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Libraries NI Announces Further Reopening of Local Libraries

Libraries NI is pleased to announce that, following the recent reopening of Bangor Carnegie, Belfast Central, Derry Central, Lisburn City and Omagh libraries as part of a pilot scheme, a further 12 libraries will reopen from the beginning of August. 

Antrim, Ballymoney, Brownlow, Carrickfergus, Cookstown, Coleraine, Downpatrick, Enniskillen, Maghera, Newry, Strabane and Portaferry libraries will reopen to offer customers access to the library for book browsing and limited access to IT.  

These 12 libraries are the second phase of the larger pilot to test our new approach to service delivery which will aim to keep customers and staff safe whilst also learning lessons to facilitate the smooth reopening of other local libraries as soon as possible.

A customer charter [view PDF or MS Word/text only​]​ has been developed to help everyone understand the new operational measures that will be in place for their safety. In order to maintain social distancing, there will be controls on the number of people allowed in libraries at any one time and customers may be asked to limit themselves to 30 minutes browsing and/or 30 minutes’ computer use initially. Toilet facilities will be closed during the pilot phase and printing or photocopying will also be unavailable. As public health guidance changes, this preliminary service offering will be reviewed.

In a similar approach to safety, as customers will see elsewhere, staff will be equipped with relevant PPE, screens will be installed at customer desks, hand sanitiser will be available for all customers entering the library and a high level of cleaning will take place throughout each of the libraries. Returned books will also be stored for a period in each library before being returned to the shelves. 

We would ask customers to work with us to make the reopening a success. Please follow the guidance, maintain social distancing while inside each library and please stay at home if you have any coronavirus like symptoms.

The Book and Collect service, where library members can phone their local library to request a selection of books and arrange contactless collection, will continue to operate in all other libraries not included in the first or second phase and will remain in place until such time as the library reopens. 

Revised, temporary hours for each of the libraries reopening and operational hours for the Book and Collect service are detailed on our website.