TAMESIDE’S four remaining libraries and the local studies centre are all set to reopen their doors to visitors.
In the week beginning Monday, October 12, customers will have access to Denton, Droylsden, Hyde and Hattersley libraries as well as the archives unit on Cotton Street, Ashton (from Tuesday, October 13). The popular book reservation service will also be resumed.
Hours will be the same as pre-lockdown except that there will be no Saturday opening at Denton and Hyde and no Open+ self-access. Among the services on offer are the return of outstanding items, a click-and-collect service for those not wishing to browse, and pre-booked use of PCs for one hour only (or walk-in if there is capacity).
Books, archives, microfilm readers and computers will again be available at the local studies centre but reservations must be made in advance to make sure space and the relevant material is available.
Safety measures across all five sites include hand-sanitisers; one-way systems; additional cleaning; managed access and capacity; quarantining of books, archives and microfilm reels; removal of furniture that may encourage people to stay longer than necessary and sanitising of PCs between users.
Customers are required to wear a face-covering to reduce the risk of spreading covid-19. Records of staff, customers and visitors will be kept and shared with NHS Test and Trace where requested.
Screens have been installed around counters and the use of self-service machines is encouraged.
To ensure social distancing measures are kept to, no unaccompanied children under 12 will be allowed in the libraries.
Open+ self-access hours will not be operating and events and group activities will not be taking place. However, a full programme of online activities is available.
Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s executive member with responsibility for culture, said: “Libraries are a highly important and popular resource that make a huge difference to people’s lives. I know they have been greatly missed since lockdown forced their closure and I’m delighted we’re now able to safely reopen our remaining sites.
“This is a really positive step but I must ask people to be responsible and work with us by wearing a face-covering, observing guidance on social distancing, and not spending any longer in the libraries than they need to.”