MORE Staffordshire libraries are due to open their doors in the next fortnight as part of the county service’s phased reopening.
Cannock, Leek, Lichfield, Perton and Tamworth are scheduled to reopen on Monday, July 20, with Biddulph, Burntwood, Codsall, Kidsgrove, Rugeley, Stone, Uttoxeter and Wombourne due to open again on Monday, July 27.
Shenstone Community Managed Library is also due to reopen next week, on Tuesday the 21st, with more Community Managed Libraries, including Blythe Bridge, Brereton, Cheadle, Cheslyn Hay, Great Wyrley, Penkridge and Talke, expected to follow in late July and early August.
Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member responsible for Libraries, pictured, said: "Our first three libraries reopened last week in Burton, Newcastle and Stafford and the reception has been excellent – people appreciate what we’re doing and the measures that have been put in place.
"We have also been supporting our community managed libraries throughout the pandemic and shared reopening plans so that all libraries have the same safety measures and procedures in place.
"We have encouraged them to move at their own pace, so I’m delighted to see them getting ready to welcome their communities back again.”
Hand sanitising, hygiene and social distancing arrangements will all be in place and to start with there will be an ‘order and collect’ service, without browsing, and a limited number of visitors per building.
Meeting rooms will remain closed and there will be no access to toilets, PCs, printers, photocopiers, or bus pass renewals in person. Although there will be no physical events or activities in the buildings, the service’s online offer and highly successful social media engagement will continue.
All 16 libraries directly managed by Staffordshire County Council will initially open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday, with Biddulph, Burntwood, Codsall, Kidsgrove, Rugeley, Stone, Uttoxeter and Wombourne following their usual pattern of regular half and full day closures. Users there and at Community Managed Libraries can check times online here .
Staffordshire libraries already have a ‘home delivery’ service for those unable to visit and that is being extended to include those who are currently isolating and prefer physical books to the council’s online service ‘Borrowbox’.