and bilingual education resources.

The most popular library book clubs, as well as some new ones, are now online. There is a club for every reading preference. August’s titles include The Library Book, Cruel Sacrifice, Atomic Habits, the Island Affair and many more. Anyone interested in participating may sign up now for a club to receive updates and meeting information. In addition, book club kits are available for checkout.

Library staff members encourage all citizens to complete the U.S. Census. The Census data helped determine how much CARES Act funding Alachua County received. Census information also impacts federal funding for schools, roads and hospitals.

Residents can do their part to ensure their community’s future by completing the 2020 U.S. Census by mail, phone or online. It only takes a short time and the questions are non-invasive and simple to answer.

The library’s RBdigital audiobooks are moving to the OverDrive platform on Aug. 13. Because the two companies merged, library patrons can soon check out all eBooks and eAudiobooks from one place.

All content from the RBdigital app and website will begin to be merged with OverDrive and Libby. Audiobooks will be first according to library personnel. On Aug. 13, OverDrive will begin adding the library’s collection to their services. What this means for users is that all downloadable audiobooks soon will be found in one place. Library staff said RBdigital (Zinio) magazines will stay put for the time being, but library patrons are urged to listen for updates.

Help with OverDrive can be found online at https://help.overdrive.com/en-us/home.htm.

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