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Local libraries provide drive-thru service as coronavirus spreads

A public library in Seongdong-gu provides drive-thru book service. (Yonhap)
A public library in Seongdong-gu provides drive-thru book service. (Yonhap)


More and more local public libraries in Korea are starting to provide drive-thru book services as a solution for the shutting down of libraries due to the spread of coronavirus.

A public library in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, on Wednesday said it was providing a drive-thru service to check out books. The library said that it is a temporary service and will operate until March 22.

Anyone who would like to check out books from this library can call (02) 2204-6440 from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and request books that they want to borrow. If a user reserves a book between 9 a.m. and noon, they can pick it up through the library’s drive-thru service on the same day. If the reservation is placed in the afternoon, the users can pick it up the next day. Up to 5 books can be borrowed per household.

The library added that it was making sure that when picking up the books, the drivers can receive them while staying in the car, like the drive-thru service that coffee shops are offering to minimize person-to-person contact.

The Jeju Island government on Wednesday also announced that it was operating drive-thru services at two of its public libraries - Halla library and Woodang Library. It is proving the drive-thru service on Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those who would like to use the service can place their reservations on its website http://lib.jeju.go.kr.

Busan also started its drive-thru library service on Tuesday. On its first day, 260 people borrowed over 1000 books using the service at Simin Municipal Library in Busan.

Twelve libraries in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, also announced Thursday that they had started providing a drive-thru service.

The libraries said the service was launched to help citizens cope with the stress and hardships caused by the spread of the new coronavirus. They also emphasized that it is regularly sanitizing the books so that citizens can borrow them without worrying about possible infection through handling books.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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