Have your books brought to your car

August 31, 2009 8:39:51 AM PDT
Two busy Houston libraries whose small, jammed parking lots have frustrated patrons are trying out a novel approach to staying relevant -- books by delivery. Patrons can reserve books and other materials over the Internet from the Houston Public Library's Looscan Neighborhood and McGovern-Stella Link sites and pick them up when notified their orders are ready. But they don't have to step foot inside or spend time searching for a parking space -- an employee will bring the books to their car.

The idea behind the HPL To Go program came to librarian Regina Stemmer when she was out at a restaurant with friends. Library workers had been challenged by executive director Rhea Brown to find ways to improve library service in the high-tech age, and it occurred to Stemmer that take-out systems that work for eateries might also work for libraries.

"The parking lots are small and their business is very large," Stemmer said of the two branches that will test the new program. If successful, the program could be expanded to more branches.

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