A Bookworm’s Grab Bag, Chosen Just for You

By Krista Pfunder 

Miss walking among library bookshelves browsing the latest bestsellers? Not sure what book to read next? If so, Calvert Library has two new programs to help you pick your next read.  

The Grab Bag program is a mini-browsing experience, where customers make an appointment online; pick up a grab bag of items at curbside and then browse through the items at home. After deciding what to keep, unwanted items can be dropped in the book return. 

“We received a Facebook comment that read, ‘As a mom of small kids, my typical strategy was to just grab as many random picture books as I could,’” says Robyn Truslow, public relations coordinator for Calvert Library. “The customer asked if we could offer a surprise book pickup with lots of books and that her kids love all books so subject matter wouldn’t be important. They just like having lots of new books to choose from for story time. Quite a few other customers applauded her idea and echoed her request. We loved the idea and ran with it.” 

Make an appointment to pick up a Grab Bag at bit.ly/calvertcurbside and request picture books, children’s books, adult fiction, DVDs and more.  

“We are also handing out a print version of this form at the school lunch pickup spots so we can help students and their families get library books even if they don’t have internet,” Truslow says. 

It doesn’t take long for your books to be ready for pick up. “Grab bags are quick because the customer is making a very general request that we fill from what we have on hand,” Truslow says. “If a customer makes an appointment for the next day and requests a Grab Bag of 20 children’s picture books, those books will be in their bag for pick up.” 

If you crave a more tailored selection, Calvert Library offers “PS from Calvert Library.” PS stands for Personalized Suggestions.  

“The PS program is for customers who like specific reading recommendations from librarians,” says Colleen Cano, Calvert Library adult resources coordinator. “Fill out the form online at bit.ly/psfromcalvert with your reading preferences and a librarian will send you suggestions tailored to your needs that you can then place on hold. If you want more help, just give us a call.” 

Customers can pick from genres such as adventure, inspirations, westerns, humor and war stories. However, selections made via the PS from Calvert Library aren’t ready for pick up as quickly as Grab Bag items. 

“It will usually take a little longer since we’re doing research and then sending our recommendations to the customer to place holds on the items they choose from that list,” Truslow says. “Sometimes the specific titles might not be at the library the customer has selected for pickup so the item has to get to that library.” 

It’s not just books that Calvert Library members can check out from the library via Grab Bag or PS. You can also borrow Playaways (pre-loaded audiobooks), books on CD, and DVDs. 

Curbside items are available for pick up 10am-7pm Monday thru Thursday; 1-5pm Friday and 10am-2pm Saturday; https://calvertlibrary.info/