The Bill Bryson comes back to life

As the country moves slowly back to normal, and pubs, shops, and hairdressers reopens their doors – so has the Bill Bryson Library building! A small team of staff  have been working hard onsite to provide users with the resources they need through Scan and Deliver. If, however, you would like more than one chapter of a book then over July we launched three new and alliterative services: Click and Collect, Browse and Borrow, and Stay and Study.

Click and Collect can also be described as ‘a library takeaway’: you can request a book through our website, library staff go and collect the book from the shelves, then package it up in a very fetching and eco-friendly paper bag for collection. When the the service was first launched on Monday 13th July, we were inundated with hundreds of requests and since then have received 988 requests and have completed 940 of those!*

The collection process is also not dissimilar to the takeaways we’ve all been picking up weekly (just me?) during lockdown: all you have to do is approach the desk with your campus card and a member of the team will bring your bags forward. The process has been fine-tuned to the speediest and safest it can be, and 236 borrowers have collected their books in the space of one week.

The Stats in first week of service:

Click and Collect: 940 of 988 requests completed – 236 borrowers have collected their books!

Stay and Study: 92% of available bookings made on day one. 100% each day following!

The process has definitely been a learning curve, and everyone in the team has had a couple of comedic moments where paper bags have split open or fallen apart! We’ve fine-tuned our speedy packing techniques and have alphabetised our collection trollies in classic Librarian-style (sadly not organised by Dewey number).

Alphabetised trollies.. a Librarian’s dream!

For those who are missing not just the Bill Bryson’s books, but the ambience of walking amongst the stacks and study space with a view of the cathedral, we have both Browse and Borrow or Stay and Study. These services essentially do what they say on the tin, as users are able to come in for an hour at a time, browse the shelves and borrow all the books they desire, or book out a study space for a whole day. We have diligently planned for these services to be as efficient and safe as possible, and it’s been lovely (if a little strange!) to have users back in the building after a few weeks of onsite working in a deserted Library. On the first day Stay and Study was launched, we had 46 of the the 50 slots booked out, and this week sees sold out bookings every day!

James preparing to welcome users back to the Bill Bryson

Along with the rest of the country, we’ve had to adapt the way we work and that has been challenging at times, especially when trying to balance safety concerns with providing our users with everything they need. Despite this, though, it’s been so encouraging to see the Bill Bryson building coming back to life.

We hope to see more of you collecting your books or taking advantage of our other services in the coming weeks! And remember, even if you can’t make it in person, our AskDULib service has been providing online chat and enquiry service since day one, so do get in touch.

*This post was written during the first week of August, so we expect those figures have increased significantly since then!

3 thoughts on “The Bill Bryson comes back to life

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  1. Hello want to return a few books, may I ask if I need to be there during the opening hours, or is it possible to return books regardless of the time? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Thanks for your question. I think you’ve asked the same via Twitter… I’ve dropped a note to the enquiries team to ask them if they can respond. James

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