From Monday 13 July East Sussex County Council will be reopening five libraries in East Sussex. The libraries at Battle, Hastings, Eastbourne, Newhaven and Crowborough have been chosen based on their size, layout and staffing availability, and to ensure there is one in each district and borough area.
A full library service cannot be offered due to the need for social distancing. People are being encouraged to continue to use the eLibrary where they can, so that libraries can manage customer numbers safely.
The number of customers in each library will be limited, social distancing will be in place, and there’ll be no seating, study spaces, toilets or events. Visitors should expect to queue and follow signs and instructions from staff. In line with Government guidance, visitors will be asked for their name and phone number at the time they go into the library. This information may be shared with the NHS test and trace programme if needed.
The County Council will increase cleaning, distance furniture and computers, add hygiene screens and quarantine books between uses. Libraries will close 30-60 minutes earlier than usual each day to allow staff to restock.
45-minute computer sessions will be available and a click-and-collect service will let customers pick up books ordered online or via phone. Browsing will be very limited, and DVDs, newspapers and periodicals will be removed. Anything borrowed can be kept until 30 September without any fines.
The County Council will need to see how well these five libraries operate to ensure customers and staff are safe, and how many more staff this takes, before they can take a decision on opening more libraries later in the summer and in early autumn.