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10 August 2020

Book borrowing returns as Cumbria County Councils 6 main library buildings reopen

Cumbria County Council’s 6 main library buildings in Carlisle, Penrith, Whitehaven, Workington, Kendal and Barrow have reopened today with new safety measures in place. 

To protect the health and safety of library staff and customers, new Covid-secure measures are in place and the library opening times and offer is slightly different.

Key changes include:

  • Hand sanitiser stations are located at entrances and exits and customers are advised to use them.
  • Signage and floor markings are in place to promote 2 metres social distancing and to help people find their way around safely.
  • Customers are required to wear face coverings and library staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Access to each library and its computers will be limited at first to allow library staff to safely manage the number of visitors.
  • Toilets and baby-changing facilities are temporarily closed to the public.
  • Fines incurred during our temporary closure will be waived until 31st December, so customers don’t have to worry about returning overdue items immediately.
  • Any returned books, including those borrowed before lockdown, will be quarantined for 72 hours before going back into circulation.

To welcome customers back to much-loved library buildings, Library Hosts will be on hand to greet people on arrival and explain the new arrangements.

Councillor Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said:

“Our teams have worked their socks off to reopen our six main libraries and I know just how much everyone has missed their local library.

“The safety of customers and staff remains a priority, that’s why we are starting with the reopening of the county’s main libraries initially and introducing a number of added safety measures to protect all those who use them.

“I am incredibly grateful for our team’s efforts and I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during these challenging times.

“Not all of the usual activities will be available, but there will still be plenty of resources available for customers and book lovers to enjoy.”

For people who still aren’t ready to leave home, the county council’s library service offers fantastic online services which continue to attract more and more people. All library members can get free access to a whole host of online benefits, including access to eBooks, audio books, magazines, newspapers and comics. Services like Select & Collect and Home Delivery are also up and running.

Find out more and join the library service at cumbria.gov.uk/libraries. Find libraries on Facebook to stay up to date with their latest news and what's on.


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Cumbria County Council’s 6 main library buildings have reopened today with new safety measures in place.