Posted: 07.08.20 at 12:47 by The Editor
Vale of Glamorgan Council library buildings in Barry, Cowbridge and Llantwit Major are preparing to reopen on a controlled basis from Monday.
Library services were initially suspended in an effort to tackle the coronavirus before a click-and-collect service was launched in late June.
That allows members to borrow books, audiobooks and DVDs on an appointment basis and even submit preference requests relating to authors or genres.
Now residents will be able to access further facilities as the use of PCs and the physical browsing of books is permitted again.
Initially, PCs can be booked for a 50-minute period once a week, with the number available reduced to allow for appropriate social distancing. Fixed time limits will also mean staff can properly sanitise machines between uses.
And it will also be possible to secure a 20-minute slot to browse and select books from the libraries, with strict restrictions on the number of people admitted to the buildings at any one time.
Library members can make appointments for either of these services by phone.
Cllr Lis Burnett, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “We know what a vital role our libraries play in the lives of some of our residents, especially at a time when most are spending more time at home.
“Reading, in particular, is a productive and stimulating way to fill time so I’m delighted that we are now able to make more of our library services available again.
“While increasing numbers of people have been accessing books, resources and activities online, for many the reopening of library buildings will be very welcome
‘Our library staff have worked hard to provide as many facilities as possible online, but I know they are looking forward to seeing familiar faces and hopefully some new ones too.
“From Monday, residents will be able to use PCs and visit libraries in person to browse books though both activities will be tightly controlled.
“Safety remains the number one priority and all appropriate measures will be in place to protect both library members and staff.”
During this period, chairs will be removed from the libraries to discourage sitting, toilets will be closed to the public and there will be no meetings, activities or room bookings available.
Anyone entering the building will be asked to use hand gel and complete a track and trace card giving their name and contact details.
Library staff will work behind protective screens when at a desk and wear visors at other times and all books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being cleaned and put back into circulation.
Current weekday opening times will remain the same initially, with Barry and Cowbridge operating from 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm, and Llantwit Major open for the second of those periods. The Libraries will also open between 10 am and 1 pm on Saturdays.
As building improvement work is shortly due to take place at Penarth Library, that will not open in the same way as the Council’s other libraries. However, it will continue to offer a phone and internet click-and-collect service, as will Barry, Cowbridge and Llantwit Major.
Some other council services will also be available face to face at the Civic Offices on an appointment basis from Monday 10 August. Appointments can be made for Registrars, Council Tax and Benefits services by telephone from Friday 07 August. More details can be found at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk.
Community libraries in Rhoose, St Athan and Sully are also offering a click-and-collect service, with Dinas Powys and Wenvoe likely to join them in the near future.