Libraries across Worcestershire will remain open but with reduced services during the latest national lockdown period
To reflect proposed government regulations, plans are in place for the following services to be available at libraries during the four-week period, with customers also being encouraged to take advantage of online services available on the Digital Library Hub 24/7:
- Reserve and Collect book ordering and pick-up service
- Pre-bookable public computer sessions for essential purposes
- Book returns
Subject to volunteer availability, Library Service at Home book deliveries will be available for customers who are unable to visit their local library.
Customers wishing to reserve books or book a computer session can go online at www.worcestershire.gov.uk or call the Contact Centre on 01905 822722.
All return dates have been extended to 31 December 2020 and library fines suspended until that date. There will be no reservation charges while the Reserve and Collect service is in operation. Library opening hours will remain unchanged.
Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities, said: “Libraries across the county may be reducing their services but there is still a lot available for our customers to access during the second lockdown.
“We continue to be a county of library users, no matter the circumstances and the Digital Library Hub has been a real success story.
“Our digital library offer continues to grow and new services are planned, including virtual social-connecting cafes for people to come together online. I would encourage everyone to take a look for themselves.”
During the four-week lockdown period, customers will still be able to access a wide range of services on the Digital Library Hub, including e-Books, e-Audiobooks and e-magazines, streamed Storytime and Rhyme time sessions, business enterprise and job seeking webinars and links to online adult learning courses.
From 9 November Library Digital Champions will be on hand through a telephone call back service, to help customers improve their skills and confidence using online services. A telephone keeping in touch service for more isolated library customers will also be introduced.
The Digital Library hub was one of the success stories of the first lockdown period, with over 1,500 new customers becoming digital library members since March 2020; an increase of nearly 400%.
Previously announced plans for the re-introduction of ‘Storybubble’ sessions in libraries and meeting room hire have been put on hold until the country moves out of lockdown.
Find out more about the Digital Library Hub and new digital services at: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20017/libraries_and_learning
Updates regarding re-opening will be given via the Council’s social media channels and dedicated Libraries webpages, look out for the hashtag #WorcsLibraries.