Library hotspots available; Bookmobile shifting operations; pick-up window opens this week

The Great Falls Public Library has 52 hotspots available to lend to patrons thanks to a Montana State Library program.

To check out hotspots, patrons need to have a library card in good standing and anyone under the age of 18 will need to have a signed permission form from a parent or guardian.

Hotspots can be requested at the Circulation Desk.

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The library has also made new Chromebooks available in the Kids’ Place “in anticipation of the needed study space and learning support,” according to library staff.

The Kids’ Place computer lab is also available for students who need a space for Zoom conference.

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Parents or caregivers must be present to supervise children in the computer lab.

Those aged 13-18 are able to use the teen space on the second floor, where there are two computers and seating.

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WiFi is available throughout the library and was boosted in the spring to allow for use outside the building. The WiFi has been maintained when the library is closed during the pandemic to allow public access. The network is GFPL, and the password is gfpl1234.

The library’s new pick-up window in the back alley is under construction and expected to be operational on Nov. 17.

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The new window takes the place of the book drop and will be available for patrons to pick up their available holds without physically coming into the library. The window is accessible by car or walk-up and equipped with a buzzer since it won’t be staffed.

Patrons who have been notified their materials are ready can stop by 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Patrons can place holds online or over the phone, and can see when their items are ready to be picked up by checking their account online or by calling the library.

Beginning Nov. 16, the GFPL Bookmobile will be discontinuing browsing visits for the remainder of the year and switch to pickup or drop-off service only.

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The Bookmobile itself will not be in service and the Bookmobile staff member will be making their rounds using the library’s minivan.

This will be a no-contact service, and patrons are requested to wear masks. This service is available to Bookmobile patrons only.

Bookmobile users may call the library three days in advance of a scheduled stop to put books on hold for delivery, or to schedule a pickup of returned items. Arrangements for pick up or drop off must be made the week before the scheduled stop. The full calendar of Bookmobile stops can be found here. If no holds or pickups are scheduled by patrons for a particular time and place, that stop will be cancelled for that date, according to a library release.