Libraries in West Sussex have welcomed residents back inside their buildings on Monday, August 17 for the first time since they were forced to close earlier this year.
All 36 libraries are now open for people to browse the shelves, but the number of visitors allowed in the buildings at any one time will be limited to allow for social distancing.
New safety measures are in place at all libraries and any returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours before they are available for others to borrow.
Reduced opening hours will still be in place at all libraries for the foreseeable future, but the aim is to gradually increase them over time.
Cllr Duncan Crow, cabinet member for fire and rescue and communities, said: “All of our libraries across the county have been open for a wonderful service called ‘select and collect’ since the beginning of July, which has allowed local staff to deliver a much needed library offer to all of their users, but since then they have been working on plans to get the library buildings open for more services as quickly and as safely as possible.
“The steps they have put in place to open up browsing to limited numbers has taken a lot of thought and effort from the entire library service, but we hope that you will now take this opportunity to come and choose from the full range of library stock.”
During July, the ‘select and collect’ service proved very popular, with an average of 1,300 reservations placed each day.
It will remain in place for customers wishing to reserve specific items, and those who would like a member of staff to choose for them so that they can minimise their time in the library.
Each library will also be offering a limited IT service, either during browsing times or in a separate session.
These one-hour sessions will need to be booked in advance either by phoning or visiting your local library.
You can find information about current opening times and available services on the library website: westsussex.gov.uk/libraries or by contacting your local library.