Stellenbosch Municipality has launched a curbside book service with Stellenbosch Public Libraries on August 17. This means patrons will have books and other items such as photocopy and printing orders delivered straight to their cars.
“People phone or email us with their requirements, and we prepare it prior to them coming in,” said Sarala Majudith, library services manager for Stellenbosch Municipality, to Matie Media.
“People didn’t have books to read. Everyone was getting desperate – they had withdrawal symptoms from reading,” she said. “That was what made us relook our services and see how we could help. That’s how the curbside service started.”
The service is currently available at the Idas Valley, Plein Street and Kayamandi libraries. The curbside service adheres to strict health and safety protocols to ensure both staff and patrons remain safe from the spread of COVID-19. All books are sanitised with antibacterial wipes when they are returned, and also undergo a 71-hour quarantine period before the next patron is allowed to borrow it.
The service, however, has been slow to pick up in some of Stellenbosch’s communities.
“Our patrons are not used to the service yet as they prefer to walk into the library [rather than] making calls or emailing,” Zolelwa Zozo Malambile, senior librarian at the Kayamandi Library, said.
The Western Cape’s persistent bad weather has also made it harder to conduct the curbside service. “The service has not been in operation for long and the weather has been cold and wet,” Colleen Adonia said, who is a senior librarian at the Idas Valley Library. “We will, however, remain committed to rendering the best service we can under the circumstances.”