We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Bedford Borough Libraries launch 'Select and Collect' service

August 19, 2020 5:07 PM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Mayor Dave Hodgson outside Bedford Central LibraryBedford Borough Council is beginning the phased reopening of library services.

With lockdown measures easing over the summer various shops and other facilities locally began to open. The Council has been closely monitoring the impact of these changes on the local rate of infections and is confident that it is safe to begin a cautious and phased reopening of leisure and culture services, with stringent infection prevention measures in place.

From Thursday 20 August, Bedford Central and Kempston libraries will be open for a new 'Select and Collect' service, as well as for customers to return books they have had on loan during lockdown.

Select and Collect gives customers the opportunity to borrow library books again by making requests based on their favourite genres or subjects, online or via the phone. Library staff will then choose books based on these preferences and issue them to customers, who will be notified when they are ready to collect from library entrances during Select and Collect opening times. Please remember that you must wear a face covering when visiting a library, unless you have a legitimate reason not to.

Customers will also be able to use the request service to choose specific titles through Arena, the online catalogue, and to pick them up from the library. This is perfect for customers who know the exact title they are after.

When books are returned they will be quarantined for 72 hours, and safety measures have been developed for the selection, issuing and packing of books for collection. Customers will also be able to return the items they have at home to Bedford Central and Kempston libraries during Select and Collect hours. Due dates will continue to be extended for any items already on loan, and charges will remain paused for any items that are already overdue.

This is just the first phase in our library reopening and we look forward to expanding this when we are able to do so safely. Thank you very much for your patience and support in these unusual times.

As we start to reopen these services, we are urging people to continue to behave responsibly and help us to avoid a local lockdown. Stay 2 metres away from others, wear a face covering, wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitiser, and if you are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus, stay at home and book a test.

More information about how the service works, including opening times, will be available by visiting the Virtual Library website or by calling the Select and Collect Line on 01234 718178 from Monday to Saturday between 11.00am and 4.00pm.

The Home Library Service will also be restarting from this date, with deliveries made in a socially distanced way to ensure the safety of staff and customers.

Select and Collect at Bedford Central and Kempston libraries is the first step in the reopening of Bedford Borough Libraries. A phased reopening plan has been developed in line with national guidelines for the safe reopening of libraries, to ensure the safety of staff and customers.

Further announcements will be made about the wider reopening of libraries including customer browsing, study and computer access, and about the commencement of services at other library sites, when it is possible to do so safely for both customers and staff. In the meantime, there are a wide range of digital resources available on the Virtual Library via www.bedford.gov.uk/libraries including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and streaming services.