More Wiltshire libraries to open soon
We're continuing our phased approach to reopening libraries in the county and further libraries will soon be opening, providing a new order and collect service.
In the week beginning 21 September, Royal Wootton Bassett, Westbury and Melksham libraries will open and, on 28 September, Malmesbury library will open. You won't be able to drop-in and browse at these libraries but an order and collect service has been set-up providing access to books. You can also book to use the computers for up to 45 minutes. It is hoped that these libraries will be able to allow browsing in due course. Amesbury, Bradford on Avon, Calne and Marlborough libraries have opened offering this service. Further information about order and collect, including how to place an order and book a computer, can be found on the Order and collect service page.
Chippenham, Corsham, Devizes, Salisbury, Trowbridge and Warminster libraries have reopened for you to browse for up to 30 minutes, to select and loan books and use the computers for pre-booked 45 minute sessions. They are operating different opening hours and there are safety measures in place to ensure we keep people as safe as possible.
New library opening times and contact details can be found on the Library locations and opening times page.
This mix of approaches allows additional libraries to reopen and provides increased coverage across the county sooner than would be possible with only a browsable service.
The schedule follows our recent public consultation on reopening some library services during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 7,000 people took part, with many stating their desire for the council to prioritise reopening as many libraries as possible, with different services available depending on the conditions at each individual library.
All items borrowed before the libraries closed, that were due back from 9 March onwards, are still being renewed automatically, to the end of October at the earliest, so there is no rush to return items.
The following measures have been brought in at Chippenham, Corsham, Devizes, Salisbury, Trowbridge and Warminster libraries to help keep you and our staff safe:
- People are advised to be sensible and not pick up and put back lots of books
- Social distancing measures are in place, with clear signage
- Hand sanitiser is available at each library
- Depending on how many people are using the library, you may have to queue outside upon arrival
- Computers in the libraries can be used for 45 minutes, but you must book them in advance. They can be booked by phoning the relevant library during their opening hours
- Library staff will only be able to provide limited help to customers using the computers, whilst maintaining social distancing rules. If you need help using the computer, please bring someone with you to support you and let staff know when you book so that they can book you on to a computer with additional space
- Please bring your library cards
- Returned books will be stored for 72 hours before being taken off your account and put back on the shelves
- Screens will be in place at main customer service desks
- You will be asked to provide contact details as part of the COVID-19 test and trace system. Details will be handled in accordance with GDPR laws
The following will not be available for the time being:
- Toilet facilities
- Group activities such as book clubs and rhyme time sessions
- Newspapers and magazines
The online library content, which has proven to be hugely popular over the lockdown period, will continue. So far, there has been more than 100,000 views of library videos, such as rhyme and story time, since March. Thank you to everyone for your support of this content during the lockdown period, the library staff have really enjoyed producing it.
We're currently looking at options to deliver the mobile library service during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a decision expected in September; the remaining libraries will be subject to discussions with key stakeholders in a series of facilitated workshops, with libraries in community areas where no other library is open a priority for these conversations.
Please see below for some frequently asked questions which you may find useful.
We're looking forward to seeing you soon.
Frequently asked questions
Will all libraries be reopening?
There are 33 libraries in Wiltshire, including mobile libraries, and due to our current resources and finances, it won't be possible to run all those services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we'll still be aiming to provide an innovative and vibrant service to people. We will likely run a reduced service for six months and there will be regular reviews in between to see how effective this is.
Is the change of service a permanent one?
No. We have made these changes to ensure we can provide some library services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will regularly review the service and make changes as appropriate.
Why won't you be able to provide the same library service as before COVID-19?
Given current COVID-19 social distancing measures and our current resources and financial pressures, it means we aren't currently in a position to offer the same service as before. However, we are working hard to ensure some library services are available during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do I need to provide my contact details for the test and trace service?
If you are visiting Chippenham, Corsham, Devizes, Salisbury, Trowbridge or Warminster libraries or you are using a computer in one of our order and collect libraries, you will be asked to provide details but it's not compulsory for you to provide them. However, we'd recommend you provide your details if possible, as this will help us respond to any potential local outbreak as effectively as possible. Details will be handled in accordance with GDPR laws.
Do I need to wear a face covering to visit the library?
It is mandatory to wear a face covering when visiting a library. This does not apply if you are exempt from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition.
Why will there be no toilet facilities?
We have to manage our resources carefully and are not currently in a position to be able to regularly clean toilets as would be required. We hope toilet facilities can be made available again soon.
When will group activities, such as rhyme times, restart?
As our libraries reopen, we will regularly review how we can safely extend our services to activities that we have previously offered. The ongoing safety of customers and staff are our priority, but we are also aware that these activities are very popular and have huge benefits. We are keen to re-introduce them as soon as we can but only when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we will continue to offer our online content, including our popular Facebook live rhyme times.
How do I book a computer?
To book a computer, you need to call the library during their opening times. Library opening times and phone numbers can be found on the Library locations and opening times page.
How many computer sessions can I have each day?
You can have one pre-booked 45 minute computer session per day across Wiltshire libraries.
New library app for renewing and reserving books
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Reading Passport app
Download the free Reading Passport app to start your virtual journey across the South West.
Collect stamps for every book you read and event you attend. These stamps will then unlock different locations along your journey across the South West. Community pages allow you to add book reviews and submit your own creative writing.
Start your journey today by searching for Reading Passport in the App Store or Google Play store.
eMagazines have been added to our collection of eBooks and Audiobook's. RBdigital eMagazines are available for you to read for free using your library card number at any time of day or night.