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Coronavirus: Harrogate libraries reopening – but no-one allowed inside

Coronavirus: Harrogate libraries reopening – but no-one allowed inside

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 5:02pm 29th June 2020. (Updated at 5:07pm 29th June 2020)

Libraries across the Harrogate district will begin a phased reopening next week – but visitors won’t be allowed inside.

  • Harrogate libraries will start to be re-opened next week.  
  • But customers will only be allowed to collect and return books from the library entrance.
  • Visits will be by appointment only.  

North Yorkshire County Council has announced it is rebooting its library services in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon from Monday, July 6.

Customers will only be allowed to collect and return books from the library entrance as part of a free ‘select and collect’ online service.

Visits will be by appointment only and books will also be quarantined when they are returned.

Only when restrictions are eased sufficiently will libraries reopen their public toilets, desks and tables for public use and café areas, the council said.

In a statement, the council said:

“The aim will then be to open further services over the following weeks, starting with bookable access to libraries’ public computers, followed by a return to browsing with social distancing in place”

Libraries will open from 10am to noon and 2pm to 4pm for collections and returns only.

Coun Greg White, executive member for libraries, said:

“Our staff and volunteers are eager to welcome people back, but the safety of our customers must always come first. This is why we are taking things gradually.

“All libraries are different, with a wide range of buildings and individual challenges to overcome, so we ask customers to be patient while we get our libraries back up and running fully.”

“Anyone who has items on loan from before lockdown does not need to hurry to return them. The loan period has been extended to 1 September, so no fines are accruing.

“In fact, we have 105,000 items on loan, so we’d appreciate it if people wouldn’t return them all in the first few days.”

For more information about libraries in North Yorkshire click here.