Roadmap set out for return to in=person library services

Budleigh Salterton Library.

Budleigh Salterton Library. - Credit: Archant

A roadmap for reintroducing in-person library services has been announced, based on the four-step plan set out by the government. 

Currently, libraries in Devon are offering a lifeline access to books service which is available by appointment only via email or phone to arrange collection. 

After Prime Minster announced the four-step plan to bring the country out of lockdown, Libraries Unlimited has revealed its own roadmap for bringing people back to the libraries. 

From March 29 – choose and collect service restarts and some libraries will offer computer access. 

From April 12 – libraries will offer phased reopening for book borrowing and computer sessions. Mobile libraries will be back on the road. 

From May 17 – The rule of six will apply meaning the café indoor spaces can reopen and meeting rooms for small groups will be available 

From June 21 – Libraries Unlimited should be able to expand the in-person offer, start to introduce events and offer meeting rooms to bigger groups. 

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The timetable is subject to government guidance and potential change.  Libraries Unlimited will continue to keep customers updated. 

Alex Kittow, Chief Executive said “We welcome the government’s roadmap and structure for reopening.   

“This is still a time to adhere to covid-19 guidelines and to continue to follow the ‘hands, space, face’.   

“We encourage our customers to continue to follow the stay-at-home guidance (until March 29) and to stay local (from March 29) visiting your local library rather than making bigger journeys.   

“Our library staff have served our communities in Devon & Torbay throughout the pandemic and have responded to the rapid change.   

“We have continued our library services even when our physical buildings have been closed.   

“We’ve appreciated the feedback, messages and gratitude expressed by our customers.   

“This has helped us to fine-tune our offer and it has been morale boosting for staff to know what difference they are making in these challenging times. 

“I know staff are keen to open our doors and to welcome customers back into our libraries.   

“With the roadmap we have a plan in place and hopefully we can be offering our in-person library service from late spring/early summer.”  

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