What you need to know as book browsing returns to South Tyneside libraries

The borough is preparing to move to the next stage in the gradual reopening of its libraries.

Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 3:41 pm

Library visitors will be able to browse books again from Monday, August 3, as South Tyneside Council moves to the next stage in a gradual return of services.

Leaders have taken a step-by-step approach to reopening libraries, which started in early July with a pre-order, book return and collection service and, over recent weeks users have been reserving time-limited access to the computer suites.

Now residents can enjoy browsing selected shelves – but they must pre-book their slots.

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The Word, South Shields.

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Councillor Tracey Dixon, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “While our much-loved libraries are not yet fully open, we are delighted to welcome people back to browse and choose their books once again.

“This is a positive step forward in our phased return of library services while ensuring that the safety of staff and residents remains our top priority.

“To help us control visitor numbers and adhere to social distancing restrictions, it is really important that people pre-book their visit and that they don’t just turn up. There also won’t be places to sit and read, with library visitors encouraged to choose their books and leave.

“We are continuing to monitor the new arrangements, which will remain in place for now.

"Only when the national guidance sees restrictions eased enough will we be able to roll out access to a wider range of our popular library services.”

What you need to know:

Bookings are being taken from this Thursday, July 30.

Other restrictions will remain in place, including access to ground floors only.

Toilets are strictly for library users at this time and the cafes within The Word and Hebburn Central will be open for takeaway customers only. Seating will be unavailable.

Library members can continue to use the online services available and those not already registered as library members, can sign up online.

To book a visit or get further information about opening times and computer availability, residents are encouraged to contact their local branch: The Word 0191 427 1818; Hebburn Central: 0191 424 7831; Jarrow Focus: 0191 489 7786 and Cleadon Park: 0191 424 6194.For further information visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/libraries

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