Curbside Pickup Procedures

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General Considerations

Governor Tony Evers’ newest Emergency Order, effective April 24-May 25, 2020, allows Wisconsin public libraries to provide curbside service. Full text of Emergency Order #28

4b. Libraries. Public libraries shall remain closed for all in-person services, except that they may provide the following services:

i. On-line services and programming.

ii. Curb-side pick-up of books and other library materials, if all operations are performed by one person in a room or confined space. Materials must be requested online or by phone before pick-up. The library may not require a signature from the patron. The library must schedule pickups to ensure compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in Section 16 of the Safer at Home Order.

iii. Any Essential Governmental Function.

iv. Food distribution.

Details and clarification from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s WI Libraries for Everyone blog

Guidelines for Reopening Wisconsin Public Libraries

  • A “living document and a work in progress” from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Includes a link to the more detailed document Library Service Level 2

Many logistical matters will vary by site, including:

  • Tracking method for scheduled pickups
  • Method of verifying identity when scheduling pickup
  • Signs
  • Arrival procedures
  • Method of verifying identity upon pickup
  • Transfer details: drop site for patron pick-up or into-the-trunk
  • Checkout limits

Requesting Local Materials Online

Until regular delivery among libraries resumes, items available in the pickup library’s local collection will be most readily available for curbside pickup.

Here’s the best way for patrons to find and request things they can pick up from a particular library:

  1. Go to the MORE Catalog: and log in
  2. Enter a search term (remember, “movies” and “books” are valid keyword search terms)
  3. Select the “Available Now” filter on the left side to expand it
  4. Select the pickup library
  5. Search results will be limited to titles available and holdable at the pickup library
  6. Tip: to exclude ebooks and audiobooks, open the “Titles I can…” filter and select “Borrow and take home”
  7. Select “Place a Hold” and verify your pickup library
  8. Tip: Turn on “Active Filters” so subsequent searches retain limits

Here’s a “Requesting Local Materials Online” how-to video. Best practice for sharing the video on your website or on Facebook is to post it with the written instructions above.

Existing Holdshelf Items

Contact patrons to schedule pickup. Submit a help desk ticket if you need help with a contact list.

Finding Items for Patrons to Pick Up Curbside

Until regular delivery among libraries resumes, items available in your local collection will be most readily available for curbside pickup.

Phone Requests

Pull the items on the spot rather than placing holds, if possible. Schedule pickup.

Online Requests

Until regular delivery resumes and old holds are filled, your usual paging lists from Sierra’s Notices will not work well. Instead, follow the steps below to generate a list of items that have been requested online for local pickup.

Your library’s list is based on a master list of holds that will be updated daily at 7 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. You can re-run your library’s list as often as you want, but you won’t get a new list of items until the master list is updated.

  1. Go to Sierra’s Create Lists function
  2. Select the review file starting with your library’s 2-letter code + Curbside Paging, ex: “GC Curbside Paging”.
    • Click on the “Name” heading to sort the review files by name
    • If there is no list for your library, submit a help desk ticket
  3. Select the orange “Search Records” button
  4. Select “Re-run existing query”
  5. When complete, sort your list:
    1. Select the orange “Sort Records” button
    2. Select “Apply Saved Sort” from the bottom of the window
    3. Select “Curbside Paging,” then “Select”
    4. Select “Sort” back on the initial window
  6. Next, print your list:
    1. Select the orange “List Records” button
    2. Select “Apply Saved List” from the bottom of the window
    3. Select “Curbside Paging” from the “List Name” list–it’s near the bottom, or you can sort by clicking on the “List Name” heading
  7. The list will print to the selected Standard Printer
  8. Check items in to fill holds.

Most items should fill a hold for pickup at your library, but Sierra may prompt staff to do something else with the hold. If you’re prompted to fill a hold for another library’s patron when checking in an item from your Curbside Paging list, it’s likely one of your patrons has a frozen hold (in the Bib-Level Holds list, the patron’s hold will have a date in the “Not Before” field). In those cases, check with the local patron to see if they want the item now.

  • If so, check the item out to the patron (overriding other holds), then cancel that patron’s hold.
  • If your patron wants their hold to remain frozen, check in the item and “do not fulfill hold” for the non-local patron. This will make it easier for the library whose patron has an active hold to fill the hold. The item will continue to appear on your Curbside Paging list unless/until the active hold is filled locally.

Lucky Day and other non-holdable items may appear on your list. Have a local procedure in place about whether or not to fill local holds with these materials. If you do, they’ll need to be checked out to the patron and the hold cancelled–Sierra will not automatically fill the hold with a Lucky Day or other non-holdable item.

Holdshelf Slip Print Templates

To help with scheduling pickup, you may want to switch to a different holdshelf slip print template that includes alias, name, and telephone number.

  1. If you have an alias field in the patron record, use hsaliasNP – Holdslip Alias N/P
  2. If you have the alias automatically generated at checkin, use hsautoNP – Holdslip Auto N/P

At the top of the slip, under the Pull date (which is going to be the same for all items) there is a “Printed on” date so you can keep track of how long those items have been waiting (in the event no pickup was scheduled or pickup didn’t occur).

The patron name and phone number are a bit below the alias, so you can cut the holdslip off under the alias and attach just the top part to the bag of materials for identification.

Here are instructions for changing your holdshelf slip print template selection in Sierra.

Notifying Patrons

Library Elf notices are off for the time being, to allow you more control over your hold pickup notices.

Option 1: Contact patrons individually based on holds ready for pickup:

  1. Run hold pickup notices
  2. Send all to print queue
  3. Print to email or physical printer and use this as your contact list
  4. Contact patrons, verifying identity
  5. Schedule pickup. If patron does not want to use curbside pickup, cancel the hold or leave the item(s) “on holdshelf”. Hold expiration/pull dates will be no earlier than June 8

Option 2: Use Sierra’s hold pickup notices and deliver to patrons:

  1. Phone/TNS not recommended–not enough info relayed to patrons about scheduling pickup
  2. Submit a help desk ticket if you’ll be sending hold pickup notices from Sierra and want to adjust the text that appears on pickup notices
  3. You’ll have to schedule pickup separately


  • Check items out to patrons when pickup is scheduled
  • Due dates will be no earlier than June 3


Libraries may allow returns in an enclosed receptacle. Check in items that arrive via courier or are returned by patrons as usual.

Carefully consider points of human contact with library materials. A quarantine period of 24-72 hours between points of contact may be appropriate:

  • Patron to check-in staff
  • Check-in staff to staff preparing holds for pickup, if different
  • Hold prep staff to patron
  • Check-in staff to courier driver (including bins)
  • Courier staff to check-in staff
  • Check-in staff to shelving staff

Examples and Other Resources

Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

South Central Library System member libraries’ curbside service plans

Hudson Area Public Library: Pandemic Service Planning

IMLS, CDC Offer Guidance for Disinfecting Returned Library Books, School Library Journal, April 9, 2020

“For us to have been concerned about transmission from any paper-based material, the individual would have had to cough or sneeze directly on the object,” he explained.

“We’re pretty sure that, with some regularity, people are sneezing onto our books,” responded Kemper.

In that case, Berendes recommended leaving books untouched for a 24-hour period before handling them.

IMLS Research Partnership To Address Safety Guidelines for Library, Museum Materials, Library Journal, April 22, 2020

A Phased Reopening Plan for Libraries as COVID 19 Restrictions Are Lifted, John Thill, Medium, April 20, 2020


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