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Changes to Derbyshire libraries as COVID restrictions lift

Published: 21 July 2021

Libraries across Derbyshire are taking a phased approach to reintroducing all their services following the lifting of government COVID-19 restrictions.

Our library service has been cautiously opening up our buildings and services in line with restrictions easing over the past few months, including reintroducing visiting without appointments, browsing the shelves and reverting to normal opening times.

With the government now lifting most of the remaining restrictions, our library service is able to take further steps to get the service back to normal.

The main change will see libraries reverting to pre-COVID capacity levels, which means the number of visitors at any one time in any library will no longer be limited and people will be able to stay as long as they want, rather than an allotted 15 minutes.

Customers will also be able to sit in a library to use the free wifi using their own device or to study, as well as using the reference and local history materials including microfilm and microfiche where available.

Our Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture, Tourism and Climate Change Councillor Barry Lewis said:

“Like many of our services, our libraries have had to adapt quickly to rapidly changing circumstances and they have worked really hard to ensure there is access to as much of what they offer as possible.

“The number of people signing up to our online library service soared during the lockdowns and continues to prove invaluable, but we know how much people appreciate and enjoy being able to visit a library in person. That’s why these changes are another huge step in the right direction for us all.”

View full details of what services are now available from county libraries.

Staff working in county libraries will still be following some COVID-19 restrictions including wearing masks and keeping a safe distance from others. This is in line with our policy in place to keep staff and visitors protected and to ensure services can continue.

Therefore, visitors to libraries are still being encouraged to use the hand sanitiser on arrival and enter their details for Test, Trace and Isolate by scanning the QR code or providing their details to a staff member. They are also being encouraged to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing.

The following services are currently closed but are being reviewed regularly with a view to reopening as soon as possible:

  • reader group meetings in libraries
  • computer one-to-one sessions and in-person local studies support
  • use of meeting rooms, events and activities
  • toilets and baby change facilities
  • newspapers
  • donations of books and to foodbanks

Find out more about our libraries