Two more local libraries prepare to provide ‘Book and Collect’ services

Awen Cultural Trust is preparing to offer two more ‘book and collect’ services, following a successful pilot scheme at Pyle and Aberkenfig Libraries. These will begin at Maesteg and Pencoed Libraries on Monday 27th July.

Over the past three weeks, more than 300 library members have used the service at Pyle and Aberkenfig to request packages of books from a specific genre or interest, such as classic novels, thrillers or story books for young children.

Other library members have used the service to return the books they borrowed before the branches closed in March, as part of the lockdown measures implemented by the UK and Welsh Governments to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

To help reduce the risk of cross infection, all returned books are quarantined for at least 72 hours, as advised by Welsh Government, before being returned to the library shelves for others to borrow.

Library members are required to call their local branch between 9.30am and 11am, Monday to Friday, to place their order. To help maintain safe social distancing, books must be collected at an agreed time that afternoon.

Pyle Library – 01656 754850
Aberkenfig Library – 01656 754820
Maesteg Library – 01656 754835
Pencoed Library – 01656 754840

Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, the registered charity which manages the library service on behalf of Bridgend County Borough Council, said:

“The success of the ‘book and collect’ services at Pyle and Aberkenfig Libraries show that, especially during these unusual times, books and reading are lifelines for so many people. Throughout the pilot scheme, we have been working hard to implement the safety and social distancing measures at other suitable libraries across the county borough, and are pleased to be able to open Maesteg and Pencoed branches for collection services very soon.

“Although this is the first step to re-opening our libraries, which we will continue to do in a phased and measured approach, we understand there will be many people who are unable or reluctant to visit just yet. So, we have also been busy transitioning lots of our services online, with ‘bounce and rhyme’ and ‘story time’ sessions available through our Facebook pages, virtual reading groups set up and a library enquiry line for help on accessing digital books and other resources. A few weeks ago we also resumed our Books on Wheels service, which delivers books directly to the front doors of those who might be isolated or vulnerable.

“We are looking forward to a time when we can welcome everyone back to our libraries again, cautiously and with expert advice to ensure that our service remains safe for everyone.”

Cllr Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations, said: “It’s great to see how successful this initiative has been, and I am pleased that it is being extended to other libraries in the county borough.

“Bridgend County Borough Council and Awen are continuing to work in close partnership, and to deliver important services throughout the coronavirus pandemic.”