Online learning leads to a new library experience

Danny Murnin, Associate Editor

With the pandemic forcing schools to move online for at least the first quarter, all sorts of activities and services at the school have been forced to adapt, including the library. 

Since August, the library has been offering curbside pickup, where students can request any book usually available at the library online, and then pick it up at the school anytime from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Audio books and eBooks are also available. Librarian Margaret Sullivan said it was an easy decision to offer curbside pickup.

“Many public libraries and school libraries have been offering curbside checkout since the pandemic hit in March,” Sullivan said. “Once it was clear that the school year would begin virtually, all of the Rockwood librarians decided to offer the service because we want students to have access to books.”

Sullivan said curbside pickup has been used widely by students, although it is used more by some than others.

“Many students have used curbside pickup,” Sullivan said. “So far, the service has been the most popular with ninth grade students needing independent novels for their ELA classes. We are hoping curbside pickup will become more popular as more students hear about it.”

One student who has used curbside pickup, sophomore Ryan Brennecke, said he liked how simple getting his book was.

“The process of picking up the book was super easy,” Brennecke said. “I ordered the book on Destiny and when the book was ready I received an email confirmation. Then all I had to do was pull up to the curb and call the number attached to the email. The librarian brought the book out to me. Quick and easy.”

Sullivan said there are many reasons why students should use curbside pickup.

“Curbside pickup is a quick and easy way for students to access books during remote learning. The Summit library has lots of great books, including the current Gateway titles and some books that are brand new since we left school in March,” Sullivan said.

Regardless of how long online learning stretches on, Sullivan said curbside pickup is here to stay. 

“We plan to offer curbside pickup all year,” Sullivan said. “Even when students can safely return to the building, some will still opt for online learning, and we will offer curbside pickup for them.”