Libraries and the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre to reopen next week
Wiltshire's libraries and the history centre are set to reopen from Monday 12 April, in line with Step 2 of the Government's roadmap
Wiltshire Council has confirmed that 22 libraries and three mobile libraries will reopen for browsing from 12 April, alongside the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, following the Government's confirmation to proceed with Step 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown.
During the national lockdown, some Wiltshire libraries have continued to provide access to public computers and books through their order and collect service. Library users will once again be able to browse for their own library material at all of these libraries. They will also be able to continue accessing bookable public computers, except at Aldbourne Library due to lack of space. Tidworth Library will offer browsing at weekends only, with Order and Collect during the week.
In line with the, Wiltshire's 34 libraries (including mobile libraries) are taking a cautious approach to reopening. As lockdown is eased, opening hours and services will be increased in a phased way over the next few months. For individual opening times and days please check the links below.
Box, Durrington, Ludgershall, Lyneham, Market Lavington, Purton, Ramsbury and Tisbury will remain closed for now. The council is working with the libraries' volunteers to reopen these as soon as possible. Further updates will follow in due course.
As each library branch has unique staffing and building considerations, some locations are taking a phased approach to re-introducing elements of their traditional service offer. Libraries will also continue to provide an innovative service to their users with elements of the service being offered on a digital platform.
The libraries will operate with COVID-19 safety measures in place to ensure social distancing and keep everyone as safe as possible. As part of safety precautions, 'browsing time' will be restricted to a maximum of 30 minutes to limit the number of people in a library at any one time.
Library material borrowed before lockdown is due back from the beginning of May at the earliest.
The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre will have limited reopening from Tuesday 13 April between 9.30am to 5pm, but customers will need to book visits in advance. Spaces are limited due to social distancing requirements and to ensure customer and staff safety. Customers will be asked to order any documents they wish to consult in advance of their visit, as documents will be quarantined 72 hours before and after their visit.
Jessica Gibbons, Wiltshire Council Director for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, said:
During the latest lockdown our libraries have done a fantastic job at continuing to support users via order and collect book services and essential computer access. Both the history centre and library teams have also adapted throughout the pandemic to provide some great innovative online resources.
We are delighted to get the green light to be able to open our doors once again, to welcome people back to enjoy browsing books of their choice and delving into the history of the county once again.
We know how important these services are for our communities, and our teams are working hard to get everything in place to make sure we reopen safely.
The online library content, which has proven to be hugely popular, will continue. Visit our Active Communities resources webpage for more information.