Dear Member

I hope that you, your family and friends remain safe and well.

I am writing now both to update you about the reopening of the Library and to set out the arrangements for Members wishing to take up our offer to extend membership to compensate for the period we have been closed.

With regards to reopening, since Monday we have been open for 4 hours each day, except Sunday, and have welcomed over 100 Members back into the Library. We have put in place a number of policies, practices and arrangements to ensure that we operate safely for both staff and Members, as detailed in earlier communications and the latest edition of Speaks Volumes. These measures will be reviewed at regular intervals so that we can safely return the Library to its pre-lockdown state as quickly as possible.

If you feel that you are not yet able to visit the Library, we have further extended our postal loans service and eBooks Library which were introduced whilst we were closed. In addition you can now access thousands of magazines and newspapers online via computer, mobile phone or tablet through using the PressReader service. Details of this new service are included in the latest Speaks Volumes . If you would like to trial PressReader then please contact us for the access link. The staff team are more than willing to help if you are struggling to access any of these services.

As regards the extension of membership subscriptions, we are offering Members a three month extension of their membership at no extra cost. This is broadly equivalent to the period we have been closed. If you wish to take advantage of this offer please complete and return this FORM no later than Monday 7th September. The form can be returned either by post or via email to This will enable staff to make the necessary arrangements in good time for the large number of renewals in January, and allow staff and trustees to assess the impact of the take-up of the offer on Library finances in 2021.

While we do of course recognise the impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on Members, it has also adversely affected the Library’s finances. Our rental income has reduced, we have been unable to put on events, and our anticipated increase in membership has not materialised. Our plans to develop and deliver a number of income generating activities have also been halted. Whilst we have been able to make some cost savings by furloughing staff and have also been successful in securing a Heritage Fund Covid-19 grant, the impact of lost income is serious for us. We will be launching various fundraising initiatives in the coming weeks and months to assist the Library in recovering from the Covid-19 lockdown period. We would, therefore, be very grateful to any Members who feel able not to take up the offer of membership extension. We hope that our investment in increasing the range of services that we offer to Members as a response to the lockdown period has been well received and shown that whilst the Library building may have been closed, the Library team and Trustees have been committed to and continue to work on your behalf.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries regarding the details of this update. We hope that you are able to visit us in the near future if you haven’t done so already, and very much look forward to seeing you.

Yours sincerely

Carl Hutton


Download the membership extension form here.

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