Gradual reopening of library buildings part of safe and phased programme of recovery from pandemic, Renfrewshire Leisure says
Renfrewshire Leisure will begin the gradual reopening of its libraries on Monday 20th July after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today (Thursday) confirmed Scotland’s next steps in the country’s route map out of lockdown.
All 12 of the libraries operated by the charity will be open for returns and for borrowing on a click and collect basis, as part of measures being put in place to ensure the safety of staff and library users. Books can be reserved online at www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.
On top of this, staff will continue with the Libraries Direct service they have been operating throughout lockdown. This has seen them work with volunteers and Renfrewshire Council to deliver books and make wellbeing phone calls to people who have been shielding in their homes throughout the coronavirus pandemic
They will also carry on developing the innovative work carried out online during lockdown. This has included storytimes and Bookbug sessions, code clubs, live streaming quizzes and activities, book reviews, shared reading groups and writing workshops, and children’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Since March 2020, online registration for library membership has increased by more than 300% and there has been a significant increase in use of the online ebook and emagazine loans, which are up by 82%.
Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The safe and gradual reopening of our libraries is another important step in the recovery from coronavirus, not just for Renfrewshire Leisure but for our communities.
“Our staff are working extremely hard to deliver the best service to our library members. Their work whilst facilities have been closed has been exemplary. We will be continuing to develop our online offering alongside the physical services in our buildings to ensure as many people as possible people can benefit from our library services at this time.”
Opening arrangements for each library will be available at www.renfrewshire leisure.com. As well as the click and collect service, people will be able to phone library staff for recommendations and will contact them when their book is ready to collect. Computers in the libraries are not yet available for public use.
Social distancing and hygiene requirements will be clearly displayed at each building. A training programme is underway to ensure all staff are trained on the additional safety measures ahead of the reopening.
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “I am delighted that we are now able to offer book lending again at all of our libraries. By working with our customers to ensure all public health measures are followed, we are sure this will be a welcome, safe and enjoyable development.
“We know how much our libraries are valued and look forward to welcoming customers back, albeit in a slightly different way to that in which they are used to.”
Renfrewshire Leisure’s libraries are at: Bishopton; Bridge of Weir; Erskine; Ferguslie; Foxbar; Glenburn; Johnstone; Lochwinnoch; Linwood; Paisley Central Library; Ralston and Renfrew.
Renfrewshire Leisure continues to await further guidance from the Scottish Government on the reopening of leisure services.