The picture relating to the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is rapidly changing and we are continuing to follow government advice. We will remain open unless instructed otherwise or if the situation worsens to such an extent that we are unable to adequately staff the Library.
We are committed to supporting our Members at this complicated and challenging time and have been having many discussions behind the scenes as to how we can ensure that we can provide service and support for our membership over the coming weeks and whilst we are open, enable the Library to provide a space for Members to use.
In the short term, so as to focus our energy and resources solely on the needs of our Members, we have postponed events and activities scheduled by the Library over the next couple of months. These include events that engage with non-members such as Library Tours, Thursday night open evenings, creative writing workshops, the Library events programme and any external bookings.
In order to reduce the number of people entering the Library, in this case delivery couriers, we will for a period of time, stop purchasing items such as books and DVDs for the Library collections.
We will maintain the cleaning regime around the Library and the implementation of measures to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 being passed on to Members or staff. However, it is requested that any Member of the Library who is feeling unwell or has been in contact with someone who is unwell does not come into the Library. Doing so increases the likelihood of passing on the virus and the possibility of the Library closing prematurely.
We have reviewed our working practices so that not all of the staff team are in the Library at any one time so should any team member be required to stay away from the building we have another team member wherever possible to run the counter service.
In recognising that some of you may be about to enter a period of time of restricted movement and are unable to access the Library, we are looking to bring in the following measures and initiatives in order to provide support for you, should we be required to close our building to Members:
The Library Team will amend every Members’ book loan record so that any items currently out on loan will not show as overdue. This means that you don’t have to worry about returning books to the Library for the time being.
In recognising the loyalty you have shown us, should we be required to close for a period of time on the instruction of the Government, we are offering to extend your membership for the period of time of the closure. So for example, if the Library is closed to Members for 2 months, on request, your membership will run for 14 months rather than 12 months. This measure along with other impacts of the COVID-19 virus, will cause significant financial challenges for the Library, so if you would be happy to stay with your 12 month membership cycle, we would be extremely grateful for your understanding.
We are working up plans to introduce a postal service for members during any period of closure.
We are also looking into the possibility of establishing an eBook service to be made available to Members hopefully within the next few weeks.
We are committed to developing a number of online activities over the next few months specially for Members, which will not require you to visit the Library. Ideas quickly being developed include an online Book Club, an online Library Members’ community forum and activities linked into our Film Club and events programme.
Just to reiterate, at the time of writing this, we are committed to remain open subject to Government policy. However, we will act in accordance with the advice from public health officials and do what we need to do to look after Members and staff, meaning that things may change at very short notice. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time for further updates or advice. If you cannot get hold of any team member by phone (tel. 0113 245 3071), please email us at email@example.com. Please look out for updates by email, on our website and on social media. We are hoping that if the Library building closes for Members, the staff team will still be able to provide support to you in the ways detailed above or by carrying out jobs within the Library building. We are putting home working arrangements in place for many of the team, so your email message will be seen.
Finally on behalf of the staff team and Trustees, we would just like to say thank you all for your support over the last few days and weeks. In what is a stressful time for all of us, we have had nothing but positive messages of support from you either in person, over the phone or via email. The next few months will be a challenge for the Library, but we are clear that part of what makes this Library special, is being able to provide support for you beyond what would be expected of a Public Library.
We look forward to seeing you in the next day or two if you want to take up the opportunity to stock up on books to read or DVDs to watch, or in the not too distant future should this not be possible. We hope that you, your loved ones and all of our other Members stay in the best of health over the coming weeks and months.
The Library Team and Trustees