Nottinghamshire County Council’s Libraries and Archive services, managed on its behalf by Inspire, are resuming services in line with Government guidance from 6 July.
The county’s Libraries and Archives closed on 20 March due to the Coronavirus restrictions and have been missed by communities across the county. Inspire, who normally welcome over 50,000 library visitors and deliver over 200 courses and events each week, will resume some face-to face services in a safe and socially distanced way, in addition to the online offer available at inspireculture.org.uk/online.
The reopening plan will allow customers to access the majority of Nottinghamshire Libraries and Archives as part of the third step in the Government’s national recovery plan. Inspire staff have reviewed the service offer and have been working in buildings to make necessary preparations to welcome visitors within government guidelines.
With the priority on staff and customer safety, libraries and archives will operate with a reduced service, limited capacity in buildings, additional cleaning measures and guidelines in place for social distancing. As part of these safety measures, quarantine arrangements are in place for books and staff may be wearing PPE. To support social distancing, library spaces have been reorganised with no access to study space, toilets, refreshment areas and no events/activities. Once libraries and archives reopen customers will be able to:
- Browse and borrow books and other items or use the new Click and Collect service by appointment.
- Return books in the designated area. Enjoy no overdue charges until 17 August, so there is no need to renew at this time. Reservations and interlibrary loans are not yet available.
- Access computers (advance booking is advised) and use printers, scanners and photocopiers with the correct change, where contactless payment is not available.
- Visit Archives by appointment only to view and photograph pre-ordered original archives. Other services such as reprographics, research, the Inspire Picture Archive and the online archive catalogue can be accessed at inspireculture.org.uk/archives.
Coun John Cottee, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities and Place Committee said: “I’m delighted that we are now in a position to support our communities by opening the doors to our libraries and archives. I am confident that the measures implemented by Inspire for managing capacity, social distancing and cleaning will ensure safe and welcoming spaces for visitors.”
Peter Gaw, Chief Executive of Inspire, added:
“We are looking forward to welcoming customers back, albeit in a limited, but ultimately safe way for both visitors and staff. While our customers have made use of our online provision during our closure, we recognise that libraries for many are a lifeline and our reopening is the first step to restoring a valuable community resource. We aim to continue to reach those who may not be able to visit us by continuing our online provision and offering a new Click and Collect Service”
Inspire, who deliver culture, learning and libraries on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council will open in a phased approach the following libraries from 6 July, Eastwood, Edwinstowe, Hucknall, Keyworth, Mansfield Woodhouse, Ravenshead and Worksop (temporary), and Nottinghamshire Archives on 11 July. A further 40 libraries will begin to open across the county week commencing 13 July. Customers are advised to visit inspireculture.org.uk or Ask Inspire to check opening times, guidelines for visiting and for full information about service availability in advance as this is likely to change in the coming weeks. Ask Inspire can be contacted on 01623 677 200 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or to contact Archives and book an appointment email@example.com.
Social media (Facebook / Twitter), @nottslibraries and the website at inspireculture.org.uk will be updated with the latest information. The digital offer, Inspire Online will also continue to enable customers to enjoy culture, learning and libraries from home at inspireculture.org.uk/online. For further information about library opening dates visit: https://www.inspireculture.org.uk/reading-information/which-libraries-are-reopening/