April 18

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Island’s libraries to reopen their doors

Good news for the Isle of Wight’s library users, as strict lockdown rules are eased and council-run libraries are able to get back to a more normal service. 
In recent weeks library customers have been able to visit their local council-run library to return books, collect books they have reserved, and to pick up book selections they have requested through the order and collect service.Now the council is able to reopen the library doors, after making changes to ensure that library visiting is as COVID-safe as possible both for staff and customers.

Rob Jones, Library Service Manager said: “We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to our libraries.

“It may feel a little different to before, but we are working hard to make sure the libraries are as safe and comfortable as possible.

“Books borrowed before this latest lockdown have all had their due-back date extended until 1 May, so nobody needs to rush back now if they have books that are due to return.”

Cowes, Freshwater, Lord Louis, Ryde, Sandown and Ventnor Libraries will open their doors to customers for book borrowing during week beginning 12 April, with revised opening hours.

Public computers will need to be booked in advance, and wi-fi will be available for library users to browse the internet on their own devices in libraries.

The layout of the libraries may be noticeably different to allow safer access to books and computers and make sure that social distancing is still possible.  

There will be a limit to the number of customers allowed in each library at any time and this will differ for each library according to the size and layout of the building.

Everybody coming into the library will be asked to provide NHS Test and Trace contact information, and face coverings will be required. Hand sanitiser will be provided from wall-mounted dispensers and all people entering the library will be required to use this as they enter the building. Customer time in the library will be limited to 15 minutes for “Grab & Go” book borrowing and 30 minute pre-booked computer or wi-fi use, to ensure that everyone gets a chance to use the library throughout the day.


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