Urgent statement from Surrey Libraries
Plans to reopen libraries from 6 July
Surrey plans to start gradually reopening libraries across the county from 6 July, in line with Government guidance.
The county’s libraries closed on 20 March due to the coronavirus lockdown and the Council is now planning how to reopen services in a safe way with guidelines in place for social distancing.
Planning for opening library buildings again is already well underway as it will be part of the third step in the Government’s national recovery plan, meaning some libraries may start to reopen from 6 July. The priority will be staff and customer safety, which means the libraries will have to operate in a different way with a reduced service, limited capacity in buildings, additional cleaning measures and guidelines in place for social distancing.
Despite the buildings being closed, Surrey’s libraries have seen a huge increase in membership with numbers up 110% compared to a similar period last year, as people join online from home. Library members have been enjoying a varied offer of digital services, with over 11,000 e-books and audiobooks downloaded since lockdown began. Videos on the popular Surrey Libraries Facebook channel –
including online Rhymetime sessions, craft and science activities and even an online Lego club, have reached over 230,000 people. Videos have been so popular that the Surrey Libraries have launched a new YouTube channel. –
We will issue more details about which libraries will be open, opening times and range of services in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, all loans, including rental items (e.g. DVDs), are extended until at least the 4th September 2020. You will not need to take any action if you already have items on loan, and no extra rental will be charged.
We wish you and your families well in these extraordinary times and we will keep you updated with more information and news in due course.