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Mayor London Breed and San Francisco Public Library officials announced that the main library and its 27 branches will start offering sidewalk pickups for books ordered online or by phone starting Monday, August 10.

“Books are back. Books never really disappeared, remaining safely locked inside the closed libraries. But people could check out only the electronic versions and read them on a screen. The library increased the availability of digital books during the shutdown, but for many readers, pixels just aren’t the same as print,” said City Librarian Michael Lambert.

Beginning next week, the Main Library will open for pickups or preordered library materials outside the front door.

Over the next few weeks, the service will be added at the Mission Bay, Eureka Valley, Merced and Marina branches.

More neighborhood libraries will offer the service as staffing allows. Nearly half of all library employees have been pressed into duty in emergency service jobs — many as contact tracers.

Each library will follow city-approved safety plans, which require the wearing of face coverings and social distancing.

All of the Bay Area county library systems, plus the Oakland and San Jose public libraries, have started offering similar pickup services at some or all of their branches in recent weeks. All of the libraries remain closed to in-person browsing, checkouts and returns.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle