Here's what you need to know as more Lancashire libraries get ready to reopen
More Lancashire libraries will reopen next week, the county council has announced.
Due to social distancing requirements, people will need to book an appointment online before they visit, at www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/libraries
For those who can’t book online, appointments can be made by calling 0300 123 6703.
When booking, customers will be asked to provide their name and contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace system. During their visit, customers will be required to wear a face covering.
The ground floor lending library at The Harris in Preston, has been open since July 11, and a further 12 libraries are now set to reopen. They are: Accrington; Ansdell; Chorley; Coal Clough; Fulwood; Garstang; Leyland; Morecambe; Nelson; Rawtenstall; Skelmersdale and Whalley.
The opening hours of the libraries will be Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm.
Customers can now book an appointment to use either of the two borrowing services available:
* Six of the best: a selection of up to six books made by library staff for the customer and collected from a library at the pre-booked appointment time
* Browse and borrow: to come into the library for a pre-booked 30 minute period and choose books. There will be a limit on how many people can come into the building at any one time.
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 Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming our customers back into our libraries, but 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.
“I’m grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding, and I’d ask everyone to keep an eye on our website and social media channels where we will announce further details of other libraries reopening, when it is safe to do so.”
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.
The home library service will also be available from Thursday, 23 July, prioritising the most vulnerable customers.
New digital activities have also been launched, with different activities on social media. These include:
* The Monday Lego Club on Twitter and Facebook.
* A Lunch break book club also takes place every two weeks on Twitter and Facebook.
* A family book club taking place every two weeks on Twitter and Facebook
Other services available include:
* The Lancashire Volunteer Partnership’s telephone befriending service whilst the home library service is temporarily stopped due to coronavirus.
* Online resources including information, facts and figures, family and local history, newspapers, school work and study.
* Remote access has also been arranged for library members to the popular family history resource, Ancestry.com
* The service Ask a Lancashire Librarian, where our librarians staff a web-based enquiry service Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm has continued. Out of those hours you can submit a question and the service will get back to you the next working day.
For more information, go to www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/libraries-archives-and-museums/