Coronavirus: Shropshire Libraries to accept returns at six branches for one week
Shropshire Libraries currently remain closed in line with national guidance, but for one week beginning Monday 29 June 2020, the six largest libraries will be accepting returns of books and other library items that have been on loan.
In order to facilitate the safest possible reopening, for one week beginning Monday 29 June 2020, a book returns service will be offered by the libraries in Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Ludlow, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, and Bridgnorth.
Book returns will be accepted between 10am and 2pm from Monday to Friday (not Wednesday at Whitchurch; not Thursday at Market Drayton, Ludlow or Bridgnorth). Social distancing measures will be in place and customers will not have access into the library buildings themselves.
This will enable returns to be quarantined for 72 hours as advised by Public Health England’s National Infection Service.
The latest Government announcement yesterday indicates that public libraries will be allowed to start reopening in Step 3 of the lockdown easing plan from Saturday 4 July 2020 or onwards.
In resuming face-to-face services the priority will be the safety of customers, staff and volunteers, with measures that include social distancing, frequent cleaning of surfaces and limited services overall.
Michael Lewis, Shropshire Council’s library service manager, said:
“Lots of people will have had library books sitting around at home for several weeks and we’re keen to start getting some of those back in preparation for our phased reopening plan. This will enable us to quarantine the book stock following guidance from Public Health England.
“However, people should not worry if they can’t get to a library or if their local branch is not included in this returns week. There is no obligation to bring things back just yet, and overdue fines currently remain suspended.”
As a further stage of the phased reopening, from week beginning Monday 6 July 2020 a ‘Ready Reads Collect’ service will be offered from the foyers of Shrewsbury, Oswestry and Ludlow libraries.
This will be a ‘click and collect’ style service, with no access to the libraries themselves available. ‘Ready Reads Collect’ will offer individually tailored book choices selected by library staff. Details of this service will be made available shortly.
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said:
“Although non-essential shops have now been allowed to reopen, it’s clear that we need to take a cautious approach to restarting services.
“This will allow us to review how things are working as we go along and ensure the safety of everyone. We thank all library customers for continuing to be so patient and understanding, and don’t forget about all the great e-resources that are available via the library website.”
The full range of library e-resources can be found here https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/libraries/libraries-from-home/