Local libraries began offering the Grab Bag “browsing” service last week. Photo courtesy of North Olympic Library System

Local libraries began offering the Grab Bag “browsing” service last week. Photo courtesy of North Olympic Library System

‘Grab Bag’ program leaves browsing to librarians

Health restrictions have closed libraries on the Olympic Peninsula, but readers can still get a varied selection of North Olympic Library System’s offerings.

NOLS can request a Grab Bag on the library’s website at nols.org. Each bag contains up to 10 hand-picked items from the library’s collection that patrons can pick up during curbside checkout.

Patrons should allow up to two business days for their request to be processed; automatic holds notifications will be sent when items are ready for pickup. The new service, which kicked off July 24, will be available during regular curbside service hours at all four branches.

Patrons without internet access can call their local branch to have library staff complete the Grab Bag request form for them.

“We know that patrons miss the experience of browsing the Library’s shelves,” library director Noah Glaude said. “The NOLS Grab Bag service is a way that we can get books (a lot of them brand new) and other materials that are currently sitting on the shelves, into the hands of patrons who need or want them.

“Hopefully patrons will discover new titles they normally wouldn’t have picked up on their own.”

The service differs from the library’s BookMatch program, which offers customized book suggestions based on patrons’ reading preferences. Instead, the Grab Bag program is designed to emulate browsing. Patrons using the Grab Bag service get up to 10 items from a collection within the library (i.e., romances, cookbooks, or picture books).

Curbside library service, including returns and holds pick-up, is available 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, at all NOLS locations, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays in Sequim, Port Angeles and Forks.

For more information on this or other library programs, visit nols.org, call 360-417-8500 or email to discover@nols.org.

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