The Cottbus City and Regional Library is a long-time LIBERO user and has been using the LIBERO library management system and the LIBERO WebOPAC since 2001.
In 2013, the Cottbus City and Regional Library and the head office of the local community college moved to new premises in the centre of the city of Cottbus. Together they form the Cottbus Learning Centre.
Over three floors, all knowledge and reading enthusiasts will find not only a comprehensive range of various types of media but also interesting exhibitions, exclusive events, free Internet access for members, a reading café to relax in and much more.
As a centre for lifelong learning and further education, Cottbus Library offers a broad selection of materials for all age groups. Its collection includes more than 185,562 items (as of 30.06.2020) from fiction and non-fiction to children and youth publications. E-media, magazines, board games and works of art are also available.
Due to the lockdown measures imposed by the German government, the library had to cease its loans in mid-March.
“Our members and visitors received notifications of the closure via LIBEROs e-messaging system, newsletters and press releases,” said Ms Glowka, administrator at Cottbus Library.
LIBERO includes bulk e-messaging options to send emails or SMS messages to customers. “This feature proved to be ideal for many libraries during the shutdown, as library members were notified immediately,” said Selena Johns, Customer Service Manager at LIBERO.
Many libraries in Germany are now open again after the compulsory shutdown.
Cottbus Library opened its doors to customers on April 23, 2020, allowing them to browse, exchange or return items.
“Visiting the library is for loans and returns of items only. New registrations are also possible, but on-site services, such as study, internet and WebOPAC stations, will remain limited,” said Ms Glowka.
To ensure that library services run smoothly during the pandemic, the loan period for all items increased. “According to our policy, items can be renewed three times. We increased this limit to six times given the current situation, so that items renewed three times can easily be renewed again,” said Ms Glowka.
The team at Cottbus Library also had to get used to many new procedures; for example, returned items had to be quarantined for 48 hours. Once this period was over, they were available for circulation again at no additional charge.
Ms Glowka also explained that digital offers are currently better received: “After closing for about two weeks, we decided to offer free access to the Onleihe-Network for new members. In April and May alone, over 5,760 eBooks and other digital media were downloaded.”
It must not go without saying that library staff around the world have shown remarkable resilience, creativity, and strength during this pandemic. And it is our mission to support libraries and to turn this disruption into an opportunity to reimagine the future of libraries.
Photography: Peter Rahmfeld