When the Frisco Public Library reopened its curbside pickup service on April 24, it served nearly as many residents through the end of the month as it did during its 28 days of service in March.

Library Director Shelley Holley told Frisco City Council on May 5 that 851 residents used curbside pickup during the last seven days of April. That compares with the 1,127 residents helped through the first 28 days of March before service was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Curbside is really hopping,” Holley said. “For those that try to exit the building at 5 o’clock in the evenings, they might notice some lines on the road behind [city hall].”

When library items are returned, Holley explained they are put into a 24-hour quarantine, which is the recommendation for libraries from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Then after 24 hours, we have rubbing alcohol that we [use to] wipe down the plastic surfaces and the mylar surfaces before we deem it ready to go back out for more circulation,” Holley said.

To use the service, Frisco residents place an item on hold through the library’s website and then staff sends a notification when items are ready for pickup. Patrons then can go through the drive-thru lane or pull into designated spots in the back of the library and call the library’s phone number. Staff members place reserved items in the vehicle’s trunk, and the driver never has to get out of the vehicle.

The curbside pickup is available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 1-6 p.m. Sunday.

Holley said the Frisco library was the first in the area to offer curbside pickup at the beginning of the pandemic and when Gov. Greg Abbott allowed businesses to reopen for retail to-go.

“We've kind of been at the head of the pack both times,” Holley said. “And I suspect we’ll be a leader when it comes time to be opening the doors as well.”

With the governor and Frisco allowing businesses to reopen at 25% capacity on May 1, Holley said staff considered opening the fourth floor, which is designated as a quiet place for reading, but only 30 people would have been allowed inside the library. With 36% of the library’s staff on furlough and a responsibility to disinfect after visitors touch anything, Holley said that did not prove feasible.

“We felt like we had the opportunity to reach more people by keeping curbside [service] robust than opening the fourth floor at 25% [occupancy],” she said.

As Abbott’s plan for reopening Texas is set to allow businesses to have 50% occupancy beginning May 18, Holley said library staff anticipate opening some portion of the facility on that date.

“Part of the challenge is metering people in and out and the impact it has on the rest of the building and those queuing up,” she said. “We are actively pursuing an option to be able to have facilities or some component of the facilities open in the next phase of the governor's announcement. That’s our plan.”