Library staff and volunteers around North Yorkshire are looking forward to welcoming customers back into branches following confirmation of the next step in the easing of lockdown.
Most libraries in the county expect to reopen on or shortly after Monday, 12 April, to enable customers to browse and to choose their own books to borrow.
Safeguards will be in place. Customers will need to wear face coverings, hand sanitiser will be available, the Track and Trace system will operate and numbers will be limited.
Public computers will be bookable for limited timeslots and some study space will be bookable.
Services and opening hours will vary between libraries, so customers should check with their library or on the library service web pages, before visiting.
The Select and Collect service that has operated during lockdown will continue for those that want it. This enables customers to contact their library by email or phone to arrange to collect a selection of books.
County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “I know how much so many people value the experience of visiting their library and the social connection that comes with it, so I am delighted we are able to take this next step in reopening library buildings. I am sure that staff and volunteers in county council libraries and those managed across the county by community groups and volunteers are looking forward to welcoming back customers.
“Throughout the pandemic, the county’s library service has striven to provide as wide-ranging a service as possible for its customers. While buildings have been closed, staff and volunteers have hosted online story times, rhyme times, craft videos and virtual events.
“Alongside the Select and Collect service, we have provided book collections for home-schooling, activity packs for children and wellbeing goodie bags for our home library users. Many libraries also offered use of public computers, by appointment, to access essential services and employment opportunities.
“The service’s extensive online resources have proved very popular during this period, with many existing and new library members borrowing e-books and using the wide range of other e-resources.”