Photo montage of villages

Staffordshire Libraries – phased re-opening

Dear Residents,

We have been advised of the following by Cllr Atkins, Staffordshire County Council:

Update on the reopening of Staffordshire County Council’s 43 libraries, I am pleased to write that the phased reopening will begin on Monday, 6 July.
The intention is that:
• Burton, Newcastle and Stafford libraries will open on the Monday 6 July;

• Cannock, Leek, Lichfield, Perton and Tamworth libraries will open on Monday 20 July;

• Biddulph, Burntwood, Codsall, Kidsgrove, Rugeley, Stone, Uttoxeter and Wombourne
are scheduled for Monday 27 July.

Community Managed Libraries are being fully supported by the County Council. We have
been in touch with them throughout the closure and they are being encouraged to reopen at
their own pace from August onwards.

Although I am very pleased to tell you this, I must make clear that it is only a step towards
normality, rather than a return to a pre-pandemic service. We need to go about this
reopening carefully to ensure users, volunteers and staff are safe and people will need to use
common sense when they visit and observe the spirit of social distancing.

Hand sanitising, hygiene and social distancing arrangements will be in place at all libraries
and if Personal Protective Equipment is necessary it will be distributed to staff and volunteers
where appropriate.

The reopening is deliberately staged so that we open larger libraries first to see how the
safety measures work in practise before incorporating any lessons into the gradual opening
of the remainder.

We will be running an ‘order and collect’ service to start with, so no browsing, and there will
be limited numbers of visitors allowed in at any one time.

Meeting rooms will remain closed and there will be no access to toilets, PCs, printers,
photocopiers, or bus pass renewals in person. Although there will be no physical events
or activities in the buildings, the service’s online service and highly successful social media
engagement will continue.

Naturally we hope to ease these restrictions as soon as there is Government guidance that it
is safe to do so.

Staffordshire libraries already have a ‘home delivery’ service for those unable to visit and that
is being extended to include those who are currently isolating and prefer physical books to
the Council’s online service ‘Borrowbox’.