Update On “Best Practices” Implementation For Popular City Programs

The creative and quick implementation of two successful programs through the San Marcos Public Library and Parks and Recreation Department is likely to influence future work as the City seeks to implement “best practices” across their programming.

Front Porch Pickup at the San Marcos Library

Four weeks ago, the San Marcos Public Library began offering “Front Porch Pickup,” where patrons are invited to reserve books online, by phone or by email and retrieve them at a designated time from a table in front of the library doors.

Since the implementation of this program, 8,469 items have been checked out by 637 different library customers. Additionally, 65 customers have picked up computer printouts in a similar process.

Library patron Donna Stewart commented, “I love that, as a prolific reader with plenty of time on my hands, I get to read 4-5 books a week, and can reserve, go to the library with my dog, pick up my books from the fantastic staff and be happy for another week.”

The library continues to offer material online as well, which is being accessed at record levels. In total, about 4,520 eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers have been checked out online.

The Parks and Recreation Department’s Senior Wellness Checks

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the City’s ability to safely incorporate seniors into parks programming and has left many active senior adults in a vulnerable position for illness and isolation-induced issues.

In response, the Parks and Recreation Department began offering wellness checks to anyone 60+ who would like to be called during the stay-at-home order issued by Hays County.

“Of the 702 seniors we’ve spoken to by phone, 205 have asked us to continue to call them to check in as this pandemic progresses,” said Nick Riali, Senior Citizen Programs Coordinator. “Based on their feedback, we are considering this a critical alternative program for the community.”

Since implementing the program in late March, City staff have made 1,652 calls.

If residents or someone they know would like a wellness check, call 512.393.8412 and leave the name and phone number of the person to be added to the phone list.

More information can be found on the Community Services Facebook Page or by visiting www.sanmarcostx.gov/parks. To visit the Virtual Recreation Center, go to www.sanmarcostx.gov/virtualrec.

The City of San Marcos continues to monitor all program changes implemented due to the COVID-19 restrictions to ensure City programs are meeting the community’s needs.

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