Residents will be welcomed back to Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton libraries from Monday July 6 with a limited and safe service for people to enjoy. Following the Government announcement that libraries can reopen, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s libraries team will be offering ‘grab and go’ self-service borrowing for people to choose from a range of pre-selected books and a contactless return facility outside each library.
Three books can be borrowed at a time and a drop-box for returning books will be available at each library entrance. All three libraries will be open between 10am and 4pm each weekday.
To protect public health, main library areas will not be available for browsing and the number of people entering the library at any one time will be limited. Public computers and self-study areas will remain closed. The council is asking residents to be patient while waiting to use the self-service kiosks and to respect the social distancing measures in place.
While libraries have been closed, the council has begun a small Book Drop service for residents who cannot visit libraries in person. Library staff select and package books which are then delivered to people’s front doorsteps by volunteers, which temporarily replaces the Home Library Service paused in March due to the pandemic.
The council has also been running a virtual library with digital downloads, dynamic content and online events each weekday accessed via the library service’s social media accounts.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “We know people have been missing our library service and we are very much looking forward to welcoming customers back. Our libraries team has done an amazing job providing the virtual library and the Book Drop service, but I am sure residents able to visit a library in person will also relish the opportunity to find books they might not have considered before from the ‘grab and go’ service.
“Please follow social distancing when you visit our libraries and be patient if you have to wait. To keep everyone safe and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, visiting the library must be a different experience for the time being. We are looking at how we can offer a wider service in the weeks ahead in line with Government guidance.”
Anyone who thinks they would benefit from the book drop service is invited to email HomeLibraryService@bathnes.
Community-run libraries will have different opening arrangements. Please visit this page for links to community libraries https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/
Find out more about Bath & North East Somerset Council’s libraries at https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/