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

National Lockdown (updated 12th November 2020)

Posted on 12 Nov 2020

Following the government’s announcement of a national lockdown starting 5th November, we can confirm that our libraries will be open for our Choose & Collect service.

One hour computer sessions are available for essential use such as Universal Credit and job seeking at Exeter, Barnstaple, Newton Abbot, Exmouth, Bideford or Paignton libraries by appointment only.

Government legislation states that libraries can continue to provide essential services during the November lockdown.

Our Mobile Library service will offer our Choose & Collect service and the Home Library service will continue to run during the national lockdown.

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

  • Existing loans due back between 5th November and 2nd December have been extended to week commencing 11th January 2021
  • Extended our book loans to 10 weeks on any books borrowed from Thursday 5th November
  • You can borrow up to 24 books
  • Extended loans on DVD/CDs/audiobooks to 10 weeks on items borrowed from Thursday 5th November (no increase in the charge for DVD/CDs giving you 10 weeks for the price of one!)
  • Suspended our reservation charges through to 31st March 2021 as items may take longer than usual to become available.

Our digital library remains open, you can 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 December.

Our Services

Choose and Collect

To use our new 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

To use a computer please pre-book an appointment, by contacting the library by email or phone (Exeter/Barnstaple/Newton Abbot/Exmouth/Bideford or Paignton).  The government has set out that the computers can only be used to access vital public services such as to make benefit claims, job searches and applications and accessing government websites.

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.

Mobile Libraries

To use the mobile library ‘Choose and Collect’ service telephone or email the base library used by your mobile library.  If you need to confirm the base library please check here.  The collection date will be your usual mobile library day according to the timetable and will be confirmed by the base library.

Mobile Libraries will be following their usual timetables but are unable to visit schools, nurseries and care homes for the time being.

Home Library Service

The Home Library Service have resumed deliveries from the most libraries. Please contact your local library or email home.library@librariesunlimited.org.uk for further details.

What to expect in our libraries

Opening times

Our libraries are open for Choose & Collect only, contact your library directly to pre-arrange.  Under current guidelines we are unable to offer book browsing.

Signs
Signage – Honiton Library

Signs and queue management

To keep everyone safe we have installed safety signage throughout our libraries. Safe queuing will be in place to enter the library. We have 2 metre social distancing measures, hand sanitisation stations and one-way systems to help the safe flow of customers through our libraries.

Our libraries vary in size, and we will limit the number of customers at any one time. Factors such as layout, number of floors, staffing and services available may play a part in our safety management.

Customer numbers

Our libraries vary in size, and we will limit the number of customers at any one time. Factors such as layout, number of floors, staffing and services available may play a part in our safety management.

Hand sanitiser and cleaning

Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitiser stations

We have invested in hand sanitiser stations for each library, enabling you to sanitise when entering the library. Cleaning will be in place for services such as our public computers and self-service kiosks. Each library has been cleaned in advance of our return and has regular cleaning in place.

NHS Covid-19 app

The NHS Covid-19 app launched on 24th September 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 symptom 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

Social distancing

Each library has changed layouts to ensure adequate space for you to move around in safety. We have marked up our floor space to support social distancing and we request that 2m social distancing is observed by all staff and customers.

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 Choose & Collect only, contact your library directly to pre-arrange.  Under current guidelines we are unable to offer book browsing.

Please pre-arrange any loan returns with your local library.

For safety reasons libraries may be offering a more limited selection of stock. All books and items returned to the library will undergo 72 hours quarantine before they are removed from your account and returned to the library shelves. We will be asking you to place returned items into a box near the library entrance to keep them separate for quarantining.

Computers

One hour computer sessions are available for essential use such as Universal Credit and job seeking at selected libraries by booking only. You can book a computer if you need internet access to manage any Universal Credit or other benefits, apply for work or for similar vital purposes. Booking in advance is essential by contacting the library by email or phone. This service is available from Exeter, Barnstaple, Newton Abbot, Exmouth, Bideford or Paignton.

Every computer is cleaned between customers and we will maintain social distancing.

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 be the Choose & Collect service.  Please email or telephone your local library to arrange.

Events

Events in libraries remain suspended for now but you can still enjoy the activities and events that we are streaming and sharing online. Find your local library on social media (Facebook and Twitter) to enjoy these events.

Reservations & Account Limits

Online reservations have been reintroduced and are available via our websites

You can now borrow a maximum of 24 books. This is a temporary measure and will be reviewed in December 2020.

Returning Items

Returning items
Revised layout – Honiton Library

As a temporary measure we have extended book loans as follows:

  • Existing loans due back between 5th November and 2nd December have been extended to week commencing 11th January 2021
  • Extended our book loans to 10 weeks on any books borrowed from Thursday 5th November
  • You can borrow up to 24 books
  • Extended loans on DVD/CDs/audiobooks to 10 weeks on items borrowed from Thursday 5th November
  • Suspended our reservation charges through to 31st March 2021

For libraries currently offering the Choose & Collect service you will need to email or telephone to arrange drop off.

Payments

During lockdown please contact your local library if you need to make a payment and we will arrange payment over the telephone.

Cafes

Our cafes will be closed during lockdown and we will issue updates as soon as we can reopen the cafes.

Our Facilities

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 December.

Meeting Room Hire

During the four-week national lockdown, our meeting rooms will be available for hire for bookings that comply with the government exemption guidance.  Our room hire team will contact customers to clarify the status of existing bookings and will assist with new enquiries.

We are keen to enable access to our meeting rooms for essential services that support our local communities.

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

Lockdown – Library Services FAQs

How borrowing has changed

To provide a flexible service at this time and to help our customers we have put the following temporary arrangements in place:

  • Existing loans due back between 5th November and 2nd December have been extended to week commencing 11th January 2021
  • Extended our book loans to 10 weeks on any books borrowed from Thursday 5th November
  • You can borrow up to 24 books
  • Extended loans on DVD/CDs/audiobooks to 10 weeks on items borrowed from Thursday 5th November
  • Suspended our reservation charges through to 31st March 2021

You will be able to view your return date online by signing into your 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.

– We have added 3,500 titles to Overdrive (eBooks and eAudiobooks)
– We now have 1,000 unlimited use eAudiobooks through RB Digital
– A selection of eMagazines and eNewspapers are available on RB Digital
– 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.
– Our libraries are creating fun 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. As and when our libraries re-open we will process all temporary memberships registered during this closure period and we will issue a library card to you.

How do I get in contact?

To use our Choose and Collect or computer services please email or phone your local library.  The computer service is available from Exeter, Barnstaple, Newton Abbot, Exmouth, Bideford or Paignton.  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 and renewals please phone 0345 155 1001 or email info@librariesunlimited.org.uk

Please note that we aim to respond to all enquiries within 5 working days, but due to the current high level of enquiries and fast-moving national picture, we cannot guarantee this.

The safety of both our staff and our customers are important to us, and we are working hard to ensure libraries provide a safe and protective environment. Following government guidance our staff are provided with safety equipment and you may see us wearing gloves, masks or visors. All members of staff have completed Health & Safety training on how to work safely in this new environment.

Information and advice

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

 

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.