News

Lockdown Updates

Kia Kaha

Please see below for the latest updates for groups in Auckland/Northland, the rest of the country, and Christchurch.

alert-level-2-4

Tue 7 September Update

For Christchurch Convenors

From tomorrow onwards (Wed 8 September) we’ll be at Level Two and you will then be able to come into the BDS to pick books up or to drop them off.  We require you to:

  • wear a mask when you come into the building,
  • scan the QR code and
  • keep a two-metre distance from other members. 

For queries and payments, please continue to do this remotely until we’re down to Level One (online, by email or phone).  Pre-loved books are not for sale but will be available once we get to Level One.

For Convenors in Auckland and Northland 

Auckland and Northland groups, we have pushed your August/September meeting out a month unless you have advised us otherwise (see below Mon 30 August Update).

Thank you to all our groups for your patience and understanding during this time, while we worked to catch up and keep you all reading.

Mon 30 August Update

For Convenors in Auckland and Northland 

Our sympathies to you as lockdown continues.  We hope you, your families, and your group members are all safe and coping with the new normal.
 
At level 3 the BDS is able to dispatch and receive books.  Because Auckland and Northland are in lockdown, we’re assuming that you will be unable to give the books to your members, so we’re suggesting that, where appropriate, your meetings be pushed out by one month. 

  • What that means for FULL programme groups: If you normally meet to hand out your books in January to October, then your last bookset will instead be dispatched in November; and if you normally meet to hand out the books in February to November, you will receive your last bookset in December.
  • What that means for HALF programme groups: This would mean for example, that if you normally receive your books in, say, September and November, you would receive them in October and December and return the December books in February.   If however, you receive books in August and October, and met prior to lockdown, things will continue as normal, unless the lockdown is extended even further.  If you usually meet in August but lockdown occurred before you met, then we suggest that your meetings be pushed out by one month. 

The return date of the books you already have will be extended accordingly.  Our aim is to keep you on the same calendar cycle in 2022 as you have been in the past.
 
If we do not hear otherwise from you, this will be put in place when we get back into the office. 

If you’re in the lucky situation where you can contactlessly deliver books to members and would like a bookset in September, then please let us know.  Remember to put your group number in the subject heading of your emails.  It makes easier for us to find the right group — remember, you’re one of 1,300 groups.
 
Because we’re extending the due-back date for all books, this means we will, by necessity, be dispatching books further down your books lists.  If your books are in priority order, perhaps you might like to review your book-list and change it online if appropriate?

For Convenors of groups south of the Auckland border

We hope you, your families and your group members are all safe and coping with the new normal. We will extend the due back date of books, so please return them when you are able, but don’t worry about it.

At level 3 the BDS is able to dispatch and receive books, so we’ll be opening up on Wednesday 1 September and will be doing our best to catch up with dispatches as soon as possible. We need to get back to your usual dispatch dates so this may mean that you will have to read two books in a shorter period. I hope you’re in a situation where you’re really looking forward to more good reads!

Because we’re extending the due-back date for all books, this means we will, by necessity, be dispatching books further down your book lists. If your books are in priority order, perhaps you might like to review your book-list and change it online if appropriate?

When contacting us by email, please put your group number in the subject heading of your emails as it makes it easier for us to find the right group — remember, you’re one of 1,300 groups.

For Christchurch groups

According to government guidelines, you will not be able to enter our buildings at level 3. We will try to catch up with dispatches and will advise you every few days of the date we’re up to.

  • Please phone 03 365 6210 or email us for a time to pick your books up as we will have to take them out on a trolley.
  • Please wear a mask when you come to BDS.
  • If you have books to deliver, just leave them at the front door and we’ll pick them up.
  • Anything other than this will have to be done remotely via the website, by email or telephone.

 

Our thoughts are with you all and we look forward to the days where we can get together with our friends again.

 

Tue 24 August Update

I hope you’re all coping with the lockdown and have a good book to read. A reminder: We will extend the due-back date for books, so please don’t worry about getting your current books back, just return them when you’re able. If we’re still in lockdown when you return the books, CourierPost will put them in storage for us and drop them off when we reopen. We ask that Christchurch groups refrain from using the after-hours slot to return books as there is no one there during level 4 to empty the receptacle. 

At level three, limited staff are able to return to the office and we will catch up with the dispatches so groups can continue to contactlessly distribute books and meet virtually. Last year we put together some tips on how to continue to enjoy book group safely during lockdown. Check out our virtual meeting tips below. If you usually have your books delivered to your workplace and won’t be there, please advise us of an alternative dispatch address.

We’re thinking of you all and hoping it won’t be long until we can enjoy each other’s company again. Stay safe and all the best.

Barbara

Meetings during lockdown
 
Obviously the face-to-face meetings are not possible at present but we strongly believe in the mental health benefits of reading and discussing books.  Thankfully, we live in an era with multiple options for connecting with one another remotely — try one of the following to keep the discussions going over the next four weeks:
  • Hold a virtual meeting using a web app such as Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, or Skype. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages, but all have free options.
  • Start a group chat via email, Messenger, WhatsApp or a similar application. Your best option will depend on what most people in your group are comfortable using. Have fun with emojis and GIFs to make up for what you can’t express verbally!
  • Start a book journal and record your thoughts and feelings as you read, then hold a ‘mega-meeting’ when you next get together. This is a great way of remembering what you’ve read if you decide to put the discussion on hold for a few weeks.
If you are meeting virtually, here are some quick tips to ensure it runs smoothly:
  • Make sure everyone joins the call on time — bursting in 15 minutes late to a virtual meeting can be more disruptive than being tardy in person.
  • Close out other distractions on your screen like email and web browsers — this is the equivalent of staring down at your phone during an in-person meeting.
  • Keep your microphone on mute when you’re not speaking to avoid background noise disrupting the conversation.
  • Allow around seven seconds after each person has finished speaking for the next person to speak up — social cues are harder to pick up on via video, so you need a way of ensuring everyone gets a chance to talk without one person dominating the conversation. A rough agenda or speaking order and someone to lead the discussion will also help with this.

 

Wed 18 August Update

Things you need to know:

At 11:59pm on Tuesday 17 August 2021, the whole of New Zealand went into level 4 lockdown for a period of at least three days. For Auckland and the Coromandel, the lockdown will last at least seven days. 

Due-back dates for all books will automatically be extended, so please don't worry if you are unable to meet and/or return books for the meantime. If you are in Christchurch, please refrain from using the after-hours slot to return books as there is no one there to empty the receptacle. 

If we are able to get back into our Christchurch offices next week, we will catch up on book dispatches as quickly as we can, however we will be in touch again next week once we have more information.

Thank you to all our wonderful members for your understanding. As always, our thoughts are with you all.

Barbara and the BDS Team

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