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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

Get back into books you love

Our new order and collect service lets you select books of interest, fiction and non-fiction, DVDs and talking books to collect from your local library and it's totally free!

The service is not currently available at Beaminster library as the layout of the building means that it cannot meet all the required safety measures. 

  1. How it works
  2. What you can order
  3. Place an order
  4. Collecting your order
  5. Returning items
  6. Home delivery
  7. If you are feeling unwell or in quarantine
  8. Our safety measures
  9. Information for parents

How it works

Dorset Library Service card holders can use the order and collect service to:

  • order up to 10 items per library card from your selected preference, chosen by us
  • the service is available for adults, children and teenage members
  • keep them for up to 4 weeks
  • from 14 September all items issued will be subject to the normal loan period (21 days for book / talking books, 7 days for DVDs / music CDs).
  • hire charges for DVDs and talking books (unless there is a concession) will apply for all items issued from 14 September 2020.
  • from 14 September overdue charges will apply where applicable

We aim to find you books you’ll enjoy. We won’t always get it right, but we hope to introduce you to new books and authors you’ll love.

If you're not a member, you can join to access our online resources. This online membership gives you access to e-resources such as e-books and audiobooks but won't allow you to use the Order and Collect service. When we open our libraries, you can visit the library to upgrade to a full membership.

What you can order

You can order books, DVDs and talking books. 

We select the titles for you based on your chosen preferences. We want to be able to offer order and collect to as many people as possible so unfortunately, we can't take requests for particular titles or authors, as we don't have the resources to offer this service at the moment.

Reading Group services are currently suspended.

You can order a maximum of 2 DVDs per adult membership and 4 talking books per membership. Customers registered with a visual impairment can borrow up to 10 talking books.

Reserved books

From Monday 14 September the Libraries West reservation system will be available for Dorset Library Service customers. The reservation limit will be temporarily reduced to 10 (from 20) until further notice to help manage the volume.

If you have reserved books and were notified about your reservation, we'll include them in your order.

Note from 14 September previously suspended hire, overdue and reservation charges (where relevant) will start being applied. 

Place an order

You can place an order using our online form and we will allocate a collection slot. From 14th September books will be issued for 3 weeks and DVDs for 7 days. Hire charges will apply for DVDs and talking books (unless there is a concession). Overdue charges will be applied where applicable.

Alternatively, you can call us on 01305 228400 to place an order over the phone.

Collecting your order

You will get an email or text when your items are ready for collection at a time allocated by the library service. If you don't have an email account or mobile number, we will phone the telephone number you provide in your order form.

We are operating a minimum contact service at collection.

  1. Go to your local library entrance at your allocated collection time. In certain circumstances you may be required to queue, and we ask that you maintain social distancing to help keep you and staff safe.
  2. Your order will be on the table for you to collect in the library front entrance lobby or outside the front entrance. Your items will have already been issued so there will be no need to show your library card.
  3. Take your order. If you are collecting on behalf of someone else, you will need to show identification.

The chosen books will have been quarantined following Public Health guidelines. Given the demand for this service, unfortunately we are not able to change collection times, so please pick up your order at your allocated time.

If you are collecting books from the following libraries, follow the additional collection procedures stated on your text or email or follow up call if applicable:

  • Bridport
  • Dorchester
  • Wareham
  • Lyme Regis

Returning items

You can return your items through the returns letterbox at any library in Dorset, or when you pick up your next order if this is within the 4 week loan period.  Note items issued from 14 September will be subject to the normal loan period (21 days for books / talking books, 7 days for DVDs/music CDs)

There are currently no charges for late returns although we would encourage you to return items on time, within 4 weeks, so that we have more items available for our users.  From 14 September hire charges and overdue charges will be applied where applicable 

Lost item fees

We reserve the right to charge for items not returned as per our library policy.

Home delivery

Home delivery is available for vulnerable people through the Home Library Service.

If you are feeling unwell or in quarantine

If you are in quarantine or feeling unwell, please delay your collection or returns until later. If you have any coronavirus symptoms, you must stay at home and follow Government guidance.

You can contact us on 01305 228400 to let us know that you won't be collecting or returning your items.

Our safety measures

We are following Public Health guidelines regarding quarantining items after they are returned. This is to reduce the risk to library staff and customers. Once quarantine is completed, library staff will return the items from your card to the library. 

Information for parents

Children and teenagers can request any book in our library and as a parent or carer, you'll be contacted about collecting the items.

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