From Monday, June 8, library users will be able to order a selection of books to collect from one of the four core hubs that have remained open throughout the lockdown period, as the Council embarks on a phased reopening of services from the city’s hubs.
Since Libraries closed as a result of lockdown, statistics provided by Bolinda, one of the main providers of e-resources, show a 110 % increase in total loans compared to the same period in 2019.
Additional funding has also been provided to libraries from the Welsh Government’s £1m Cultural Resilience Fund to help with adapting facilities to accommodate a click and collect service.
In Cardiff, phase 1 of the recovery will allow customers to pre-order titles either via libraries online catalogue or by calling a new library phone line where they will be offered a selection of five books based on their interests and preferred genres.
Staff on the library line will then arrange an allocated time slot when the books can be collected, from one of the four hubs – Central Library Hub, Ely & Caerau Hub, St Mellons Hub and The Powerhouse, Llandedeyrn. Loans will be for the usual three week period and will need to be returned to the same hub as they were collected from, by appointment.
The new library phone line is 029 2087 1071. Customers should select option 2. The library catalogue is available here where residents can also become new members of the library service or reset their PIN.
Books ordered can be delivered to people’s homes in Cardiff if they are unable to visit hubs as they are shielding or self isolating.Staff will call or email customers to advise on delivery slots available.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to offer this new click and collect library service to customers. We know that people have missed using our hubs and libraries over the last few months so this is a positive step forward as we work on the phased recovery and reopening of our facilities.
“It’s important to remember that the four hubs where this new service will be delivered from are not open as normal and the library service is not fully operational again yet. Customers will need to collect and return books at a set time to ensure we can maintain social distancing and help keep our staff and customers safe.
“I’m also pleased that we are able to cater for our older and vulnerable customers by providing a home delivery service, which will enable those shielding or self-isolating to stay at home. We are also pilotingloaning pre-loaded eReaders for housebound customers, which could be extended wider if successful.”
While library services from buildings ceased at the start of the Coronavirus emergency, customers were still able to access digital services and new resources, such as rhyme-times, book clubs, quizzes and children’s lockdown activities, were developed and hosted on social media and the Council website.
Quarantining and cleaning measures for returned books will be in place before they are reused reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19. Customers ordering books online will only be able to order books that are currently available in their chosen collection hubs as no stock is being transferred between hubs at this time.
Customers who borrowed books before the lockdown period, with due dates during that time, do not currently need to return these books as the service is automatically renewing these loans.
A limited range of services, including money advice, Into Work and benefit support will continue to be available from the fours hubs on an appointment only basis, when customers cannot be assisted over the phone or email.
Residents will still be able to pick up green recycling and food waste bags from the four hubs currently open.
During the next few weeks, Click and Collect services will be delivered by library services across Wales. Please check with your Local Authority on which services are available in your area.