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Phased return continues at North Yorkshire libraries

Phased return continues at North Yorkshire libraries

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 5:36pm 8th July 2020.

Public computers will be available at Harrogate and Skipton libraries next week, with Ripon and Knaresborough following the week after.

  • The phased return of services at North Yorkshire's libraries is continuing over the next two weeks
  • Computers will become available at Harrogate and Skipton from Monday 13th July, and at Ripon and Knaresborough from Monday 20th July
  • The Home Library Service will also restart next week

Libraries in North Yorkshire will continue the phased return of services next week, with sessions on public computers being bookable at some branches and the restart of the Home Library Service.

This follows the successful launch this week of a Select and Collect service, which enables customers to phone or email their library to request the type of books they want, then later collect a selection hand-picked by a member of the library team.

From Monday, 13 July, libraries managed by North Yorkshire County Council at Scarborough, Harrogate, Malton, Whitby, Pickering, Filey and Skipton will offer limited access to public computers. Ripon, Selby, Northallerton, Knaresborough and Richmond will follow suit on 20 July.

Computers will be placed to allow for two-metre social distancing and will be cleaned between each use. The number of computers available at each library will be reduced because of this safety measure, so people must contact their library to check availability before visiting.

Computer sessions may be limited to 45 minutes and must be booked by calling or emailing the library in advance. If people think they may need extra time, they should discuss this with staff. To minimise risk, there will be no cash transactions at this time, so people wanting print-outs can have five A4 copies for free. Donations for any further copies would be welcomed.

Unfortunately, due to the need for social distancing, the library teams will not be able to offer computer support.  

 

 

Cllr Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said:

“We know that many people rely on the computer facilities at libraries, so we want to make them available, where we can. Safety of customers, staff and our volunteers are our primary concern, so there won’t be as many PCs available and, unfortunately, we won’t be able to provide the help that people are used to.

“I am pleased, though, that we are able to offer this reduced service, which is another step towards getting our libraries fully open again.”

Also restarting from 13 July is the Home Library Service. Before lockdown, the library service was delivering books to more than 1,600 people across the county. All customers have been contacted to make sure they still want to receive the service and volunteers are gearing up to start getting books out to them again.

The service will feel a little different. To allow for social distancing and for customer and volunteer safety, books will be placed on the doorstep rather than carried inside.

Some people who are self-isolating or still shielding, but are not customers of the Home Library Service, may want to receive books at home. To find out how to sign up, visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/home-library-service or call your local library.

 

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Customers can also use a “library takeaway” service, which offers specially selected book bundles to borrow. There is a menu to choose from each week with details on local library Facebook pages. People can also return books, but have until 1 September to return any items borrowed before lockdown without accruing fines. Returned books are quarantined for three days.

Tom Bamford, Library Assistant from Harrogate, added:

“We’re making an effort to reconnect with the community and giving them much-needed entertainment. It’s always nice to have the option of borrowing some new books.”

The aim is that from the end of July customers will be able to browse and pick their own books.

All details and updates can be found on the County Council’s website, www.northyorks.gov.uk/CovidLibraries Alternatively, if people have queries they can call their local library or the library helpline number, 01609 533878.