Reintroducing book borrowing and free IT use

From Monday 13 July, a limited, covid-secure book borrowing and IT provision will be offered at Hazel Grove, the Heatons, Marple and Reddish libraries.

Reintroducing book borrowing and free IT use

These locations have been chosen so that we can test our services and learn how we can extend our offer in the best way for our customers and staff. We will be listening to customers, at these four sites, and seeking their feedback over the coming weeks, so we can refine and improve what is on offer – with a view to extending book borrowing and free IT use to more locations, in a phased approach, in the weeks and months ahead.

We have continued to provide a digital library service throughout lockdown, with online events and e-books and magazines all available free of charge. As we learn to live with covid, we want to once again enable our customers to have access to book borrowing and IT. As we reintroduce these services, safety is our number one consideration.

Residents can expect changes and modifications to the services on offer. This is because the council needs to deliver these services in a new, ‘covid-secure’ way – our priority is and will always be, the safety of customers and staff. So, there are several things we want you to know before you head back to the library, these include:

• The libraries will look and feel quite different. These changes have been made to protect the safety of our staff and customers.
• We’ve chosen these locations so we can test our ‘covid-secure’ services and learn how we can extend the offer in the best way for all our customers and staff as we move forward.
• When we initially open, libraries might be very busy, so please be prepared for a longer wait time to enter due to systems in place to maintain the safety of customers and staff.
• A queuing system supported by library staff will be in place outside the library and when you reach the front of a queue you will be greeted by a member of staff.
• All returned library books will be quarantined for 72 hours so don’t worry if they are still on your library card after you’ve returned them.
• We won’t be charging fines for the foreseeable future.
• You will not be able to browse our shelves as we want to open in a phased manner for customer and staff safety.
• However, we know how much you’ve missed reading, so we are offering two new services for you:
- Borrow specific library items via “Order and Collect” – for more details visit our website
- As there will be no browsing in our libraries a “Staff Picks” service will be offered. You can suggest genres and authors you like and our staff will select a small selection of books for you to pick up from an open library – for more details visit our website
- We’ll let you know when these items are available in your nearest open library so you can come and pick them up.

• Public computers will be available but you must book in advance – for full details visit our website.
• Printing will be available but please bring the correct change to pay - charge for printing is 10p per A4 sheet/15p per A3 sheet in Black and White and 50p per A4 sheet/£1 per A3 sheet in colour
• Unfortunately as part of our ‘covid-secure’ re-introduction, children under 12 will have to be accompanied by an adult. We realise how much children enjoy visiting the library by themselves but this is part of our ‘covid-secure’ plan to keep customers and staff safe.

There are several steps we’ve put in place to ensure the safety of our customers and staff. These include:

• If you are feeling unwell, please do not come to the library as you will be refused entry.
• A queuing system supported by library staff will be in place outside the library.
• When you reach the front of a queue you will be greeted by a member of staff - on arrival at the library, please use the hand sanitizer located near the main entrance.
• You will be asked to show your library card or tell the member of staff your borrower number when you reach the front of the queue.
• Children under 12 will only be allowed into the library with an adult due to social distancing requirements.
• We are participating in the Government test and trace programme so you will be asked for your name, address and contact telephone number when you arrive at the library. This will only be stored for 21 days in line with government guidance.

Councillor Kate Butler, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus and Engagement at Stockport Council, said: “It’s good that we’re able to introduce book borrowing and free IT use at four of our libraries. We’re doing this in a cautious and controlled way, to ensure we help keep our workforce and the public safe – which is our top priority.

“I want to thank everyone in advance for their patience and support as we work through these challenging times together. We will be constantly monitoring and reviewing our plans and if modifications are needed, we will make them.”

To find out more and check opening times visit the Libraries and local advice centres pages.