Libraries re-open for computer use and self-service

1:18pm - 29 July 2020

Libraries in North Somerset are getting ready to welcome back customers.

The phased re-opening of library buildings offering limited services will begin next week.

From Monday 3 August customers will be able to borrow books using self-service facilities and use computers by prior booking at the For All Healthy Living Centre Library in Weston-super-Mare and at Clevedon Library. Opening hours will be limited, so please check before visiting.

It is planned that Nailsea, Portishead and Yatton libraries will also open for these services from Monday 10 August. 

The dates for the re-opening of the other libraries in North Somerset will be announced soon. 

The contact-free click and collect service where staff select books for customers to collect at pre-arranged times will continue to be offered by all libraries and the expanded online services, including free eBooks and downloadable eAudio books, will also continue.

"The libraries re-opening in this stage have been chosen to maximise the benefits for our communities, by ensuring a good geographic spread across the area, prioritising sites with higher footfall and targeting localities where unemployment rates are growing and where digital exclusion levels are high," said Cllr Caritas Charles, the council's executive member for leisure, culture and tourism.

"As our libraries re-open they will look and feel quite different from the ones that were closed back in March and customers will be asked to follow safety procedures when visiting them." 

Opening hours will be restricted and customers will be encouraged to limit the time they spend in the library. Staff will not be able to offer face-to-face enquiries or assistance with computers, seating areas will be reduced and there will be no events or activities and no newspapers or reference material available.

Customers will be asked to respect a two-metre distance, sanitise their hands on entry and wear a face covering if possible. The number of people allowed in the library at any one time will be restricted, so customers may have a short wait before they can enter. 

In addition, libraries will take details of customers to support NHS Test and Trace.

All books on loan at the start of lockdown have been extended until 1 September and books can now be returned in drop-boxes at all libraries. They will then be quarantined for a safe period before other people can borrow them.

More information about the temporary opening hours and the click and collect service can be found at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/librarycollect.

Computer sessions can be booked by contacting the libraries direct. Contact details and details of services available at other libraries can be found at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/libraries.

More information about online library services, including free eBooks and newspapers and online events and activities, is available at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/onlinelibrary.