Phased re-opening for county’s libraries
June 30, 2020
Following the government’s recent announcement, Northumberland County Council is now planning for a phased reopening of its library services from Monday 6th July.
Councillor Cath Homer, Cabinet Member for Arts, Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: “We fully recognise how important our libraries are to our communities and it is a testament to our staff that they have continued to provide a library service during the lockdown which has consisted of digital, social media and practical support for our library customers.
“Over recent weeks our libraries have provided over 3500 befriending calls, developed a Doorstep Delivery service for vulnerable residents, as well as seeing a significant increase in the use of our digital resources. For our digital resources alone, we have seen a 41% increase in website use and over 2000 new digital library users.
“Our approach to reopening library services will be phased and fully based on the government guidance and ensuring that our library customers and residents are safe at all times.
“We look forward to welcoming our residents back to our libraries in the future. In the meantime, residents can keep in touch by following our libraries on social media where we are posting information, advice and sharing what we are doing including reopening information.”
It is expected that a number of libraries across the county will be able to offer an order and collect service in the first few weeks of opening. Collections will only be available by appointment and it is expected that there will only be limited numbers of visitors who may access library buildings at any one time.
Unfortunately, there will be no browsing, no access to computers, printers, photocopiers or public service in person at libraries across Northumberland at this time.
Community Managed Libraries will be fully supported by the County Council and these will be encouraged to reopen at their own pace.
All loans will be automatically updated until libraries reopen and fines will not be charged for late returns to residents after 23rd March 2020 and therefore customers should not worry if they have books at home.
The enhanced digital online offer with hundreds of free eBooks, eAudio, eMagazines newspapers is available for residents to use at mylibrary.co.uk
To view what is on your library account, please login to our library catalogue with your card number and PIN through mylibrary.co.uk
If you, or anyone you know, needs support to access our digital library, please contact the Northumberland Communities Together Hub on 01670 620 015 and we will be happy to help.