Auckland Council Libraries is launching a contactless click and collect service for Aucklanders keen to keep reading and learning over lockdown.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the service, which starts on 2 November, is a practical way Auckland Council can help people through the lockdown.
“Aucklanders have been doing it tough during the lockdowns over the past two months and our libraries team and librarians have been keen to help,” he says.
“We removed overdue library fines at the start of September and our eCollections have allowed Aucklanders to access our digital library collections from home.
“A contactless click and collect service for Aucklanders to safely select and pick up physical library books will mean more people can use our libraries over lockdown, including people who do not have access to e-readers. Reading is a great way to deal with stress and improve well-being, and I hope this service will be helpful for Aucklanders as we look forward to life with fewer restrictions as more people get vaccinated.”
Councillor Cathy Casey, Deputy Chair of the council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee agrees.
“There are many Aucklanders who see book access as essential to their wellbeing, while there are also those who don’t have access to reading online, including some young, some older people and the digitally excluded.
"Having a physical book service means more people can make the most of our book collection during lockdown. The contactless click and collect service is the result of the tireless efforts of our libraries staff who have been working on this since September.”
This is an interim option that can sit within the current alert level restrictions in Auckland. It will be a contactless click and collect service, initially offered at 18 selected libraries, according to Auckland Council’s Connected Communities General Manager Mirla Edmundson.
“We have been carefully considering our options to provide Aucklanders with a safe and contactless service based on careful assessments of the safest approach for both customers and staff while we are at Alert Level 3, Step 1.”
Those assessments have included internal ventilation and physical working spaces for staff, safe and easy physical access for the public, location of the site within the region and the size of the collection.
The 18 click and collect sites will operate on reduced service hours of 11am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday.
“Our staff will be operating at a reduced capacity to ensure we are complying with the Alert Level 3 requirements, including working in bubbles and social distancing.”
The contactless click and collect service allows Aucklanders to request specific library items online and pick them up from a click and collect site that is most convenient for them. Aucklanders will also be able to request a Ready-to-Go Read pack, where a genre or age range can be selected online, and librarians will select a pack of books to be collected.
In addition, the click and collect library sites will also have a contactless return system. Any Aucklanders wishing to return books they have finished reading can do so at those sites only.
Items that are already on the hold-shelves of the click and collect libraries can be collected. Unfortunately, items on the hold-shelves of closed libraries will not be available at this time, but Mirla says it is something that could be available in the future.
Councillor Casey knows how eager Aucklanders will be to have a click and collect service but asks for patience and respect.
“It is fantastic to see such love and passion for our libraries but please be kind. We are all in this together and this lockdown has been as tough on our libraries staff as it has been on everyone. Our Auckland Council Libraries staff have done an incredible job over lockdown and I’m so thankful that they can now provide the service to Aucklanders that they enjoy providing.”
18 libraries across the region will provide the click and collect service. These libraries are:
- Warkworth Library
- Ōrewa Library
- East Coast Bays Library
- Birkenhead Library
- Takapuna Library
- Te Manawa (Westgate)
- New Lynn War Memorial Library
- Central City Library
- Waiheke Library
- St Heliers Library
- Mt Roskill Library
- Panmure Library
- Highland Park Library
- Māngere Bridge Library
- Papatoetoe War Memorial Library
- Manurewa Library
- Sir Edmund Hillary Library (Papakura)
- Pukekohe Library
All libraries open for contactless click and collect will operate Tuesday to Saturday, 11am–4pm.
Contactless returns can be made at the same time only at the library sites offering the contactless click and collect service.