Bringing ideas, imagination, information and knowledge to people’s lives and communities

Libraries Unlimited updates their roadmap for reintroducing in-person library services (Updated 15th June 2021)

Posted on 15 Jun 2021

covid secure working practices hand sanitiser face mask 2m distancingFollowing the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 14th June, Libraries Unlimited confirms that Step Four of the roadmap for reintroducing in-person library services has been delayed by four weeks.  This will be reviewed in line with government guidance over the coming weeks.

Throughout the pandemic our focus has been keeping customers, staff and volunteers safe and this will be our continued focus over the coming months.

 

 

Library services currently available at your local library are:

  • Book browsing will be available in 53 of our 54 libraries Free access to computers and you can book in advance.
  • Our mobile libraries are on the road offering book browsing for one bubble at a time.
  • Our indoor cafés in Exeter, Newton Abbot and Cullompton are open following the rule of 6, outdoor spaces will also be open.
  • The Quiet Room at Exeter Library is open with individual seating at 2m distance and study space is available in other libraries where we are able to safely accommodate this
  • Home Library Service in Devon and Books on Wheels service in Torbay will be offered where the volunteer is comfortable providing this service.
  • Meeting rooms across libraries in Devon and Torbay are available for hire.

Here is the latest on borrowing changes coming into effect over the summer:

  • Loans from 7th June will revert to standard loan periods (3 weeks books, 1 week DVDs)
  • You can borrow up to 24 books and from 1st July 2021 numbers of loans will change to 20 books.
  • Reservation charges will recommence on 1st July 2021.  Account limit reverts to £5 from 1st July 2021.

Our library services are COVID secure and contactless.  Please continue to follow social distancing rules, wear a face covering in public places (including our libraries), and wash your hands regularly.

The Prime Minister announced a 4-step plan to ease lockdown in England outlining the detail and dates for each step.  Although there are dates given for each step, the government has warned that they are subject to change as the plan will be guided by data rather than dates, so some stages of reopening could be delayed.

Libraries Unlimited Roadmap for reintroducing in-person library services

Step One from 29th March, our Choose and Collect service restarts and some libraries will offer computer access for essential access.  This will need to be booked by contacting your local library by phone or via email.  From this date the government messaging moves from ‘Stay at Home’ to ‘Stay Local’.  We encourage you to minimise your travel and use your local library at this time.

Step Two from 12th April, we will offer phased library reopening for book browsing, computer sessions, mobile libraries will be back on the road offering book browsing for one bubble at a time, our outdoor café spaces at The Hayridge and Exeter Library will open.  Please see our website nearer the time for opening hours.  All our Covid-secure working practices will remain in place at this time and ongoing.

Step Three from 17th May, the rule of 6 will apply meaning that we can reopen our café indoor spaces and meeting rooms for small groups of 6.

Step Four from 19th July, based on the government’s announcement Step Four has been delayed to mid-July.  We should be able to expand our in-person offer, start to introduce more events and offer meeting rooms for bigger groups at this stage.

Our timetable is subject to government guidance and potential change.  We will continue to keep customers updated.

We continue to offer a wide range of eBooks, eAudiobooks, digital magazines and newspapers on our website, as well as a vibrant programme of digital events via our social media.

What to expect in our libraries

Our libraries are open for book browsing from the shelves, children’s libraries are reopening, you can use the computer facilities, public toilets have reopened and in some libraries use our study areas.  Chulmleigh will be offering Choose and Collect only at this time.

We will maintain Covid secure arrangements within our libraries including 2m social distancing measures, hand sanitisation stations, mask wearing and Test & Trace.

Our mobile libraries are welcoming customers back on board their vehicles, one bubble at a time and the Home Library service will continue to run as normal.

Our Services

Choose and Collect

Some libraries are offering our free of charge Choose and Collect service. Telephone or email your local library, we will select your books or DVDs and you can collect them from the library entrance at a pre-arranged time.

Computers

Computers will be available in our libraries for public use.  Sessions may be limited to 1 hour and are bookable online, by phone, email or in person at your library.  You can also “drop in” to most libraries.

Home Library Service

Our Home Library Service in Devon and Books on Wheels service in Torbay will be offered where the volunteer is comfortable providing this service.  Our volunteers will order items from the library, collect and then transport to the customer for contactless doorstep delivery.  Please contact your local library or email home.library@librariesunlimited.org.uk for further details.

