Cheshire East Council’s libraries have reopened in line with the next stage of the government’s roadmap.
Sixteen of the council’s libraries have opened their doors again and have done so with full Covid-safe restrictions in place.
Residents will be able to:
- browse, borrow and return library books and resources;
- use computers;
- access the full range of customer service point functions; and
- access local history resources and study facilities
For the time being, newspapers and magazines will only be available online and activities and events won’t restart until restrictions on indoor activities are lifted. All the council’s libraries will have social distancing measures in place and computer use will be available by appointment.
While library services will now be more accessible to residents with the reopening of the council’s physical buildings, the council understands that not all residents will be comfortable to visit their local library yet. Our order and collect service will continue – residents simply need to call their local library to access this service. Our virtual rhyme times and story times will also carry on.
The popular Reading Friends project – where library staff are on hand to contact anyone requesting a weekly call to discuss their favourite authors and books – continues to prove very successful.
Library staff also now have access to a new electric vehicle, which is being used to deliver books to residents, who may be socially isolating or who simply prefer to remain at home. Anyone wanting to get involved with the scheme should contact their local library.
Paul Bayley, Cheshire East Council director of environment and neighbourhood services, said: “We know that our libraries are the lifeblood of our communities for so many people.
“It will be a slow and steady process getting everything back up to speed though and of course it may be some time until services look the way people may be more familiar with.
“While our physical buildings are reopening today, we will also be continuing to offer popular services that have become a lifeline to many people during lockdown.
“The new libraries electric vehicle will be put to good use as books are delivered to isolating and more vulnerable residents. Our mobile library will also be running again very soon.”
Library staff will be able to support residents who may require face-to-face support with the completion of their census questionnaire. This is in addition to the support that the council is providing over the phone.
Visitors to council libraries should be aware that library staff will have to quarantine stock and social distancing will still be in place as per national guidelines.