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​Libraries to start reopening next week following coronavirus lockdown

Bury’s libraries will begin the process of reopening to the public next week following the long coronavirus-imposed lockdown.

Customers will be able to borrow books again from Bury Library as the service launches its Order and Collect Service. From Tuesday 11 August, readers can order books online or by phone – library staff will process the orders and customers will be contacted when the order is ready to be collected at a specific time.

The doors will physically reopen on Thursday 13 August for collection and return of books. The library will be then be open for collection and return every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons from 1pm-4pm. Staff will set up a collection area in the library to allow customers to collect their books and also return any items they have from before the lockdown began.

Unfortunately, public access to computers cannot be offered at this time.

Remember that, from Saturday (8 Aug), it will be compulsory to wear a face covering when visiting libraries.

The Order and Collect service at Bury is the first stage of the phased return of the library service, and the other three libraries – Prestwich, Radcliffe and Ramsbottom – will be unlocked one at a time to allow customers and staff to return safely.

There are also plans to reintroduce the Home Library service and the Archives service.

During the lockdown period the majority of Libraries + Archives staff have been working to support the Community Hubs and will continue to do so if required.

To use the Order and Collect service at Bury Library from Tuesday:

Online services are still available for customers who are unable, or do not wish, to visit a library: see https://www.bury.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=15336

During the lockdown this has been incredibly popular, with more than 41,000 electronic items (eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines being issued and there have been more than 20,000 views for our Facebook Rhyme Time and Storytime sessions for children.

Councillor Andrea Simpson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Thousands of library members across the borough will be delighted that we are now starting to reopen branches and they will be able to borrow books in hard copy once more. We know people have missed them, but we had to make sure that all the safety measures were in place before allowing the public back in.

“I want to say a huge thanks to our library staff, many of whom have been working with our Community Hubs during the lockdown to ensure our most vulnerable people received food, medication and support.

“And don’t worry about bringing back the books you borrowed before the lockdown – we’ve waived any fines!”

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