Mobile Libraries

Our mobile libraries are back on the road offering book browsing for one bubble at a time.  Covid secure arrangements will be in place.  Please see our mobile libraries timetable to see when we are stopping near you.  We are unable to visit schools, nurseries and care homes for the time being.

Book Deliveries

Exeter Library only. Our local Book Delivery service allows you to borrow books, DVDs and other library stock from Exeter Library if you live within 5 miles. Simply telephone or email, we will select items based on our discussion and make a delivery to your home.

For books not currently stocked in your local library or if you live further than 5 miles from Exeter Library please contact us regarding our Books by Post service. Due to a kind donation we are able to offer this postal service for free until further notice.

What to expect in our libraries

Opening times

Library opening times may vary so please do check with your local library before you make your journey.

Welcoming Spaces

Creating welcoming spaces is at the heart of what we do.  We have relaxed our one-way systems, re-opened public toilets and re-introduced seating, where possible.  Our spaces allow for social distancing and we encourage everyone to be mindful of others as you move around the library.

To keep everyone safe we have hand sanitisation stations, mask wearing in public areas of our libraries and request that 2m social distancing is observed by all staff and customers.  Test and Trace remains a legal requirement for everyone entering the building.  Cleaning will be in place for services such as our public computers and self-service kiosks.  Each library has regular cleaning in place.

NHS Covid-19 app

The NHS Covid-19 app launched in 2020 and each of our libraries will be displaying the QR code poster for our customers to scan and self-register for Test & Trace. The app does more than the QR code check in, it also allows you to:

Trace – For contact tracing, the app detects and logs other nearby app users using random unique IDs.

Alerts – When you register for the app you supply the first part of your postcode, it then alerts you to the risk in your area. Symptoms – If you feel unwell, you can use the app to check if your symptoms could be related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Test – If you have symptoms it will allow you to book a test. Isolate – If you have been advised by the app to self-isolate, the app provides a countdown timer so that you can keep track of how long you need to self-isolate. As libraries are supporting the Check-In scheme by displaying QR codes you may receive enquiries specifically about this. We can inform customers that: The app stores all your check-in data locally on the phone and does not send it to a third party.

Your check-in data will be deleted after 21 days. You will receive an alert if somebody who has tested positive for Covid-19 has been in the same venue as you.

NHS guide to the app can be found here.

Click here for full details of Libraries Unlimited’s Test and Trace privacy policy.

Face covering

The government requires all members of the public to wear face coverings in libraries.

For government guidance on face coverings click here.

Using the library

Browsing and returning books

Our libraries are open for public access to choose books from our shelves.

We recognise that libraries are places where you enjoy browsing and that glancing through a book before choosing to take it home is often an integral part of the experience.

Public Health England and DCMS have recently updated their position on quarantining books as contact transmission from library items is negligible.  We have removed quarantining from all libraries and any loans can be returned to your local library.

As from 7th June new loans have reverted to standard loan periods (3 weeks books and 1 week DVDs).

Computers, printing and photocopying

Computer sessions may be limited to 1 hour and with less computers available (in order to maintain social distancing) booking is advisable, particularly in smaller libraries. Computers are bookable online, by phone, email or in person at your library. Please speak to us if you think you may need extra time. Every computer is cleaned between customers.

Please have the exact money to pay for any printing to minimise cash handling.

Please see the new links available on the public computer desktops for help with computers and IT queries. We will not be able to give assistance with the computers at this time.

Children’s libraries

Children and families are very important to us and we want to make sure children continue to have a positive experience from their local library.

Our offer for children and young people will vary from library to library, based on space and local arrangements.

Our libraries are in the process of re-opening children’s library spaces and we are reintroducing book browsing, seating and sofas.  Hand sanitiser will be safely available at the entrance to these areas.

Events

You can access our activities and events that we are streaming and sharing online. Find your local library on our website, social media (Facebook and Twitter) to enjoy these events.

We will keep reviewing the government’s guidance and we are hoping to re-introduce in-person events over the summer.

Reservations & Account Limits

Online reservations are available via our websites and we will email you when your items are ready for collection.  You can borrow a maximum of 20 books.

Renewals, reservations and charges

To assist our customers, we have put the following arrangements in place:

  • As from 7th June 2021 we have reverted to standard loan periods (3 weeks books and 1 week DVDs)
  • You can review your loans online or by contacting your library via email or phone
  • Suspended reservation charges will finish on 30th June 2021 and reservation charges will be reinstated on 1st July 2021.  Accounts levels revert to £5 as from 1st July 2021.

