Archer Library launches material pick-up lockers

Row of white book lockers Christchurch City Libraries

More contactless library services

by hammad ali, Contributor

Back in the fall, we covered the services that Archer Library was offering to students during the pandemic. A couple of weeks ago, there was an update from Archer about book pickup lockers being made available in the hall outside Archer Library as one more step in the direction of contact-free check out of physical resources from the library. We got in touch with Brett Waytuck, the university librarian, to find out more about this, and their plans over the Spring and Summer terms.

“We continue to provide a comprehensive suite of services for students, whether on campus or studying remotely. We are committed to ensuring that students can access books, journals, and information services needed. Twice, we had some mechanical issues with ventilation on the Archer main floor and had to reduce the number of available computers and solo study spaces for booking. However, we did not have to cancel any existing bookings,” said Waytuck. A list of all services offered can be found at

When asked about the book lockers, Waytuck explains, “The book lockers are an evolution of our existing curbside pickup service. With the lockers, we can now provide a touch-free service that no longer requires students to enter the library to get their materials. Manufacturing delays meant that our opening of the lockers was delayed until the Winter term, but they have worked well. When a student requests a book, it is retrieved and placed in a locker. Once they scan their library card number, the locker door pops open and the book is formally charged to their account. We hope to continue this service even after the remote learning period.”

Since the beginning of January, 1154 items have been circulated using the curbside pickup service. In addition, students unable to commute to campus have also been able to receive mail delivery of books, with return envelopes for easy mailed return to the library. At present, all students are allowed semester long loans on physical library materials, and are not pressured to return items unless someone else needs them.

For the Spring and Summer terms, no major changes are expected. The library, along with the rest of the campus, will continue with the mostly remote learning environment, and the mix of virtual and in-person services will continue to be available to the campus community.

Waytuck wanted to reach out to the campus community with the following words, “the library staff have been incredibly busy over the past year, both in maintaining existing services and developing new ones. Just this past week, we launched the digital exhibit for our new Mary Filer archival collection, which is one of the largest single donations in the history of the University Archives.” He also added, “we are here to support every student. If you need something, please just ask. U of R students have access to some of the best library staff in the country, and we want to hear from you!”

Those interested can check out the Mary Filer exhibit at Details on how to use the book pickup lockers can be used is also available at

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