When the books come out of containment

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This Tuesday, May 19, in Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne), the media center in the city center is out of sleep. On the ground floor, the librarians opened a large emergency exit and installed a loan desk, almost on the sidewalk. Masked, gloved, equipped with visors and gowns, they welcome the first users of the “BibDrive”, a new system of ” click and collect “To borrow documents after you reserve them remotely. Some intrigued onlookers stop: “ Are you reopening? What good news ! “, launches a regular.

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It’s all a logistics, but we are happy to be able to offer this service to our readers “, Rejoices Isabelle Rindzunski, director of the media library which has 11,000 subscribers for 62,000 inhabitants. “ The last day before confinement was the rush: we loaned 6,000 documents in one day, she testifies. As in many libraries, we have skipped loan quotas and extended the loan term to September.

A strict protocol

Readers no longer enter the premises, but can return and borrow works. According to a strict protocol. Return documents are received, contactless, in a box outside the media library. They are then placed in quarantine for ten days, then disinfected. On the loan side, reservations are made by Internet or by telephone.

We prepare orders, register them, and then store them in cases. Documents are no longer affected until the reader picks them up, following an appointment set by telephone Explains Isabelle Rindzunski. For the director, these precautions are ” essential to build trust. Bringing a book home, in its intimate space, then the virus circulates, requires to be reassured about the cleanliness of the documents

This morning, the readers spread out, every ten minutes. ” It works very well. It’s very fluid, says Bruno Wernert, 49, a hotel receptionist, who leaves with two versions of Grieg’s Piano Concerto and jazz CDs. A few minutes later, Christine Danot, 40, a technician in a company producing identity papers, places a stack of children’s books in her shopping cart. ” I didn’t take anything for myself because I don’t like to read, she smiles, but my CP son got on well with reading during confinement thanks to the books borrowed before closing.

The shock of confinement still present

For librarians, this day has a slightly bittersweet flavor. ” This BibDrive service is useful, but we do not reach many people in comparison to the usual attendance “Evaluates one of them, Brigitte Ussel. For the team, the shock of containment has not yet passed, ” especially for colleagues from the youth, who used to do a lot of activities with children …

At Ivry, we have a long tradition of public reading linked to workers’ emancipation. The first library dates from the 1890s, recalls Isabelle Rindzunski. But even during the two world wars, we hadn’t closed for two months! This is unheard of ! “

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The stopping of reading on the spot is a real deprivation in this popular commune where the poverty rate reaches 28%. This morning, Lucien Delangle, 83, a former cutlery salesman in the Ivry market, approached the loan office, as if to smell the air. Since he is not registered, he cannot borrow documents …

Usually, I come to read here three / four times a week, especially the press: Capital, Marianne, L’Huma and 60 million consumers … Since the epidemic, I have had nothing … Victor and Caroline, 28, each post-doctoral fellow and university lecturer, have lost precious work space. “ We usually come to correct copies. Today, two people in a studio and telecommuting, it’s difficult …

Friendly places

Almost vicious, the epidemic came head-on to the development of libraries which, over the past ten years, have become places of conviviality. “ With this virus, we see images from the old library coming back: gowns, hygiaphones, disinfection of documents, distance from the public … Sighs Isabelle Rindzunski.

For the time being, the team is using the Internet, the telephone and this new window to keep in touch with readers. “ Basically, this crisis brings us back to what makes the heart of libraries: rich and quality collections, in good condition and clean, says the director. It’s around them that everything is built. “

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The challenge of digital lending

At the Ivry-sur-Seine media library, the number of users of digital books and film platforms ArteVOD and UniversCiné tripled during the confinement, but this offer only reaches a reduced audience: a few dozen readers and a hundred moviegoers. ” We plan to accelerate the purchase of digital books, going to sixty new products every two weeks, instead of a hundred a year », Explains the director Isabelle Rindzunski. During the confinement, the media library also acquired an online training service which it will perpetuate.

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