KITCHENER -- Local libraries are making it easier for people to borrow a new book.

New pickup services have been launched at the Kitchener Public Library, Waterloo Public Library, Idea Exchange in Cambridge and the Guelph Public Library.

Each city has its own rules, but the idea is esssentially the same.

Members can go online to check out the library’s catalogue, put the items they want on hold and when they’re ready, a staff member will let you know.

“Once you have notification that your hold is available for pickup, you’re welcome to come into the library at any time during open hours,” says Lesa Balch, the Director of Innovation and Integration at the Kitchener Public Library.

All you need is a valid library card.

So far, the KPL's only two pickup locations are the main branch and the Forest Heights Community Library.

They say KPL members have checked out 2,400 items over the last few weeks.

At the Guelph Public Library, that number is closer to 4,200.

“A huge increase in electronic materials and digital materials,” says CEO Steven Kraft. “Holds on those books and other items have not only doubled, but tripled in some cases.”

The curbside pickup program in that city has been such a  big success that the library is extending their hours starting next week.

They’ve also seen an increase in some timely reading resources.

“There are some thematic things on racism, the newest Indigenous materials that we have, and LGBTQ+ materials,” says Kraft.

Both the Kitchener Public Library and Guelph Public Library are asking their members to keep their books for the time being, and there will be no overdue fines.

Other libraries have their own return policies.

“I know some people are anxious to return their items so you can do so through the outdoor book drop,” says Balch.

Any materials that are returned will be held for a period of time before being loaned out again.

“We put them in isolation for 72 hours,” says Balch.

Local branches are expected to reopen in mid-July for computers access and other services.