Barnsley Libraries phased re-opening to begin on Monday 6 July

Barnsley Council has announced that their libraries are set to begin re-opening on Monday 6 July via a phased plan.

Phase one of the library re-opening will see the Library @ the Lightbox, Goldthorpe Library and Penistone Library re-opening, with temporary revised opening hours.

Measures have been introduced in each library, based on their size and location to keep both customers and staff safe at all times.

Initially, at the Library @ the Lightbox, full access to the building will be restricted with library users only able to enter through the main doors of the library to collect or return books within a restricted area, on a one person in, one person out basis. You will need to have pre-ordered your books. You can pre-order books online or over the phone from Thursday 2 July before collecting from the library branch by visiting https://bit.ly/2YyGZu5 or by calling 01226 773555. Customers are encouraged to use the online service where possible, and those without access to IT can pre-order using the phone service.  

The measures in place are to allow both staff and users to maintain distance while visiting the Library @ the Lightbox. At present, facilities such as IT services, printing, room bookings and activities are not available; however, access to toilets and Changing Places will still be available, providing accessible toilet facilities with regular hygiene controls in the town centre.

In local libraries at Penistone and Goldthorpe, one-way systems will be in place for library users to follow; this will allow residents to select their own books and move freely through the library while adhering to the one-way system in place. Customers can also use the order and collect service for these libraries too if required.

There will be limited services and facilities available to minimise the risk of spreading infection. Residents will have access to a reduced number of PC’s, with a time restriction up to one hour per day, and PC’s will have to be pre-booked in advance online at https://bit.ly/38kPps4. To maintain social distancing, IT support will not be available initially when using computers and photocopying and scanning services will also not be available.

There will be no group activities, room bookings or events taking place temporarily, and seating will be limited within the library. These measures are to keep both visitors and staff safe by reducing contact between people, restricting areas that visitors can access and allowing library users to maintain social distancing. 

There will also be no toilet or changing facilities at both Goldthorpe and Penistone libraries initially; however, these measures will be considered regularly as the situation progresses and when it is safe to do so will be amended.

Cllr Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson for Adults and Communities, said: “We are aware that the temporary measures in places will make our library users’ visits to our wonderful libraries seem a little out of the ordinary; however, we have put these guidelines in place to keep everyone safe while still enjoying the facilities.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Barnsley residents back into their libraries and hope to make more of our services available when the situation allows us to.

“I would also remind residents that our online library resources are also still available to use, and no fines are being issued for late return of books, so there is no need to rush back if you are not yet ready.”

Visitors are asked to follow basic guidelines across all libraries such as sanitising hands when entering and exiting buildings as well as children under 12 being supervised by an adult when using the library.

Barnsley Council wants to assure residents that strict measures will be in place for both accessing library buildings as well as borrowing books. Any books returned to libraries will be quarantined for 72 hours before being returned to shelves, and some staff may be wearing face masks and gloves while working in the libraries. 

Further information around temporary opening hours can be found at barnsley.gov.uk/libraries

Residents are encouraged where possible to use online resources, e-books and e-magazines rather than visiting libraries unless essential; these can be found at barnsley.gov.uk/libraries.

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