Libraries to close until further notice as county enters Tier 4
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Suffolk's libraries are set for another period of closure following the announcement that the county is to move into Covid Tier 4.
Organisers have decided that library buildings will temporarily remain shut after the Christmas Bank Holiday.
The libraries were due to close on Christmas Eve and then reopen on Tuesday, December 29. They will instead stay closed until further notice into 2021.
Libraries are currently open for collecting items which have been pre-ordered or requested, and pre-booked computer appointments. These services will no longer be available after Christmas.
The mobile library service will also be suspended until further notice.
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During the November lockdown libraries remained opening for collecting ordered books but with no browsing. This time the service sees the situation as more serious.
Bruce Leeke, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “The situation in Suffolk and elsewhere in the region is changing quickly and we have made the decision to act before Christmas so we can keep customers informed.
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"Temporarily closing sites is not something we want to do but we feel it’s the right decision in order to keep our staff and customers safe.
"Whilst libraries are closed we’ll again be working hard to reach out to our most isolated customers and engage with people through our eLibrary service and our fun and engaging online activities.
"We did this very successfully earlier in 2020 and I know it meant a great deal to so many people that the library service was still there for them. We are totally committed to doing everything we can to support people across Suffolk as this crisis moves into 2021.”
The decision to close libraries has been approved by Suffolk County Council.
Suffolk Libraries has reassured customers they don’t need to worry about returning items as all loans and charges will be suspended until March 1, 2021.
There is currently no planned date for libraries to reopen but Suffolk Libraries will keep people up to date via its website - where people can find out full details of online activities, how to access eBooks, eAudio and other services - and social media.
The only exception to the closure is Stradbroke Library as it hosts a post office which is classed as an essential service and will stay open.