Borders libraries launch ‘Connect & Collect’ book-borrowing service

A new library service is bringing books and borrowers back together again in the Borders.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 24th July 2020, 7:45 am
Mobile libraries are being used to offer a ‘Connect & Collect’ service across the Scottish Borders (Photo: Alwyn Johnston)
Mobile libraries are being used to offer a ‘Connect & Collect’ service across the Scottish Borders (Photo: Alwyn Johnston)

Live Borders – the culture, sport and leisure trust for the Scottish Borders – has launched ‘Connect & Collect’.

This new service lets members order books through the Live Borders libraries online catalogue or app, or over the phone, and then pick them up from a mobile library.

Mobile libraries will be touring the region and stopping off in the towns normally served by a static library.

Sign up to our daily Berwickshire News Today newsletter

Live Borders scrapped overdue fees across all of their libraries in January, and have done the same for reservation fees for this new service.

For those without internet access or the confidence to make selections online, a new phone service has been launched.

Libraries will take the calls, help with selections and advise on which location the books can be collected.

Christine Johnston, Live Borders community and engagement services officer (libraries), said that it was great to have the service return in some capacity.

“The launch of Connect & Collect is part of Live Borders’ phased re-opening of its library service,” she said.

“Our library staff love books and have an in depth and comprehensive knowledge of our catalogue, so they are well placed to find the right books and make recommendations based on what people enjoy reading.

“We also know that many of our library members enjoy chatting with our librarians about the books they are borrowing, this way we can still make that connection. It is vital for us that our customers can connect with us by telephone as well as online.

“We appreciate how much people have missed having a book in their hands, and, of course, we acknowledge that people will have some books to return to us.”

Initially the service will be limited to customers picking up pre-ordered books.

Live Borders hopes to soon have mobile library vans stocked back up with books so that Connect & Collect will also include some options for browsing and topping up people’s selection.

The phone line is open Monday-Friday from 11am to 3pm on 01750 726400.

For more information on the Connect & Collect service or to reserve books online visit Live Borders

Live Borders normally operates seven libraries across the region including Earlston, Eyemouth, Galashiels, Hawick, Melrose, Peebles and Selkirk, in addition to the mobile library service and library contact centres in Coldstream, Duns, Innerleithen, Jedburgh and Kelso.