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County Libraries To Roll Out Re-Opening With Safety A Priority

Published on Friday 3 July 2020

Some libraries across Derbyshire are to begin re-opening from next week with several temporary changes in place to keep customers and staff safe.

Derbyshire County Council closed all of its 45 libraries on 20 March due to the coronavirus.

It now plans to re-open seven libraries initially, with three opening on Monday 6 July, followed by one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday and two on Thursday.

Residents must book an appointment to visit their library if it is one of the seven set to re-open first, and people are being urged not to turn up without having arranged their appointment first.

The libraries to re-open throughout the week are:
• Heanor, Matlock, Swadlincote (Monday 6 July)
• Dronfield (Tuesday 7 July)
• Chesterfield (Wednesday 8 July)
• Buxton, Long Eaton (Thursday 9 July).

From their opening date, all seven will then be open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-2pm on Saturdays until further notice, with people being asked to arrange appointments direct with their local library.

Book and Borrow appointments for people wanting to take out books, can be arranged over the phone or by email, and use of library computers can be arranged by phone only. Staff will not be able to assist people using computers.

All currently borrowed books and other items have been automatically renewed until 30 September 2020 and people are being urged not to bring them back unless they have made a Book and Borrow appointment. No overdue charges will be incurred for books which are currently borrowed.

Library staff will monitor how the new systems put in place are working and ensure social distancing can be adhered to before rolling out the re-opening of other libraries across the county. The council’s overall aim is to re-open all 45 libraries when it can be done safely.

Staff at the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock and the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery are also working hard on plans to re-open the venues, and are hoping to be in a position to announce when they may open their doors shortly.

Derbyshire County Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Tourism and Culture Councillor Barry Lewis said: “We are delighted to be in a position where we can start to slowly re-open our libraries and take the first steps towards getting them back to being fully operational.

“The safety of our staff and customers is always our top priority, and we’ve been following Government guidance closely, considering a range of options to get our libraries open in some form.

“Seven libraries will re-open next week and we will monitor each one very closely to make sure that the measures in place are sufficient to keep everyone safe while still being able to offer a service. It’s really important that people book an appointment to visit and don’t just turn up at the door.

“These are temporary measures and we are obviously working towards opening up the service further when we are sure it is safe to do so, with the overall aim being to re-open all 45.

“We know how important libraries are to people, and we’ve seen the number of library members rise by more than 1,100 during lockdown, with Derbyshire residents taking advantage of the excellent range of free services available online, from eBooks and eNewspapers to activities and research materials.

“I hope library users will bear with us and take advantage of the re-opening of services, albeit limited to start with, and we will endeavour to re-open other parts of the service over the next few weeks.”

During the initial phase of re-openings, it will not be possible to:
• visit without an appointment
• return books or other items unless attending a Book and Borrow appointment
• browse the shelves
• take part in reader groups or other activities
• use meeting rooms
• request specific items/books
• use the toilets and baby changing facilities
• read newspapers in the library
• make donations, including to the foodbank.

Details on how people can contact their local library can be found by going to People should only contact the library they intend to use.

Dates will shortly be announced for the second phase of library re-openings affecting the following libraries: Alfreton, Ashbourne, Belper, Bolsover, Glossop, Ilkeston and Ripley. Information about the re-opening of the Derbyshire Record Office and Buxton Museum and Art Gallery will also follow shortly. Details of the re-opening of the remaining libraries will follow at a later date.

Note to News Editors:

The contact details for the seven libraries due to re-open are:
Buxton 01629 533460
Chesterfield 01629 533400
Dronfield 01629 533450
Heanor 01629 533795
Long Eaton 01629 531470
Matlock 01629 533837
Swadlincote 01629 533013

Full details of the temporary new rules on borrowing books (Book and Borrow) and using computers in libraries can be found at

How Book and Borrow works.

Customers will be asked to:
• ring or email the reopened library they want to collect books from to make an appointment. They will be given a date/time for their collection slot. If they email they will be called back to arrange a collection slot.
• provide the name and library card number for each person who wants to borrow books, plus a contact phone number.
• give information on the type of books the person wants – i.e. genre, examples of authors, format, or they can opt for a ‘lucky dip’. Maximum 10 items per person for each collection slot.
• bring library card/s or card number/s for all people they are collecting for, when visiting for their pre-booked slot
• bring their own bags.

It will not be possible for library staff to order books from other libraries during the temporary arrangements, and staff will only be able to provide items from their specific branch. This means that specific titles may not always be available.
All books will be issued to 30 September 2020.

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