Libraries ready to reopen – but you’ll have to book first
SKELMERSDALE’S library will reopen on an appointment-only basis from Monday.
Libraries all around the country Lancashire have been closed since March when the coronavirus restrictions were introduced, with mobile libraries off the road and buildings closed to the public.
From next week, libraries including the one in Skelmersdale will reopen from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday, with two services available.
There is a choice of taking a selection of up to six books chosen by library staff and collected at an arranged time or going into the library to choose them yourself.
Once the online appointments system is ready and live next week, customers will be able to book online or call the library helpline to book a slot.
People who have made an appointment to visit the library will be asked to provide their name and contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace system, while home library service will also be available from Thursday, July 23, giving priority to the most vulnerable customers.
Anyone wanting to return books can do this by placing them in the returned books container at the entrance of the libraries that are open.
No appointment will be necessary to do this.
Books will be quarantined before they are put back on the shelves.
Access to computers, printers or photocopiers will not be available in the libraries at first. It is hoped to make these services available again soon.
County Cllr Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “Libraries provide a vital service for our communities and I am glad we can now announce reopening some of them. We’ve been working for a while on arrangements for reopening our libraries, and I’m delighted that the Government recently gave the go-ahead for this to happen.
“Although we are really looking forward to welcoming our customers back into our libraries, it is obvious that we need to take a phased, step-by-step approach to this. That’s why we are opening up 12 of our libraries for now, and offering limited services.”
Customers will not be charged for any overdue items.
Library users are being asked to hold onto their books until they can return them to an open library and not try to post them through letter boxes or leave them outside libraries.
Books can be renewed online or by calling 0300 123 6704.
Skelmersdale Library and, above, Cllr Peter Buckley