Books brought to Borderers

Borders book fans have been turning over a new leaf, thanks to a new service being run by the region’s libraries.

Karen D'Agrosa from the Live Borders libraries team with some of the books distributed across the regionthrough the Connect and Collect service.
Karen D'Agrosa from the Live Borders libraries team with some of the books distributed across the regionthrough the Connect and Collect service.

During the Covid-19 lockdown libraries had to close – leaving local literature lovers high and dry.

However, Live Borders, which runs the region’s libraries, launched a new ‘connect and collect’ service last month and it has proved to be very popular indeed.

It’s aimed at delivering a free, simple and efficient book delivery service to Borders communities.

The service lets you order books through the libraries’ online catalogue, or over the phone, and then pick them up from the mobile library.

Jane Hogg, director of commercial services for Live Borders, said: “The main strength of our libraries service is our staff. They love books and know our catalogue inside out. And for this new service, you can make your reservation over the phone if you don’t have access to a computer or smartphone.

“Our staff are friendly, helpful and appreciate that a chat is all part of the library visit, but this time the phone has helped us keep alive these connections with members.

“We really hope the connect and collect service is accessible to everyone across the Borders who want access to a library service.

“In the first three weeks of the service, our mobile team welcomed 344 visitors which is amazing, but we want to grow that number.”

The service visits Galashiels, Hawick, Kelso, Coldstream, Eyemouth, Duns, Jedburgh, Earlston, Melrose, Peebles, Innerleithen and Selkirk each week, clocking up around 300 miles.

Karen D’Agrosa, library and information assistant, has been kept busy on the phone and emails, helping customers choose new books, making recommendations and helping with reservations, and is enjoying adapting to the new ways of working.

“The job I have enjoyed doing the most is talking to people,” she said.

“I have never worked frontline in the 34 years that I have worked with libraries and have always worked in the background.

“But just listening to the people and leave them feeling happy when I can sort out their problems, and help to get books for them, makes me smile.”

To order books over the phone, call 01750 726400 from Monday to Friday, 11am-3pm, or visit www.liveborders.org.uk