Eastern Regional Libraries expands access to books and resources during COVID-19

Hundreds of books are making their way back to local library shelves as Eastern Regional Libraries continues its staged reopening of Maroondah’s libraries over the coming weeks.

Croydon Library is now re-open, though residents are reminded only a limited number of people will be allowed in the library at one time as part of COVID-19 safe distancing measures. From Saturday 11 July, library hours will be extended and will open Saturdays 10am to 12noon.

Councillor Tasa Damante said the staged approach would give members access to the library’s various services, including PC bookings (limited to one hour), printing and scanning, while maintaining social distancing and good hygiene.

“While face-to-face customer service and the pleasure of browsing library shelves are slowly being re-introduced, there will be various restrictions in place, such as queuing and social distancing, both for the safety of members and library staff,” she said.

For those hoping to pop into Realm library, you will have to wait a little bit longer, with the library, CoWorking space and meeting rooms closed until mid-July due to internal refurbishment works.

To keep the community engaged with library services during ongoing restrictions, ERL has reintroduced its Click and Collect service at Croydon Library which was suspended during lockdown.

“With Click and Collect, you can place a hold on all your favourite items from the ERL catalogue and get in contact with your library to arrange a collection once items come in,” Cr Damante said.

ERL is also extending its free delivery service to residents who are not able to leave home but who still wish to access library services.

“We know many members of our community, particularly our most frail and vulnerable, are remaining highly cautious and may not want to venture out. The good news is, library members not able to leave home can still request a postal delivery of their favourite books straight to their door,” Cr Damante said.

“You can also ask library staff to make a selection for you, including magazines, books, DVDs and games,” she said.

ERL also offers a host of downloadable resources for members that can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Members can browse from more than 60,000 free eBook and audiobook titles for adults, teens and children, as well as eMagazines, board games, DVDs, music and more.

Library members who are unable to leave home are advised to hold onto borrowed items until such time they can be returned, with no late penalties for overdue items.

From 1 July 2020, ERL branches at Croydon and Realm will no longer be charging fines for overdue items.

“Under the new fine-free system, borrowers will still have to pay for lost or damaged books and materials, but no longer for being late with their returns,” Cr Damante said.

“We’re encouraging everyone to observe all government regulations about staying at home and for people to return their items when they are able to,” she said.

Croydon Library is open Monday to Friday 9am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 5pm. The one-hour closure will be used to clean and sanitise according to COVID-19 requirements.

Realm remains closed until mid-July, this includes Council’s Customer Service Centre, library, ArtSpace and CoWorking space.

Library staff are available to answer questions and assist with enquiries over the phone on 1300 737 277 or connect with them via the ERL website

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