Libraries in North Yorkshire will continue to offer as many services as they can during the Covid-19 lockdown – but there will be changes.
Customers will not be able to enter a library to choose their own books, but the Select and Collect service that began earlier in the year is operating, enabling people to contact their library with requests and pick up books from the library entrance.
Select and Collect will be available at North Yorkshire County Council-managed libraries in Filey, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Malton, Northallerton, Pickering, Ripon, Scarborough, Selby, Skipton and Whitby.
Some community-managed libraries will also offer the service where their volunteer capacity allows. Customers are encouraged to check local community library websites and social media accounts for up to date information.
To use the Select and Collect service, contact your library or find more details at www.northyorks.gov.uk/CovidLibraries
People will be able to book library computers for essential use at Filey, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Northallerton, Pickering, Ripon, Scarborough, Selby, Skipton and Whitby. Some community-managed libraries will also offer computer access where they have capacity. To manage demand and ensure safety, customers must contact their library in advance by phone or email to book a computer. Workstations will be cleaned between each use and hand sanitiser and wipes will be available. Computer sessions will be limited to 45 minutes and libraries are not able to offer one-to-one support.
Libraries will continue to deliver books to customers receiving the Home Library Service. Books will be selected by the library team and dropped off at the doorstep. Libraries will contact customers to check that they still want this service during lockdown.
County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Library Services, said:
Libraries can be of significant benefit to people’s wellbeing, and it was clear from the last lockdown how much people relied on and missed library services, so I am pleased that has been recognised and that some services will be able to continue.
When libraries closed earlier in the year, it highlighted how many people rely on free library computers to access services and benefits and to apply for jobs, so I am glad we are able to maintain that service.
Libraries play a crucial role in keeping communities connected and in supporting the most vulnerable in our society. I am confident that they will continue to provide services, albeit limited, in a safe and secure way during this period.
During the previous lockdown, membership of libraries grew and use of free online digital services increased. E-books, e-audio and digital magazines and newspapers, along with a wide range of online reference material are all available, at any time, through the library website, www.northyorks.gov.uk/digital-library
Digital resources are also available through the new library app, which can be downloaded to mobile devices from the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android devices. Search for North Yorkshire Library.
Books currently on loan will be renewed to 11 January so that people do not accrue fines.
To enjoy library services you need to be a member. It is free to join and you no longer need to visit a library to join the library, renew an expired card or to collect PIN numbers to access online services. PIN numbers can be issued over the phone on verification of date of birth and postcode. Membership card numbers and PIN will be emailed to members separately. To join the library, renew membership or get a PIN number, call your local library or the helpline number, 01609 533878.
To keep up to date with any changes to services or opening hours, visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/CovidLibraries or check local community library Facebook pages or websites.