Bishop's Castle library encourages visitors to get stuck in a book

Librarians want to encourage bookworms to visit and are promising people safety measures have been put in place to protect them while browsing for their next favourite read.

Tara Lewis and Rachel Hawes work at Bishop's Castle Library.

Since they reopened in August and started to bring back normal opening times, the librarians said they know people are wary of visiting, but they have implemented all necessary Covid-19 measures in the library.

From quarantining books, to hand sanitiser when you walk in, the library staff have thought of it all, and they are encouraging people to start up again their love for reading and visit the site.

Ms Lewis said: "We have been increasing our opening days as we go. Its been really important that we listen to the feedback from our customers, so they feel comfortable.

"We have just started opening on Tuesdays again until 5pm, so that kids can come after school like they used to.

"We are a very family friendly library and we used to get lots of school children in here all the time, it was great.

"We had to get rid of our bean bags, and soft toys and craft activities that we do, but we do have lots of new stock of children's books that will hopefully encourage them to visit."

Feel safe

Ms Lewis said that people have been relieved to see the library open so they can stock up on their favourite reads, and they hope the safety measures make them feel safe.

"We have a perspex desk, we wear face masks, we have hand sanitiser, and we also have gloves for people who have allergies," she said.

"We have a quarantine trolley where books are quarantined for 72 hours after people browse or return them.

"The feedback has been great. As soon as people actually come and visit, they feel more confident knowing the measures we've put in place.

"Because the library is quite small in size, before we opened we did have a few challenges but we talked it over with our boss, Mike Ashwell, and we came to solutions."

Access to the internet is really important

They allow one person to book a computer slot at a time and after it has been used, another computer is used for bookings. They said access to computers and the internet is really important for some people in rural areas.

For some, the experience of browsing for books and talking to someone about a recent read, is more than just a simple trip to library – it is a social occasion.

"A lot of people have been saying they are so glad the library is open again," Ms Lewis added.

"It comes with the job, but you end up providing a social experience for people as well.

"Some of our customers will tell us they haven't spoken to anyone in weeks, one lady told me she hasn't seen anyone for three months.

"We have taken on board what people said, and its just about re-assuring people."

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