Grab Bag logo

Library Grab Bags, the new service available at the Robbins Library, aims to bring back some of the ease and joy of browsing library shelves even as library indoors remain closed for public safety.

Andrea Nicolay, director of Libraries, call this a perfect option for those who want books, DVDs and other library materials but don’t have lists of specific titles to request. Just fill out the new grab-bag request form and receive a curated bag of library materials. 

“We know people miss browsing and getting a bunch of books at a time," she said in a Aug. 6 news release, "and we know the safest way to connect people with our collections right now is through contactless pickup. Grab bags seemed like a logical next step for us. I thank the residents of Arlington for being patient and supportive through all these changes. We hope this new service is a plus for our users.”

The contactless pickup system has definitely been embraced, with hundreds of books checked out from the library daily; however, with contactless pickup, you do need to make requests title by title. Grab bags are for families looking for picture books and easy readers, or for anyone looking for vacation reading or just some materials to browse.

To request a Library Grab Bag, fill out the request form available on the Borrowing Items page at When your bag is ready, a librarian will notify you and book your pickup time. During your assigned pickup hour, just stop by the library’s front entrance -- your bag of materials will already be checked out to you, labeled and ready to go. 

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This news announcement was published Friday, Aug. 6, 2020.