When the Federal Government made the call to close libraries to the public, I faced the challenge of implementing a contactless library service for our community. This included offering more than just access to e-Resources through the State Library of Western Australia, which is a service that is available all year round.
Knowing that many of our members prefer physical books, DVDs, and audiobooks, I introduced a contactless pick up service. The Library Management System we use unfortunately doesn’t support an online catalogue, so members have a phone or email discussion with me regarding authors and genres they enjoy, then I make a selection for them using these preferences. The items are then sanitized, wrapped, and placed on a trolley in front of the library at a pre-arranged pick up time. Returned items are placed in the After Hours Returns box and are then sanitized and quarantined for 48 hours before being placed back in circulation.
I’ve have also introduced a ‘virtual’ Rhyme Time and Story Time using our YouTube channel. Available 24/7, parents can tune in at any time so their children can join in with Rhyme Time or listen to one of the many diverse picture books that I’ve recorded. ALIA (the Australian Library and Information Association) facilitated an industry wide agreement sanctioning virtual Story Times without the usual copyright limitations and so these recordings will be available for the duration of the pandemic.
I’m also in the process of having library members record their favourite rhymes so I can edit together a community Rhyme Time video (please get in touch if you’d like to be part of this!). I’m hoping that having members participate and contribute will help keep them connected to the Library. This is also why I’ve introduced the Isolation Rattlin’ Bog Challenge – where community members learn the Irish jig The Rattlin’ Bog so once we’re open again to the public, they can join us for a big singalong!
As well as regular video blog posts to keep our members informed of what’s going on behind the scenes, I’m also offering online membership sign ups so those who aren’t members as yet can still join and take advantage of our resources. Don’t forget our 5 Little Free Libraries around the Shire as these are being kept stocked and maintained during the pandemic so community members have access to books without having to travel too far from their homes.
Being connected to our community is a big part of our library service here, and so I’ve been doing all I can to keep everyone involved, to engage with us on social media, and to continue a library service for as long as I am physically able. Check out the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bindoonlibrary/ to keep up to date and to see links to our YouTube channel and challenges.
Note: At the time of writing, these services were current but as situations can change so rapidly at the moment, please call 9576 4610 or email email@example.com for the most up to date information on the Bindoon Library.