If months of lockdown had you scrambling for new reading material to stay occupied, there's some good news on the horizon: Multnomah County Library will soon allow sidewalk pickups at a handful of locations.

Starting June 8, patrons can place a hold on an item and then retrieve it at the Central, Gresham, Midland or North Portland branches. The service is by appointment only, and users should call 503-988-5123 beginning June 7 to schedule a pickup outside the library.

The sidewalk service will extend to other branches over the course of the month.

The partial reopening follows the unprecedented closure March 13 of the county's entire network of libraries to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, if you have a pile of books you've been waiting to return, the county's book drops will reopen next Monday as well. There's no rush to make returns, though: The county library system will continue to suspend late fines until further notice.

Hold services will continue to be gradually rolled out June 15 and 22 across the city. You can find out if your neighborhood branch is on the schedule on the Multnomah County Library website.