East Sussex libraries reopen after lockdown

LIBRARIES across the county welcomed back visitors this month as they reopened their doors following the latest easing of lockdown restrictions.

Residents can once again browse the shelves and select books as well as return and reserve items. Computers are available to pre-book, and study space and Job Pods for online job interviews are available at selected libraries.

Customers can reserve up to 10 items with existing and new library loans extended until June 30.

All East Sussex libraries are Covid-secure and have reopened with measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety including new layouts to encourage social distancing, limited visitor numbers, and increased cleaning.

Books will be quarantined for 72 hours upon return and for the time being newspapers will only be available online. Computers will be cleaned and the keyboard covers replaced between each session.

Library events will be returning over the coming months, with activities planned for all ages. Full details and ticket information will be available online and from library staff shortly.

The council’s wide range of digital library services is also available to members via the eLibrary.

Residents can access eBooks, eAudio, eNewspapers, and eMagazines as well as an extensive selection of digital services ranging from IT support and qualifications, to wellbeing information and fun resources for children completely free of charge.

Other digital services available include business and employability resources and online book clubs for adults and children.

The ‘select and collect’ service, when library staff chose a selection of books for borrowers based on the authors or subjects they enjoy reading, will continue.

Symptom-free Covid-19 test kits can be collected free of charge from Bexhill, Newhaven, Rye, Crowborough and Battle libraries.

Nick Skelton, Assistant Director of Community Services at East Sussex County Council, said: “We are delighted to reopen our library buildings again and our staff are looking forward to welcoming back visitors over the coming weeks.

“As well as offering access to books and audiobooks, our libraries offer a wide range of community services which we know our residents have been missing while our buildings were closed.

“Although our libraries are welcoming back visitors, our digital services continue so residents can also borrow books and access other services from our online library.”

Visitors to council libraries are reminded to wear a face covering, unless exempt, and to sanitise their hands when entering and leaving the building.

For library locations and opening hours, and for more information on library services including the eLibrary and ‘select and collect’, please visit https://new.eastsussex.gov.uk/libraries or call 0345 60 80 196.