‘A different experience for everyone’ - town’s library to reopen

PUBLISHED: 06:30 11 July 2020

North Walsham Library in New Road Car Park.


North Walsham Library in New Road Car Park. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

A library at the heart of a town will reopen its doors next week.

North Walsham library will reopen on Monday July 10 with a one-way system in place to enforce social distancing after it closed on March 23 for lockdown.

Visitors must use hand sanitiser and will only be able to access the library alone or in pairs with a library card required to enter the building.

The library is urging people not to stay too long on the premises with “grab and go” bags of pre-selected books offered to families with young children and books will be quarantined for 72 hours when returned.

Paul Cosham, library manager at North Walsham said: “We know how much our community loves coming to the library so we are delighted that we are able to reopen with all the right safety measures in place. It’s going to be a different experience for everyone but we’re confident the people of North Norfolk will continue to show the same community spirit we’ve seen throughout this pandemic.”

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Head of the Norfolk Library and Information Service, Jan Holden said: “Very detailed planning has gone into our staggered approach to reopening our libraries.

“Staff will be on site to guide customers and all libraries will be providing hand sanitiser stations and clear signage. We look forward to welcoming people back, although things will feel very different.

“We will have a select and collect service for people who don’t want to browse. There will also be limited browsing, with a one-way customer flow system, to make sure customer visits are safe and comply with social distancing.”

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for communities, said: “Although our digital library service has proved very popular since March, we know some people have really missed visiting libraries, so we’re doing what we can while ensuring safety is paramount.”

Newspaper and study areas will remain closed for the foreseeable future, while computer sessions will be available through a booking system.

Staff at the library say that items borrowed before closure will still be automatically renewed until further notice and will not be charged any additional overdue or renewal fees.

New loans from the library’s reopening will still incur loan charges and fees if returned late.

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