Two more Derbyshire libraries are set to re-open their doors later this month after being closed since the end of March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Derbyshire County Council-run Alfreton Library in Severn Square and Bolsover Library in Church Street will both re-open on Monday 27 July with several temporary changes in place to keep customers and staff safe.
The county council closed all of its 45 libraries on 20 March due to the coronavirus but is now rolling out a phased re-opening programme.
Seven libraries have already re-opened at Heanor, Matlock, Swadlincote, Dronfield, Chesterfield, Buxton and Long Eaton.
All the re-opened libraries are operating a `book and borrow’ appointment-only system and people are being urged not to turn up without having arranged their appointment first.
The book and borrow system will also apply to Alfreton and Bolsover libraries.
From their opening date, Alfreton and Bolsover, and the other seven libraries will be open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-2pm on Saturdays until further notice, with people being asked to arrange appointments direct with their local library.
Book and Borrow appointments for people wanting to take out books, can be arranged over the phone or by email, and use of library computers can be arranged by phone only. Staff will not be able to assist people using computers.
All currently borrowed books and other items have been automatically renewed until 30 September 2020 and people are being urged not to bring books back at this time unless they wish to borrow more. No overdue charges will be incurred for books which are currently borrowed.
Library staff are monitoring how the new systems put in place are working, ensuring social distancing is being adhered to and sharing good practice across all staff working in the re-opened libraries. The council’s overall aim is to re-open all 45 libraries when it can be done safely.
Derbyshire County Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Tourism and Culture Councillor Barry Lewis said: “The re-opening of seven of our libraries has gone well and library users are getting used to the new booking system in place and the other temporary measures which we’ve had to introduce to ensure staff and customers are safe.
“It’s really positive that we’re in a position to open two more and we are confident that more will follow shortly after that, until we have re-opened all 45 of our libraries.
“The safety of our staff and customers is always our top priority, which is why we are rolling out the re-opening programme at this pace, so we can ensure the measures in place are sufficient to keep everyone safe while still being able to offer a service.”
During the initial phase of re-openings, it will not be possible to:
• visit a library without an appointment
• return books or other items unless attending a Book and Borrow appointment
• browse the shelves
• take part in reader groups or other activities
• use meeting rooms
• request specific items/books
• use the toilets and baby changing facilities
• read newspapers in the library
• make donations, including to the foodbank.
Details on how people can contact their local library can be found by going to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/libraries People should only contact the library they intend to use.
Details of the re-opening of the remaining libraries will follow at a later date.