Librarian's Report, April 2021

Essex Libraries have continued to work during lockdown, even when we have had our doors closed to the public. We have increased and developed our digital offer and the service offered by RB Digital is now swapping over to Libby Reading App.

We have recently started podcasts to recommend books and have launched a new Reading Friends scheme to help socially isolated customers.

Registration and blue badge assessments have been continuing. Library staff have also been supporting Registration services by delivering death registration appointments by phone and face to face birth registration appointments. Notice of marriage appointments have started again and so the Registration service is in the middle of a really busy time with weddings being allowed to take place this summer.

As you know there has been a massive stock-take to prepare for the new Library Management system and joining the London Consortium. Work on the Gibson Library stock has been a great undertaking and staff have been working hard on completing the stock-take. The follow-on work is continuing and the reading room is still in some disarray and this will gradually be finished. We hope that when the new Library Management system goes live from 22nd April and books start going out again this will help. The most popular sections have been moved to become more visible for borrowing eg biographies.

Library opening hours are changing from 12th April when we re-open to the public and gradually we hope to increase our offer within Government guidelines.

We are pleased with the investment in new self-issue machines and these will now take card and contactless payments.

We are also really pleased that the new downstairs office has been built during this closed period and look forward to making good use of this and making the upstairs office tidy and empty ready to hand back for your use.

Julia Trew
Customer Service Team Leader
Harlow and Uttlesford

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© Gibson Library Society, 2021