As the state begins to slowly and safely reopen businesses, many people have been wondering how the public libraries will be affected.

The best way to stay up to date on current library services is to regularly check online, either on the libraries’ website, myhlc.org, or the “Highlands County Board of County Commissioners, Government” Facebook page, facebook.com/Highlandsfl.gov.

You can also call 863-402-6716 during business hours, Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., for information.

As of this week, the two main library services are curbside/walk-up service and online resources.

Curbside Services

All three libraries in Highlands County are offering curbside/walk-up services and access to outside items return boxes during certain hours on Fridays and Saturdays.

The outside book drops will be open at noon each Friday, and will stay open until Saturday at 5:30 p.m. or until they are full, whichever happens first. You can call before coming or check the Facebook page to find out if the book drops are still open.

For patrons interested in checking new items out, you can place items that you want on hold or choose items once you’re at the library by using the curbside pickup option.

There are two pickup methods:

1. Curbside pickup: Park in a designated parking space and call the phone number on the sign; do not call the library’s regular phone number. Have your library card ready when you call. A staff member will bring your items to your car.

2. Walk up: You will need to place items on hold ahead of time for this option. Your items will be waiting on a cart outside the library’s entrance in a bag with your name on it.

You can call 863-402-6716 Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for help placing holds, or follow these instructions on your own computer:

1. Go to myhlc.org and click “Access Library Catalog” on the left side of the screen.

2. Log into your account. If you can’t remember your pin, try using the last four numbers of your card’s barcode.

3. Search for the item you want, make sure it’s available at a Highlands County library, and click “Place Hold.”

4. Choose your library and click the “Confirm Hold” button. You should see a list of your hold requests.

To watch a video tutorial on placing holds, visit the libraries’ website and click on “Placing a Hold Video.”

When your holds are ready, a staff member will call you to ask which day and method you would like to pick up your items.

Call 863-402-6716 Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with any questions.

Online Resources

The libraries have multiple online resources, including e-books, audiobooks, language learning classes, various Continuing Education courses and more.

Most of the online resources can be found through myhlc.org under the “Ebooks & Audiobooks” and “Language & Learning” tabs.

You can also access RB Digital for e-books, audiobooks, e-magazines and language learning classes. Go to highlandsfl.gov, click on “Departments,” then “Libraries,” then “Access Your Library’s Online Resources,” and finally “Continue.”

If you’ve never registered for RB Digital, call 863-402-6716 and ask for an access code. Staff are available Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.