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Libraries COVID updates

Services from 12 April

On Monday 12 April, all of our libraries will reopen to customers for browsing and non-essential computer usage. We are looking forward to welcoming you back. The opening hours for our libraries can be found on our website.

Keeping you safe

We have introduced a variety of changes to our layouts and procedures to make sure you can use the libraries safely. We will limit the number of customers in each library at any one-time, social distancing will be in place, and there will be no seating, study spaces, meeting rooms, toilets or events at this time.

Visitors should be prepared to queue as well as follow signs and instructions from staff. We have increased cleaning, distanced furniture and computers, added hygiene screens and quarantine books between uses. Hand sanitiser will be available at the door, and screens are setup at the counters.

Please also be aware that access to books in some libraries will remain limited due to the need to ensure all environments are able to support social distancing. All returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours before being available for loan.

What's available?

If you need to use library computers please do so by pre-booking a session on 0345 60 80 196 or by booking a computer online.

In the coming weeks we will be reintroducing 1-1 computer support and our IT4U program in a limited number of locations. We hope to gradually expand access to these services across the county over the next few months.

Online courses in Maths, English, IT and employability studies are still being offered through libraries Learning Services team. To find out if you are eligible for free courses, and access to our other learning resources, visit the Adult Learning section of our website.

Where it is convenient it would be helpful if you can reserve books from the library catalogue or by calling 0345 60 80 196. These can then be collected from the front entrance of your local library, or when browsing.

There is also a huge range of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eNewspapers and eMagazines, available through our eLibrary. We would love you to explore these online, as well as take free courses and use the wellbeing and information resources.

Our Home Library Service, which has continued to provide books to those who are particularly vulnerable at home throughout the pandemic, will also remain in operation. If you need this service, please call 0345 60 80 196.

What to expect

In line with Government guidance, we are asking all customers to a wear a face covering and will ask you for your name and phone number when you enter the library for the NHS Test and Trace programme.

As set out in the Privacy Notice, we will keep this information securely and it will only be shared with the NHS Test and Trace programme if we are asked for it.

These limited services will be available at all libraries within the current reduced opening hours. They will be kept under constant review to ensure they are being delivered in the safest way possible. The layouts of the libraries have changed to enable people to easily follow social distancing guidance, which means fewer books and computers are available.

We will be encouraging people to continue to use our eLibrary where they can so that we can manage customer numbers safely.

If you have any questions regarding the reopening of libraries or available services: contact us online
• call the enquiries phone line 0345 60 80 196.