Phased return of Southend library services planned for July

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A phased return of library services is being planned from Monday July 6. Southend Council’s home library service has also restarted, with 34 home deliveries being made to vulnerable residents at the end of May.

The free service can only reach a limited number of people at any one time, so the council seeks to provide the service for those people who need it most. The council’s e-library service has also been available throughout the COVID-19 pandemic response with a range of e-books, audiobooks and e-magazines available for library members.

A ‘click and collect’ service will be available at all six libraries in the borough from July 6. Plans to safely reopen library buildings for browsing and other services are also being worked on. Further details on this will be announced when plans are finalised.

Councillor Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, says: “I am very pleased that we have been able to restart the home library service which is a very important and well received service for vulnerable local people.

“Along with restarting the home library service, we are working on the ‘click and collect’ service that will allow people to borrow and return items from all six library sites from July 6.

“We are also working through how we can allow people to safely come back into our libraries to browse and use services, but each site is different and will require a different approach.

“This will be a challenge for some of our smaller sites, and will need to be on a phased basis depending on the site. We are undertaking work to understand what measures will need to be in place to make libraries COVID-secure.

“A national recovery toolkit is expected to be released soon by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which will also help inform our reopening plans. In the meantime I would encourage library members to use our e-library service which has a great range of digital and online resources.”

For more information on the home library service, email: [email protected]

To visit the council’s e-library service, visit: https://southend.spydus.co.uk

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]