Telford & Wrekin Libraries to re-open from July
Telford & Wrekin Council’s Libraries are set to re-open for the first time since March from Saturday, 4 July, in Southwater and from Monday, 6 July in Newport, Wellington and Oakengates.
Following updated Government guidance, council run libraries in Telford and Wrekin are to resume some of their services in a safe and socially distanced way by re-opening with reduced opening hours and a reduced service.
As such, Telford & Wrekin Libraries will re-open in Southwater from Saturday, 4 July (11am – 2pm) - the first day the Government says libraries can open from.
From Monday, 6 July, along with Southwater, other Council Libraries (in Newport, Wellington and Oakengates) will re-open to public but on reduced hours.
Madeley Library will be re-opening at a later date, once the whole Anstice building (in which the library is located) re-opens.
To check out the new opening hours for Council libraries across the borough, visit www.telford.gov.uk/libraries
During the initial phase of opening, the reduced service will mean that customers will only be able to return, browse and borrow books and do so by keeping to around 15 minutes per visit, to ensure everyone has a chance to access the service.
Below are the full measures Telford & Wrekin Libraries will introduce from 4 July and what customers can expect on their visit:
- Modified service – Libraries will only be open for customers to return, browse and borrow books.
The use of public computers, printing, photocopying and all Council First Point services, except access to free phones, will NOT be available during the initial opening phase.
- A reduced capacity - There will be reduced capacity within library buildings to ensure there is enough space for everyone in the library to social distance.
This will mean active queue management and a limited number of people who will be allowed to enter a Council library location at one time.
- Time limit – Customers are encouraged to keep their visits to Council libraries as brief as they can, to a recommended maximum of 15 minutes, so as to ensure everyone has a chance to access the service.
- Enhanced cleaning measures will be in place for in all locations and a free standing hand sanitiser unit at the entrance of each library – There will be a hand sanitiser unit at the entrance to each library and customers are encouraged to use it before entering.
- Social distancing measures throughout the location and outside – with clear directional signage to make this as easy as possible.
- Facilitating social distancing and increasing safety within locations- Soft furniture, chairs and desks will be removed from libraries and there will be no study space available during the initial opening phase. All play equipment in libraries that have it will either be removed or taped off to prevent access.
Cllr Eileen Callear, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Libraries and Culture said: “It’s due to our staff’s hard work and the safety and distancing measures they’ve put in place that Council libraries are able to re-open as early as indicated by the government - from 4 July (in Southwater) and 6 July (other Council’s locations).
“The safety of our staff and library users is our top priority, which means in the initial phase of re-opening, Telford & Wrekin Libraries will be operating in a different way – with a reduced service (only books’ return and borrowing within a recommended 15 minutes visit), limited capacity in buildings, additional cleaning measures and guidelines and signage in place for social distancing.
“In the upcoming weeks, there’s still lots the Libraries’ teams will be working through, so as to re-open additional services in locations as quickly but most importantly, as safety as possible - in line with Government’s directions.
“As we want to support people as much as possible at this difficult time, we will continue to offer free library digital resources for everyone that can be accessed at any time from the comfort of their home.
“On www.telford.gov.uk/libraries there are lots of free resources for every age and interest, from e-books to audiobooks and e-magazines and the access of digital resources has more than doubled since lockdown.
“Also on Telford & Wrekin Libraries Facebook page there’s plenty going on, such as live streams of “Bounce and Rhyme” toddler sessions, coding club challenges as well as family-fun entertainment, with the recently launched Summer Reading challenge.”
Community libraries across the borough (at Dawley, Donnington, HLC and Stirchley) are also looking to re-open following social and distancing measures and the government’s guideline - please contact these libraries directly so as to be informed of their plans.
For more details on Telford & Wrekin Libraries and Digital Library visit www.telford.gov.uk/libraries
Follow Telford & Wrekin Libraries Facebook and Twitter account for the latest on many online events and activities for all ages.
You can also subscribe to the Libraries’ newsletter to keep up-to-date.