More than 30 libraries reopen across Suffolk

35 libraries have opened across Suffolk as the government's coronavirus restrictions are relaxed. Pi

35 libraries have opened across Suffolk as the government's coronavirus restrictions are relaxed. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES - Credit: Archant

More than 30 libraries have reopened across Suffolk as community services continue to return following the the coronavirus lockdown.

According to Suffolk Libraries, 35 out of 44 libraries have now opened across the county.

More are expected to open over the next few days and the mobile library service, which reaches out to rural communities, has also resumed.

Bruce Leeke, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “We’re delighted to be reopening library buildings again, as they’ve been closed for over 100 days.

“During that time we’ve been busy creating new ways for people to engage with us through the website and by telephone.

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“Nothing can beat the physical library experience delivered in one of our spaces.

“With that in mind, we’ll be constantly reviewing the situation and reintroducing physical services gradually once we feel it’s safe to do so.”

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Despite reopening, current government guidelines discourage browsing in libraries.

Initially, libraries are offering a select and collect service.

Customers can contact their library in advance and local teams will put together a bundle of books or other items, tailored to their personal taste, for them to collect.

Online reservations will not be available immediately but should be reintroduced within a few weeks.

Mr Leeke added: “Our team has been brilliant this week, as they have been throughout lockdown, providing hundreds of online activities and making regular calls to our most isolated and vulnerable customers.

“Their selfless dedication to supporting people across Suffolk has shone through during this most challenging of times.

“Reopening our sites is a big step, especially against the backdrop of an ever-changing world and news ways of working to get used to as a result.

However, positivity and passion go a long way and the team have relished the opportunity to help, support and engage customers again.

“I can’t thank our team and customers enough for their understanding and support throughout the past few months.”

For the first few weeks, opening hours will change and there will be no charges for CD and DVD loans. All overdue charges on loans made after February 1 remain suspended until August 31.

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