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Covid-19 Updates

Updated April 9th 2021
Roadmap for reintroducing in-person library services. Find out more about our services from Monday 12th April. Services may differ per library. For more information on our libraries, please visit our library pages



Libraries Unlimited announces their roadmap

To assist our customers, we have put the following temporary arrangements in place:

  • Existing loans have been extended to week to 29th March 2021.
  • You can review loans online or by contacting your library via email.
  • Suspended our reservation charges through to 29th March 2021 as items may take longer than usual to become available.
  • Items that were due back before 4th April have been automatically extended to 28th June 2021.

  • Ancestry access at home has been extended to end of June.

Our digital library remains open, you can download and stream free eBooks, eAudiobooks,  eMagazines and e-newspapers from our extensive collection. You can use our online resources from home and access to Ancestry Library Edition has been extended to March 2021.  In addition, there is remote access to Business Information databases.  Find out more at https://bipc.librariesunlimited.org.uk 

Our Services

Libraries are running Choose and Collect services to support the health and wellbeing of our communities. Services may differ per Library. To use our Choose and Collect service, please telephone or email your local library, we will select your books or DVDs and you can collect them from the library entrance at a pre-arranged time.
The Books on Wheels Service will resume Jan 18th 2021 and will be offered where the volunteer is comfortable providing this service. Please contact your local library or email home.library@librariesunlimited.org.uk for further details.
 

What to expect in our libraries

Our libraries will reopen for public to choose books from the shelves, use the computer facilities and in some libraries use our study areas.

We will maintain the Covid secure arrangements within our libraries including 2m social distancing measures, hand sanitisation stations, limiting the numbers of customers at any one time and one-way systems to help the safe flow of customers through our libraries.

Our mobile libraries are welcoming customers back on board their vehicles, one bubble at a time, from Monday 12th April.
To keep everyone safe we have installed safety signage throughout our libraries. Safe queuing will be in place to enter the library. We have 2 metre social distancing measures, hand sanitisation stations and one-way systems to help the safe flow of customers through our libraries.

Our libraries vary in size, and we will limit the number of customers at any one time. Factors such as layout, number of floors, staffing and services available may play a part in our safety management.
Our libraries vary in size, and we will limit the number of customers at any one time. Factors such as layout, number of floors, staffing and services available may play a part in our safety management.
We have invested in hand sanitiser stations for each library, enabling you to sanitise when entering the library. Cleaning will be in place for services such as our public computers and self-service kiosks. Each library has been cleaned in advance of our return and has regular cleaning in place.
The NHS Covid-19 app launched on 24th September and each of our libraries will be displaying the QR code poster for our customers to scan and self-register for Test & Trace. The app does more than the QR code check in, it also allows you to:

Trace – For contact tracing, the app detects and logs other nearby app users using random unique IDs.

Alerts – When you register for the app you supply the first part of your postcode, it then alerts you to the risk in your area. Symptoms – If you feel unwell, you can use the app to check if your symptoms could be related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Test – If you have symptom it will allow you to book a test. Isolate – If you have been advised by the app to self-isolate, the app provides a countdown timer so that you can keep track of how long you need to self-isolate. As libraries are supporting the Check-In scheme by displaying QR codes you may receive enquiries specifically about this. We can inform customers that: The app stores all your check-in data locally on the phone and does not send it to a third party.

Your check-in data will be deleted after 21 days. You will receive an alert if somebody who has tested positive for Covid-19 has been in the same venue as you.

A NHS guide to the app can be found here.

Click here for full details of Libraries Unlimited’s Test and Trace privacy policy
Each library has changed layouts to ensure adequate space for you to move around in safety. We have marked up our floor space to support social distancing and we request that 2m social distancing is observed by all staff and customers.
The government requires all members of the public to wear face coverings in libraries.

Hand sanitiser and cleaning We have invested in hand sanitiser stations for each library, enabling you to sanitise when entering the library. