Li­braries ready to re­open – but you’ll have to book first

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

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

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