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The latest on our services in Tier 2 (Updated 14th December 2020)

Posted on 27 Nov 2020

Following the government’s announcement that Devon has been placed in Tier 2 when lockdown ends on 2nd December, we can confirm that our libraries will reopen for public access to choose books from the shelves and use the computer facilities.

We will maintain the covid secure arrangements within our libraries including 2m social distancing measures, hand sanitisation stations, limiting the numbers of customers at any one time and one-way systems to help the safe flow of customers through our libraries.

Our mobile Libraries are welcoming customers back on board their vehicles from Wednesday 2nd December and the Home Library service will continue to run as normal.

All our libraries will be open to the public with a range of services, except for Salcombe, from Wednesday 2nd December.  Buckfastleigh, Chulmleigh and Totnes are offering Choose and Collect only at this time.

Churston Library will offer Choose and Collect only until Monday 7th December and Bovey Tracey Library will offer Choose and Collect only until Tuesday 8th December.  Both libraries will reopen to the public on these dates.

Uffculme Library is currently closed for refurbishment and will reopen on Monday 7th December.

Our library cafes will reopen on Wednesday 2nd December and meeting rooms are available for hire.

To assist our customers, we have 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

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.

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

Mobile Libraries are welcoming customers back on board their vehicles to pick their own books from Wednesday 2nd December.  In line with guidance we will limit numbers and covid secure arrangements will be in place.

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 Devon Home Library Service and Books on Wheels in Torbay 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

Library opening times may vary so please do check with your local library before you make your journey.  For libraries offering Choose & Collect only, contact your library directly to pre-arrange.

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 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.

In the event you change your mind about an item you have picked up, we have installed ‘browsing trolleys or boxes’ where you can safely leave it. At the end of each day, items from our browsing trolleys will be safely quarantined for 72 hours.  This system is in place to support safety in our libraries.

Any loans can be returned to your local library.  We have extended loans to allow you more time and you can manage renewal dates via our website or by contacting your local library for assistance.

For safety reasons libraries may initially be offering a more limited selection of stock for people to choose from. 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, 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 as there is currently no change available.

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.

Please visit our social media for details of the amazing online programme we have available over the next few months.

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

Libraries encourage you to make payments via the self-service kiosks, and in libraries where we have contactless payment via card.  You will need to pay with the exact cash as libraries will not be able to offer change.

Cafes

Library cafes at Exeter Library, Passmore Edwards Centre (Newton Abbot) and The Hayridge, Cullompton will reopen on Wednesday 2nd December.

Cafe opening times are as follows:

The Hayridge Café in Cullompton is open Monday – Friday, 9.30am-3pm and Saturdays, 9.30am-12.30pm.

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

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

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 March 2021.

Meeting Room Hire

Meeting rooms across libraries in Devon and Torbay are available for hire. We’re keeping a close eye on any changes to Government guidance, so please understand that if this changes, we may need to be in touch to advise you if this affects your booking.

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

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?

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.