Our digital library remains open, you can download and stream free eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and e-newspapers from our extensive collection. You can use our online resources from home and access to Ancestry Library Edition has been extended to 30th September 2021.  In addition, there is remote access to Business Information databases.  Find out more at BIPC.librariesunlimited.org.uk.

Payments

We encourage you to make payments via our self-service kiosks, and in libraries where we have contactless payment via card. We will only take cash payment where card payment is not possible and request that you have the exact money to avoid cash handling.

Cafes

Our café spaces at The Hayridge, Cullompton, Exeter Library and Newton Abbot are now open.  The rule of 6 applies and our outdoor café spaces will also be open.

The Hayridge Café in Cullompton is open Monday – Friday, 10am-4pm.

The Owl and the Pussycat Café at Exeter Library is open Monday – Saturday, 9am-4pm except Wednesdays, 10am-4pm.

The Owl and the Pussycat Café at the Passmore Edwards Centre (Newton Abbot) is open Monday – Saturday, 10am-3pm.

Meeting Room Hire

Meeting rooms across libraries in Devon and Torbay are available for hire.

From 17th May, the rule of 6 will apply meaning that our meeting rooms are open for small groups of 6.  In line with government guidance, larger groups can meet where it is necessary for work and other groups such as Support Groups, Parent and Child Groups can also meet.

From 19th July, based on the government’s roadmap we should be able to offer meeting rooms for bigger groups.

We’re keeping a close eye on any changes to Government guidance and will keep customers up to date regarding changes to their booking.

To make a booking or for room hire enquiries please call 0333 2342123 or email: roomhire@librariesunlimited.org.uk

First time visitors

If you are wanting to use the library for the first time please join online in advance. You will be able to use our digital services immediately. If you wish to use the physical library please contact your local library by phone or email with your temporary [UNREG] number and we will arrange a library card for collection.

Digital Library

Download and stream free eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers from our extensive collection. You can use our online resources from home and access to Ancestry Library Edition has been extended to Devon Libraries and Torbay Libraries through to the end of September 2021.

Business support

We have a range of online business support, events and information available via our Business and IP Centre.  Our new business support centre has opened at Paignton Library, visit our Business and IP Centre website to find out more.

Library Services FAQs

How borrowing has changed

Here is the latest on borrowing changes coming into effect over the summer:

  • Loans from 7th June will revert to standard loan periods (3 weeks books, 1 week DVDs)
  • You can borrow up to 24 books and from 1st July 2021 numbers of loans will change to 20 books.
  • Reservation charges will recommence on 1st July 2021.
  • Account limit reverts to £5 from 1st July 2021.

You will be able to view your new return date online by signing into your Devon or Torbay library account and proceeding to “My loans”.  If you have forgotten your PIN please click the ‘Forgot PIN’ option to get a PIN reset sent to your registered email address. If you need assistance please email your local library stating your name and library card number.

What is available digitally?

Digital Library Download and stream free eBooks, eAudioBooks, eMagazines and e-newspapers.

  • Use Overdrive to access eBooks, eAudiobooks, online magazine and newspapers.
  • Access eAudiobooks via BorrowBox.
  • Access the ‘Reading Well’ collections on our digital platform Devon Online. Reference and Torbay Online Reference resources.
  • Access to Ancestry Library Edition has been temporarily extended to library members at home, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry.
  • For online content and live streaming events, check out individual library Facebook pages for more information.

Join the Digital Library

You can join the library by visiting Devon Libraries or Torbay Libraries website.  Once you have completed the online joining form, you will be given a temporary [UNREG] number which will enable you to access our digital library immediately. If you wish to access our books or other physical items available for loan please contact your local library by email with your UNREG number and we’ll be able to transfer it to a physical library account.

How do I get in contact?

Library contact details are on the Devon Libraries and Torbay Libraries webpage.

Contact your local library by email for assistance with renewals or any other enquiries.

For general enquiries email info@librariesunlimited.org.uk.  We aim to respond to all enquiries within 5 working days.

Information and advice

Reliable and up to date information about the coronavirus situation is available from:

Translated videos in a variety of languages (Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, British Sign Language, Bulgarian, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish (Sorani), Latvian, Lithuanian, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese) and a range of information including about the vaccine and information for tourists – for when lockdown restrictions ease. To request information in different formats or languages email customer@devon.gov.uk.

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.