Western Isles libraries to reopen with ‘Connect & Collect’

Libraries in Liniclate and Stornoway will reopen with a reduced service from Monday, September 14.Libraries in Liniclate and Stornoway will reopen with a reduced service from Monday, September 14.
Libraries in Liniclate and Stornoway will reopen with a reduced service from Monday, September 14.
Liniclate and Stornoway libraries will begin a reduced service from Monday (September 14).

The phased reopening will initially involve reduced opening hours at Liniclate and Stornoway libraries which will offer a special ‘Connect & Collect’ service.

This will follow, as soon as feasible and in line with government regulations, a gradual return to normal library services at all branches.

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The library service also aims to announce a date for Tarbert Library’s reopening with the same service offer very shortly.

Unfortunately, there is no date for Castlebay Library to reopen at the present time, but the Comhairle says it will ensure that Barra and Vatersay communities are kept informed of any progress.

Libraries will follow a gradual, phased approach to reopening, ensuring the safety of all staff and customers.

The Comhairle has been working to ensure that all procedures managing the reopening of its services follow Scottish Government guidance and Safer Workplace Guidance for Public Libraries.

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The planning has also taken each library’s own specific considerations into account.

So how Connect & Collect will work?

Each library will have reduced opening hours in operation, and customers can arrange to visit their local library at a specific day and time, to collect a bag of books that the library staff will have prepared for them.

Customers can connect with their local library by phone, email or through completing the online Connect & Collect form available via the library website.

They can either place holds on particular items through the library catalogue they would like to get or simply tell staff what kinds of books, audio books, DVDs and authors they enjoy.

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Library staff will then put a collection of five items together for them which will be ready to collect at the agreed time.

Customers will also be able to return their outstanding library books at the same time.

When collecting items from libraries, customers are requested to wear face coverings (unless exempt), sanitise their hands and observe physical distancing at all times.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Libraries Manager Kathleen Milne said: “Even though the eLibrary has been available throughout lockdown, and will continue to be available 24/7, we know from the many phone call received over the last few months how many customers have missed the library and are desperate to get their hands on some new, physical, books to read and enjoy.

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“The library will continue to promote new books through Events and customers are encouraged to follow ‘wilibraries’ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with any developments and to share their reading experiences.

“Everyone at Western Isles Libraries is looking forward to seeing their customers again soon – they have been much missed!”

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