Books to be quarantined as Shropshire's largest libraries open for one week only

Shropshire's six largest libraries will partially open for one week to allow books to be quarantined.

Bridgnorth Library in Listley Street
Bridgnorth Library in Listley Street

Venues in Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Ludlow, Whitchurch, Market Drayton and Bridgnorth will open for seven days beginning Monday, June 29, to accept book returns and other library items that have been on loan.

Overdue fines remain suspended.

Returns will be accepted between 10am and 2pm from Monday to Friday. Whitchurch will remain closed on Wednesday and Market Drayton, Ludlow and Bridgnorth will be shut on Thursday. Social distancing measures will be in place and customers will not have access into the library buildings.

This will enable returns to be quarantined for 72 hours as advised by Public Health England’s National Infection Service.

The latest government announcement indicates that public libraries will be allowed to start reopening from Saturday, July 4.

In resuming face-to-face services, Shropshire Council said the priority will be the safety of customers, staff and volunteers, with measures that include social distancing, frequent cleaning of surfaces and limited services overall put in place.

Michael Lewis, Shropshire Council’s library service manager, said: “Lots of people will have had library books sitting around at home for several weeks and we’re keen to start getting some of those back in preparation for our phased reopening plan. This will enable us to quarantine the book stock following guidance from Public Health England.

“However, people should not worry if they can’t get to a library or if their local branch is not included in this returns week. There is no obligation to bring things back just yet, and overdue fines currently remain suspended.”

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said: “Although non-essential shops have now been allowed to reopen, it’s clear that we need to take a cautious approach to restarting services.

“This will allow us to review how things are working as we go along and ensure the safety of everyone. We thank all library customers for continuing to be so patient and understanding, and don’t forget about all the great e-resources that are available via the library website.”

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