Libraries continue during pandemic

Jadine MacCuaig packing a box of children's books for click and collect. 239746_08 Photo: STEWART CHAMBERS

This lockdown, the Casey Cardinia Libraries (CCLC) have been fortunate enough to continue its ’click and collect’ and delivery service which was available during 2020. Patrons can request, either online or via a phone call, specific titles or a ’binge bag’ which they can collect from their nearest branch or can be posted out to them. The Gazette caught up with Pakenham librarian JADINE MACCUAIG to learn more about why the availability of library services are important during a pandemic.

Working in the library is such a privilege and I am always excited and energised before starting a shift.

My favorite part of working for CCLC is the ability to connect with my community and engage with a variety of individuals, which in a lockdown feels even more special.

It is great we can offer click and collect and delivery of books, especially for those who live further than a 10km radius or experiencing some vulnerability.

The main component of my role is “customer service”, and no day is the same as we adapt to support each member.

In the current restrictions this involves the click and collect service and home deliveries.

Members can request specific titles or a binge bag, and throughout the day we will prepare them.

Binge bags request are especially fun to pack as we search the collection to find items most suited to the individual’s needs and wants.

Most requests will provide some information such as “3-year-old that loves dinosaurs and trucks” or “mystery books like Agatha Christie” or “vegan cookbooks”, but recently I packed one that simply said “suprise me” which allowed me to showcase the range of our collection and hopefully helped the member finds items she didn’t even realize she wanted.

Patrons can also click and collect printing which is very useful as it is a service that is very well used when we are open.

The community can also reach us via phone with staff working from home answering all inquiries and happy to simply have a chat.

With many feeling isolated during a lockdown, having someone to call and have a friendly chat with while you arrange some entertainment (a binge bag) for home is really quite important.

Staff working from home have also continued some of the programs, so families at home can still take part in a storytime or two (we also keep several videos on our YouTube channel which you can enjoy at any time).

Our online resources are available at any time but feel extra handy during a lockdown.

Why not start investigating your family tree with free ‘Ancestry’ and ‘FindMyPast’ access, or get your children help with their homework on Studiosity, or learn a new skill on Linkenin Learning?

During normal operation customer service is still the key component and that will vary greatly, from helping someone print their concert tickets, to recommended their child’s next read to chatting with our knitting club about their current projects.

I am also involved with a program called Tech Time which members can book an hour session and receive technology related assistance.

Being able to empower our members with new skills and confidence is my greatest pleasure.

The week before lockdown I was also fortunate to step in and help run a Lego Club session which was a complete blast.

We had set up ramps and built lego to race down them, with the children, parents and myself really enjoying the high spirited fun.