Library Buzz for June 10 Edition

You’re spring cleaning, and you want that pile of thrice-read library books out of the way. Hey, we get it – you didn’t plan on adopting your last haul of library materials!

Bookdrops will open on Monday, June 15 at all four Botetourt County Libraries locations (Blue Ridge, Buchanan, Eagle Rock and Fincastle). The bookdrops will stay open 24/7 after that. Now you can return your library materials!

All due dates have been extended to August 31, so there’s no rush to return materials right away. In fact, it would be helpful if you could wait until after the rush so we’re not drowning in returns.

When you return your items, don’t be surprised if they still show as checked out on your account for up to a week. We will quarantine all materials as soon as they come in without handling them further, giving time for germs to die naturally without adding chemicals. Once materials are quarantined, we will check them in.

Now, it’s been a long, long time since you returned any materials. Maybe you can’t remember if you have any checked out at all. If you’re not sure, log in to your account at to see your current checkouts, or ask a librarian to check for you by calling 928-2900.

Know you have something checked out, but can’t find it? Remember that due dates have been extended to August 31, so you have extra time to search. If you really can’t find it in time, call us or email We’ll work with you to provide extra time for items to turn up.

Starting Monday, June 22, we will offer curbside holds pickup services. We’ll give more details about that later. But for now, let’s talk about everyone’s favorite question: “When can we go back inside the library?”

We’re taking a phased approach toward reopening, and many steps – such as letting people inside – are partly dependent on when we have enough supplies collected and safety measures installed. In any case, be prepared for the library to look and feel different, possibly for a long time to come. We’ll still smile as we greet you, but we may be wearing masks (and maybe you will, too). You may not be able to browse the shelves right away. Librarians may work behind desks with transparent screens. When you need help at a public computer, a librarian may help you remotely from their computer, instead of standing beside you. Our number one priority is safety.

We ask for your patience as we work through each phase, trying to offer quality services to you while keeping everyone safe. There’s no clear roadmap in a pandemic, and we will need to try some things, see how they work, keep tabs on our local situation, and change course when necessary – sometimes quite rapidly. As always, we look forward to seeing you and helping you achieve your dreams and goals. When this pandemic is finally over, we’ll be ready for a BIG group hug. See you soon!

-Julie Phillips

Botetourt County Libraries

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