Working to reopen libraries and archives in Notts
Nottinghamshire County Council's Libraries and Archive services, managed on its behalf by Inspire, plan to resume services in line with Government guidance.
The County's Libraries and Archives closed on 20 March due to the Coronavirus restrictions and have been missed by communities across the county. Inspire, who normally welcome over 50,000 library visitors and deliver over 200 courses and events each week, are now planning how to resume services in a safe and socially distanced way.
Planning is already well underway as access to library and archive premises will be part of the third step in the Government’s national recovery plan which means some libraries may start to reopen from 6 July. Inspire staff will return to library premises in the coming weeks to make the necessary preparations to welcome visitors within government guidelines. The priority will be staff and customer safety, which means we will have to operate in a different way with a reduced service, limited capacity in buildings, additional cleaning measures and guidelines in place for social distancing.
Peter Gaw CEO of Inspire said, “We will be having a phased approach to resuming a face-to-face library service. A limited loan, information and ICT service will be on offer, with each library having a specific, pre-set visitor capacity which will allow people to distance themselves and be safe”.
Cllr John Cottee, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities & Place Committee said: “While our buildings have been closed many customers have discovered our virtual offer, Inspire Online, and our helpline service, ASK Inspire, so we have been able to provide a range of services remotely. However, I’m really pleased that we are now in the planning stage of opening physical sites again to help support the needs of our communities during this difficult time”.
Inspire, who deliver culture, learning and libraries on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council will issue more details about which libraries will be open, opening times and range of services in the coming weeks. Social media (Facebook/ Twitter), @nottslibraries and the website at inspireculture.org.uk will be updated with latest information. The digital offer, Inspire Online will also continue to enable customers to enjoy culture, learning and libraries from home at inspireculture.org.uk/online.