Fremantle Library embraces new ways to connect community
An expanded home delivery service and a new contactless drive-through option to return borrowed books are some of the arrangements the Fremantle Library has put in place to support the community during the COVID-19 crisis.
While Fremantle Library had to close its ‘physical’ building in response to a mandated Federal Government direction to slow the spread of COVID-19, staff were eager to keep library services functioning and expand other areas to members to help them stay connected.
City of Fremantle Director of Community Development Michelle Brennand said it was really disappointing the library had to close its doors, but the health and safety of the community was of highest priority.
“I know many people love the library and rely on our services for education, entertainment and connection to their local community, so our staff are continuously looking at innovative ways to deliver library services as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve,” Ms Brennand said.
“It’s important our community have all the library services they need during these tough times of physical distancing and self-isolation at home.”
To ensure people could still access library resources, including books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and more, the City extended its housebound library delivery service to twice weekly drop-offs on Mondays and Thursdays to library members residing in the City of Fremantle and Town of East Fremantle Local Government areas.
This service was previously provided to elderly or otherwise housebound people who were unable to visit the library, but now it’s been expanded to cater for any local library members staying at home due to the COVID-19 virus.
“The library’s housebound service would normally deliver to around 10 people per week, and is now delivering to around 70-80 people per week,” Ms Brennand said.
“Since closing the Fremantle Library building on 23 March, we’ve made 135 home deliveries to East Fremantle and Fremantle residents and, overall, welcomed nearly 100 new members to Fremantle Library.”
From Friday 1 May, library members will also be able to return their borrowed items to the Fremantle Recycling Centre, where the library has set up a contactless drive-through drop off point.
Simply place items in a disposable plastic bag (provided onsite if you require one), enter the drive-through drop off point via Montreal Street and pop your bag of items into the marked crates.
From here, library staff will quarantine these items before processing them and getting them back into circulation
If you don’t want to or can’t return your items to the Fremantle Recycling Centre, you can request they be collected from your home by contacting the library. Don’t forget, all borrowed items are not due back until 30 June 2020.
Fremantle Recycling Centre is located on the corner of Knutsford and Montreal Street. The library drive-through return service is available Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8am–4pm and Saturdays from 8am–12pm.
As always, members can explore Fremantle Library’s virtual shelves and have electronic access to books, magazines, the Fremantle and State Library Catalogue and educational online resources.
Fremantle Library has seen the take up of its digital platforms increase by 40 per cent. Platforms available to members include Borrowbox, Overdrive, Feegal (online music) Kanopy (moves/documentaries), RB digital (magazines), Story Box Library (childrens’ stories read aloud by notable storytellers) and Busy Things (educational games and activities for 3-11 year olds).
“There’s so much you can do with a library membership, so I encourage all Fremantle and East Fremantle residents to jump on the library’s website or Facebook page and start exploring,” Ms Brennand said.
Image: Fremantle Library Customer Service Officer Fiona Faulds delivering books to members living in the City of Fremantle and Town of East Fremantle Local Government areas.