Try Our Take-Out

When the phone rings on a Tuesday afternoon, I’m noncommittal about answering. So many robocalls these days, but there it sits, handy. The number registers as in-state even if there’s no name attached. Curious, I answer.

“This is the Newport Public Library,” follows my “Hello.” It turns out they have been holding a book for me, one I requested way back before they shut down, a collection of poetry by Carl Phillips Wild Is the Wind, better yet, they are calling to let me make an appointment to pick it up.

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“Hooray!” is my first thought, then “When did this option become available?” I voice neither, but I eagerly schedule my pickup for the next day.  I am down to one remaining borrow on my Hoopla account, yet it’s only May 5th—not a good sign. The money I have spent on ebooks, and the workout my ancient Nook color has borne with some resistance, attest to the fact that, unlike others who are struggling to read, to focus during this time, I can still escape with the best of them! And escape (therapy) I must!

I show up within the 30 minute window but barely because, guess what? I was reading. The librarian loves that when I explain my near-miss. Both of us muffled by brightly decorated, non-medical face masks, chat over a book cart and at least six feet of distance. She lets me know that, if I request a book from the local branch, I can repeat our exchange every week, but only once, she cautions. With this news, my heart races—not sorry, no lie.

Yesterday I get another call, but I’m too late to answer. Again a number without a name, but I call back, and yes, it’s the Newport Public Library. Time to schedule a pick-up. (Good thing, too. Yesterday I used my last Hoopla ebook borrow: The Opposite of Everything by Joshilyn Jackson).

Tomorrow’s the day. Here’s my list. I love my library!Screen Shot 2020-05-12 at 8.09.02 AM

9 thoughts on “Try Our Take-Out”

  1. So nice, that that unidentified phone number turned out to be a real call, and a welcome one!
    Thank you for sharing how you are continuing to use your public library.
    Interesting what we choose to read these days. Is your list typical of your reading habits, or different?

    1. I’m scouring all my “recommended” lists—LitHub, Nat’l Book, Book Riot, npr concierge— then seeing if my branch has them. I’m fairly eclectic. Thanks for reading!

  2. Oh, the anticipation. My last trip to the library was on March 9th and not going to the library has been the hardest part of the stay home order. Enjoy those books!

    1. I’m a lucky one to be in a small town. Multnomah County library, your “home” branch, just couldn’t handle the demand, I’ll bet. Thanks for reading.

      1. I have a few friends who are librarians. As county employees they have had to take on other work One friend was working at the homeless shelter they created ate the Convention Center.

      2. Didn’t know this. I wonder about placing people in jobs that may pose more serious risks than the ones they were hired for. Man, this pandemic knows no boundaries.

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