The information set out here is to help you understand how the Library will operate for Members when we reopen on Monday 12th April so that you are aware of any restrictions that might be in place when you are planning and undertaking your visit to the Library.

We thought the best way to do this was to once again answer the most likely questions that you may have at this time. Something that we did after the Library reopened after the first Covid-19 lockdown. Whilst the questions remain the same, some of the answers have changed so we would recommend that you reread the whole Q and A so you have a good understanding as to how we will operate the Library.

What will the Opening Hours of the Library be?

The Library will be open as follows:

Monday       10am to 4pm
Tuesday       10am to 4pm
Wednesday 10am to 4pm
Thursday     12noon to 6pm
Friday          10am to 4pm
Saturday     10am to 4pm
Sunday        Closed

Why will the Library be open for only 6 hours each day?

The opening hours have been reduced to limit the need for staff or Members to travel into or out of Leeds during rush hours.

I don’t want to come into the Library just yet, but I have items that are due for return. What should I do?

We have extended the loan period of all items currently on loan to Members until the end of May so please do not feel obliged to bring your items in if you would rather not travel yet. However, if you would like to return them, you, or someone on your behalf, can drop them off in the Library foyer in a returns box. The foyer will be staffed during opening hours and all items will be quarantined for 24 hours before being processed and put back on the shelves for other Members to access. We are also offering a limited collection service. Please see the later article in the Remote Library Services section.

I am feeling unwell. Should I come to the Library?

No. If you are feeling unwell for any reason and especially if you are exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, you should not come to the Library but follow government guidelines and seek medical advice if appropriate. This is to protect other Members and the staff team. We are sorry to say but we will have to turn you away if you are obviously unwell.

Will there be restrictions on the number of people who can use the Library each day? If so, do I have to register or pre-book my visit if I want to come into the Library?

Following current social distancing guidance from the Government, we are working on the basis that excluding staff Members, we will be able to have up to 40 Members in the Library at any one time. We have set up the Library so that it looks as close as possible to how the Library would have looked prior to the Covid-19 crisis. However, we will place signs next to any seats that are not available for people to use to enable us to maintain appropriate social distancing in the Library. It may be that from time to time the Library reaches full capacity. However, previous experience suggests that this occurrence is likely to be rare. All Members will need to register on arrival in the foyer so that we have a record of who has been in the Library each day in case a Member or a staff member contracts Covid-19 and it is necessary to trace their contacts. This information will be held for 21 days then destroyed. Staff in the foyer will assist you with this.

Will there be any restrictions on how long Members can stay in the Library?

We are not putting any formal time limits in place but would ask that Members judge the daily situation for themselves in a sensible and fair way. If the Library is busy and there are Members waiting to gain access, then a shorter visit would be appreciated so that everyone who wants to can benefit from coming to the Library. If problems arise from this more relaxed approach, we will review the situation and may introduce a formal time limit. We would like very much to avoid doing this, however.

Will there be any parts of the Library, or services normally available to Members, that will not be available at this time?

For the Library to work in a manner that is consistent with Government guidelines regarding Covid-19 and social distancing, the following aspects of the Library service to Members will NOT be available:

  • Drinks making facilities will not be available in Coffee Corner.
  • Food consumption on the premises by Members will not be permitted in this initial reopening period.
  • The Basement and the Old Librarian’s Office will not be available.
  • The Library locker and cloakroom areas will be closed.
  • The Member computers will not be available to use and the use of the photocopier will only be available when undertaken on behalf of a Member by one of the Library staff team.
  • Member Clubs including the Film Club, Craft Club, The Book Club and the Tuesday Morning Book Club will not take place in person for the time being but will be reviewed as social distancing measures are relaxed.
  • There will be no facilities for leaving bicycles or mobility scooters in the Library foyer.

What social distancing measures will be in place within the Library?

The Library will have a one-way system for all Library users to abide by. The direction of travel will be anti-clockwise requiring everyone to walk from the Main Room towards the New Room and then the Thoresby Room. In any area of the Library where there may be a need for Members to queue there will be an expectation that members queue 2 metres apart. It is anticipated that queueing may be necessary to get into the Library, at the Library counter and to use the Library welfare facilities. We have also adjusted the layout of the Library to remove potential pinch points. This will mean that there will be no merchandise on display for either the Library or Thoresby Society. Several pieces of furniture have been replaced throughout the Library with new chairs and tables that are easier to clean and aesthetically suit the historic interior of the Library.

Will toilet facilities be fully open for Members to use when the building is open?

Both the gents and ladies’ toilets will be open for Members. There will be a restriction of only one Member at a time being able to use the ladies’ toilets, with one of those cubicles being dedicated solely for the use of Library Staff. It will be a requirement for anyone using the toilet facilities to use disposable toilet seat covers.

What additional hygiene facilities and measures will be put in place for users of the Library?

Any person entering the Library will be required to use hand sanitiser in the foyer before going upstairs. There can be no exceptions to this. There will be also be hand sanitiser located at the entrance to each room when moving around the Library anti-clockwise.

It is recommended that if you have handled any items or touched any surfaces as you enter each space that you reapply hand sanitiser. Should a Member handle any book in the Library then there will be a need for the item to be placed in one of the plastic crates located in each of the rooms so that the item can be placed in quarantine for a 24-hour period.

On a similar basis there will also be a need for Members who sit on a chair in the Library to use a card provided adjacent to the chair to identify that the chair has been used. This will enable the staff team to be able to easily identify which chairs and furniture needs to be sanitised during the day. As well as the regular cleaning that takes place in the Library outside of opening hours, additional cleaning will take place while the Library is open. Surfaces, door handles and other vulnerable areas will be sanitised regularly during the day. Doors and windows where possible will be open to aid ventilation.

Will Members be required to wear face masks or face coverings when visiting the Library?

Yes, consistent with Government legislation regarding the use of public buildings during the Covid-19 crisis, all users of the Library including the staff team, library Members and visitors will be required to wear face coverings whilst in the public areas of the Library. In addition, there are screens in place at the counter and in the foyer to minimise the potential for Covid-19 to be spread.

If I am unable at this time to come to the Library, what services will be available for me to use so that I can continue to benefit from my Membership?

The Library has set up a number of online services for the benefit of Members. These include an eBooks Library which has over 600 titles, access to PressReader which gives Members online access to over 7000 magazine and newspaper titles, the Drama Online service and the Idler Academy. We will also continue our postal service for Members and up until the end of May provide a book collection service to assist Members in returning items that they currently have on loan if they can’t get into the Library themselves or have someone else return items to us on their behalf.

When will these measures be reviewed?

The staff team and Trustees will monitor all aspects of the operation of the Library on a regular basis and will adjust the current arrangements in the light of the anticipated changes in the Government’s roadmap out of the Covid-19 crisis over the coming weeks. Should the Government’s schedule for coming out of lockdown stay on track, it is hoped that by the end of May we will be in a position to enable Members to once again consume refreshments in the Library and that by the end of June we will be in a position to reduce a number of the social distancing measures in the Library. We will ensure that Library Members are notified in a timely fashion as and when these measures are undertaken.

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