Plans are in place for Kent’s Libraries, Registration and Archives services to return to normal service following the government’s decision to ease Covid restrictions across the country from 19 July.
KCC says it will be taking a “phased approach” to changes, beginning with 18 libraries reopening from the week beginning 26 July.
The plan is for the majority of KCC’s 99 libraries to be reopened by the end of the week beginning 9 August, the only exception being Marden which, due to building improvement works, will reopen on Monday 16 August.
Currently 43 libraries are open with appropriate Covid-safety measures in place and details can be found here: www.kent.gov.uk/libs
The specific re-opening day of the other 56 libraries will be advertised locally and the opening times will all be available there and on the website.
Libraries will continue to have hand sanitizer in place for customers to use, with screens on the desks and the means for customers to log their visit for “track and trace”.
In the short term, there will be a reduced number of public computers in operation while the country moves into step 4 of the government’s road map to recovery.
In line with KCC’s approach to face coverings, customers and staff will be expected and recommended to continue to wear face coverings and there will be signage to that effect.
In addition to our library re-openings, key changes to other services will be as follows:
Mobile libraries: customers will be able to go on the new mobile vehicles and browse from 19 th July with an end of our Select and Collect service which we brought in due to Covid. All of our vehicles have been replaced over the last few months so we are looking forward to welcoming customers on board for the first time.
Numbers at ceremonies: with the legal limit lifted, we will return to pre-Covid levels for existing bookings from 19th July.
Archive search room at the Kent History and Library Centre: phased increase in number of slots available in the archive search room.
Events and activities across the library and archive service: events and activities will return but we will first be focussing on all the above and planning for this will follow getting all the libraries reopened.
Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “This is a significant level of service recovery to complete. We are not proposing to do everything all at once and looking at a continued phased approach, accepting that everyone needs time to adapt to changes.
“We will proceed carefully in the continuing interests of customer and staff safety.”
Proposal for Summer Recovery of remaining 56 libraries
From July 19 – Reopening sequence
|Phase 1: WB 26th July||Phase 2: WB 2nd August||Phase 3: WB 9th August|
|Summerhouse drive||Ashen Drive||Longfield|
|Temple Hill||Swan Valley||Sutton at Hone|
|Riverview Park||Marling Cross||Hive House|
|Royal Victoria Place||East Peckham||*Marden (delay to 16.8.21 due to building improvement works)|