Lake Houston’s libraries have gone “curbside.”

It has been “just” eight months – but it seems like a lifetime since Lake Houston’s three public libraries closed to the public. While the buildings are closed, the Atascocita Branch, the Kingwood Branch and the Octavia Fields Branch have found innovative ways to continue to serve Lake Houston.

Curbside service is one of the most creative – and practical – new amenities.

Here is how it works:

- Go online to the request service and order the books you have been wanting to read. Each library needs 48 hours to put your bundle together.

- Have your library card number and PIN handy.

- Get a pickup time and instructions for curbside pickup.

- When arriving at the branch, follow the instructions given online.

- You may be asked to show your library card or a form of ID.

- If you have books to return,  put them in the book drop.

Since the pandemic closed the buildings, Lake Houston’s libraries have quickly adapted in ever-unique ways and made going to the library fun at the same time.

The “potluck bundle” is the newest creation. Go online to request the “potluck bundle” in the category of your choice, such as mystery, historical fiction, romance or suspense. When your bundle is ready, follow the previous instructions and be surprised with a special packet of books bundled up just for you.

COVID-19 has not prevented the libraries from offering their traditional services. They are just being offered in nontraditional ways. For example, Wi-Fi is available in the library parking lot and users can remain in their cars while using internet service. No password or library card is needed.

Anyone with a library card and a phone, laptop or desktop can stream movies, download eBooks, audiobooks, comics, magazines and movies. Research most topics, learn a new language, or get custom reading recommendations. Learn English, take computer and technology classes, citizenship classes and many different educational opportunities, including getting a high school diploma, becoming more financially literate, and searching for a job.

The library staff has created hundreds of videos including story times, cooking demonstrations, research tutorials and computer instructions on all kinds of topics, all available on the library YouTube channel.

Questions and concerns not answered on the library’s webpage can be answered by going to the library’s website “Ask Us” page. Chat with a librarian, email a librarian or make an appointment to meet online with a librarian.

Learn more about the Harris County Public Library and the three Lake Houston locations at HCPL.net.

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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