Next Chapter for South Tyneside Libraries
South Tyneside Council's Library Service is reopening all four of its sites as the Borough moves out of a second national lockdown.
During the lockdown period, the Council has continued to operate a limited library service from its sites within The Word in South Shields and Jarrow Focus.
Now, following the Government's relaxation of the coronavirus restrictions, Hebburn Central and Cleadon Park Library sites, will also reopen from tomorrow (Thursday 3 December).
Library users will now be able to return and collect pre-ordered books, reserve access to libraries' public computers and enjoy time-limited browsing of selected shelves across all four sites - however, still on a strict appointment-only basis. Visitors must book a slot to attend.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "We know how important our libraries are to residents. They have been a real lifeline for many people, particularly some of our most vulnerable residents, including those who have been shielding or self-isolating and during periods of lockdown.
"While residents have still been able to return and collect library books and use the public computers over the latest lockdown period, access has been limited to only two of our four venues.
"We are delighted to be able to reopen all of our council library sites as well as welcome people back to browse and choose their books once again. However, it is really important that people pre-book their visit and don't just turn up. There also won't be places for people to sit and read, with library users urged to choose their books and leave."
Books can be dropped off at library entrances. However, book collections, time-limited computer use and browsing slots must be arranged in advance over the phone. A maximum of 12 books can be borrowed at one time.
Toilets will be open for library users only. No other public facilities will be available, with cafes remaining closed at this time. Face coverings must be worn, with some exceptions.
The Home Readers Library Service will continue to operate as normal.
Library users can also continue to access the range of online library services including the complete collection of eBooks in South Tyneside's Digital Library. The Digital Library offers 24-hour access to hundreds of ebooks, eAudiobooks and online magazines - all free to download onto computers, eReaders, smart phone or tablets. Library members just need a valid library membership and pin number.
Those not already registered as library users, can sign up online and begin accessing the online services straightaway.
Councillor Atkinson added: "Although the restrictions have been relaxed, South Tyneside's grading as a Tier 3 area still puts the Borough at a 'Very High' alert level. We must not be complacent.
"We continue to work hard to ensure services are delivered in a covid-secure way in line with the Government guidance. People visiting our libraries must still adhere to the Hands, Face and Space guidance to keep themselves and others safe."
To arrange a visit, libraries can be contacted at:
- The Word, South Shields - (0191) 427 1818;
- Cleadon Park Library, South Shields - (0191) 424 6194;
- Hebburn Central Library - (0191) 424 7831;
- Jarrow Focus - (0191) 489 7786.
For further details about South Tyneside Libraries, what people should do before they visit, as well as information about joining the library, visit the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/libraries
Keep up to date with South Tyneside Libraries on social media, on Facebook southtynesidelibraries and STynesideCouncil and on Twitter @SouthTyneLibs and @STyne_Council
More details about the impact of coronavirus on South Tyneside is available at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/coronavirus