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After the service was suspended in the wake of Covid-19 restrictions, Dorset Council says it is ‘very pleased’ to be able to reintroduce reservations at libraries across the county.

This means that from Monday 14 September, residents will be able to start reserving items again from the library catalogue, for pick up from libraries in Dorset.  Library visitors will also be able to make reservations in person at their local branch.

Reservation Process

The council says it expects this to be in big demand so they have had to place a temporary limit of ten reservations per library member at any one time to ensure everyone gets the best chance of reserving the item they want. The pick-up library will notify someone when their reserved item becomes available for collection, and employees are looking forward to welcoming people back.

In line with the reinstatement of the service, from the same date the council will also be:

  • Reinstating the regular loan periods (e.g. 21 days for books, 7 or 14 days for DVDs). This means the council will be removing the temporary 28-day loan period and;
  • Reintroducing overdue charges and hire fees where relevant in order to ensure the best availability of the most popular titles.

Further Advice

Before visiting a library to collect a reserved item the council strongly recommends checking the opening hours first as most libraries are operating on revised hours. Books can be returned 24 hours a day via the return boxes, which also means people do not need to enter the building.

If someone is not sure whether they still want to borrow items they have previously requested, they can log on to their library account and cancel anything that they no longer need to help the library service focus resources on items that customers still wish to borrow.

To avoid overdue charges customers should check their library account to see when they are due back and renew them if necessary. This can be done via www.librarieswest.org.uk or by using the LibrariesWest app. The online service is friendly and easy to use, and any outstanding charges can be paid online by logging on to the customer’s account.

A spokesperson said: ‘Please be aware that any items that were already overdue on March 18 2020 and are still out on loan will have started accruing overdue charges from Monday 17 August. Overdue charges were paused between March 18 and August 16, so you will not be charged for this period.’

Councillor Jill Haynes, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services at Dorset Council, said: ‘We’re delighted to reintroduce the reservation system at our libraries so that Dorset residents can borrow the books they want.

‘It’s also worth noting that thousands of e-books, e-audiobooks, and even magazines, newspapers and comics are available to download for free online. Whether you’re looking for the latest issue of BBC Good Food magazine, today’s edition of The Guardian, or a great book to read or listen to just visit www.librarieswest.org.uk for more information.

‘I’d also like everyone to tell your friends and family to join LibrariesWest online for free by visiting the website. Once they are ready to visit a library again, new members who have joined online can call in to a library to upgrade their membership so they can also borrow physical items such as books, DVDs and Talking Books.’


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