Dear Member

We hope that you, your family and friends are safe and well.

Following the announcement earlier this week allowing libraries in England to open again, we are happy to confirm that The Leeds Library will reopen to Members on Monday 6th July. We will also be continuing and extending our range of services for Members unable to or who do not currently wish to travel to Leeds.

In order to operate the Library safely and responsibly as well as alleviate some of the concerns expressed in the responses from the recent Members’ Survey, there will be changes to how the Library is managed and operated for the time being. We will go through these in detail in a letter that will be sent to all Members at the end of next week. However, below is a brief summary outlining some of the key changes to the way we will provide services for you during our initial opening phase.

The Library will be open from Monday to Saturday to Members only, for 4 hours a day.

The opening hours will be as follows:-
Monday                     11am to 3pm
Tuesday                     11am to 3pm
Wednesday              11am to 3pm
Thursday                   2pm to 6pm
Friday                          11am to 3pm
Saturday                    11am to 3pm
Sunday                           Closed

These shortened opening hours will mean that we can operate the Library in a consistent fashion each day during our initial opening period using a small on-site staff team, within Government guidelines. The later opening times on a Thursday and Saturday will give alternatives to Members who are unable to visit the Library during the week in the daytime.

For those Members not wishing to enter the main Library, but who wish to return books and other items, we will have a return box placed in the foyer for you or a representative to use. The foyer will be staffed throughout our opening hours by a member of the Library team. In order to alleviate any unnecessary worry and concerns, we have extended the loan period for all items currently on loan until the end of August.

To comply with social distancing requirements, we will be restricted to having 40 Members in the Library building at any one time. Any Member wishing to use the Library will be required to register either in advance or on arrival. We must keep a complete list of everyone who has used the Library each day in case a Member or staff member subsequently tests positive for C-19 and there is a need to contact all those in the Library over a particular period. Details on how to register to use the Library will be sent to all Members next week. The Library will have social distancing markers positioned throughout the building and we will operate a one-way system which everyone will be asked to fully respect. In addition, the staff team will be wearing visors at all times. Members may choose to wear masks whilst in the building. We ask that you provide your own mask where possible if you choose to wear one.

With a need for all users of the Library over the coming weeks to practise good hygiene and common sense, no Member should attend the library if they feel unwell or have been requested to self-isolate by the Government Track and Trace programme.We will be carrying out extra cleaning in the building throughout the day and staff will be regularly washing their hands and using hand sanitiser before issuing books. All books that are returned or handled in the Library will be quarantined for a period of 72 hours before they are processed and returned to the shelves and Members will be asked to put books they have handled, however briefly, on trolleys and NOT return them to the shelves. Supplies of hand sanitiser will be available throughout the Library for Members to use.

For the time being coffee and tea making facilities will not be available but Members will be allowed to bring their own refreshments. There will be no access to newspapers, magazines or Member computers initially. Toilets will be available for Members to use during opening hours.

We will do everything we can over the coming weeks to ensure that despite these restrictions the Library will not lose its special atmosphere and ambience.  We will regularly review the way we operate so that as and when we can safely do so, we both extend opening hours and relax some of the current restrictions.

In terms of our online services, alongside being committed to continuing the eBook Librarypostal loan servicecommunity forum and online events programme, we have managed to secure an initial 3-month period free access to Press Reader for all Members.  This will mean that Members will be able to view over 6,000 titles (newspapers and magazines) including the majority of UK newspapers free of charge. Full details on how to set up access for Press Reader will be detailed next week.  We think this is a fabulous new additional benefit for Members to utilise over the coming weeks.

A further letter will be issued next week with more details on how the Library will operate once open. We look forward to seeing you all back in the Library over the coming weeks and months.

With very best wishes from all at the Leeds Library,

Carl Hutton

Events at The Leeds Library