All Suffolk Libraries centres to close because of coronavirus

Suffolk Libraries will be closing all of its centres in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus P

Suffolk Libraries will be closing all of its centres in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus Picture: NEIL PERRY - Credit: Archant

All 47 libraries run by Suffolk Libraries are to close until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Suffolk Libraries has made the decision to close all of its centres from the end of Friday, March 20, in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

It has also suspended its mobile library service.

Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries said: “We regret taking this decision but hope customers understand that we have to put people’s health and wellbeing first. It’s important to stress that the library service itself will not be closing.

“We know that many people across the county rely on Suffolk Libraries for social interaction and information. We are already exploring how we continue to reach customers with the county council and our staff.

“I’m grateful to all our staff for their commitment to keep providing a library service during this very trying period.”

Customers have been urged not to worry about overdue books, with late fees suspended and reservation and return dates indefinitely extended.

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All library events and activities have already been suspended to ensure the safety of customers and staff. The Home Library Service has also been suspended but the volunteers who run the service are maintaining telephone contact with their older and disabled customers to help them feel less isolated.

Meanwhile, Suffolk Libraries is promoting its extensive and free eLibrary services during the closure – which includes around 60,000 eBooks, eAudiobooks, meagazines, newspapers, music, films and documentaries.

County councillor Paul West added: “Libraries are at the heart of our communities and support a range of services across Suffolk.

“It is our priority to ensure that people can still access services while balancing the welfare needs of staff.”

Staff will continue to take enquiries remotely and can be contacted between Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Those who wish to get in touch with the customer service team should email here or call 01473 351249.

The eLibrary can be accessed here.

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