The real Pony Express recently rode through Scottsdale, and the spirit of this important piece of history lives on in the Scottsdale Public Library System in a unique way.
The Pony Express @ Appaloosa is a self-service model that allows patrons who register for the program to enter the facility with their library cards and use the Appaloosa Library without library staff monitoring the floor.
The Appaloosa Library building has been closed to the public since mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic environment. Its drive-thru service has been available throughout the pandemic. During this time, library staff has sought creative ways to serve its patrons. The Pony Express is its latest innovation, and it has seen “Wild West” success since its opening on March 15, with nearly 831 users registering for the service.
The ultimate goal is to open the library with full services and programming provided by library staff when the time is right. However, as Scottsdale copes with the COVID-19 emergency and recovery, this library self-service model allows the public to browse, self-checkout, and use the computers, printers, and copy machines.
“One of the hardest parts of the pandemic was not being able to come inside the library and browse the collection,” said an Appaloosa Library Pony Express patron. “I’m so grateful for this new service.”
“It has been really wonderful to welcome patrons back in the building by opening with the Pony Express Service @ Appaloosa,” said Branch Manager Sky Larsen. “We’ve enjoyed seeing families with young children resume browsing and having children pick and check-out their own books.”