To ensure the safety of its residents and libraries staff, Wokingham Borough Council will not re-open its libraries on 4 July. The decision to keep libraries closed has been as difficult as our decision to close them when this crisis first started, as the Council knows they are much loved and widely used by residents across the borough.
There have been two main factors, which have prevented the borough’s libraries opening this weekend. Firstly, there are logistical issues around keeping libraries books and other items safe. The Government Covid-19 guidance states that returned books must be quarantined for three days, on return to the library. As it stands there are 37,000 items out on loan.
The second issue, is that over 30 members of staff are currently re-deployed to critical community roles or roles within the council.
In coming to a decision not to reopen the libraries at this time, the Council has needed to balance the risk of staff being needed to continue to support direct care services to residents and the amount of work that would be needed to operate the libraries safely.
This decision is under constant review and the Council will continue to post regular updates. Residents can help by saying what they’d like to see prioritised when library services begin again. The survey will remain open until the end of July: https://www.wokingham.gov.uk/news-and-consultation/consultation-and-having-your-say/current-consultations/?entryid206=521509
Residents can still access a wide range of online library services, including e-Books e-Audio, e-Comics, e-Newspapers and e-Magazines. They can be accessed online via:www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries/library-services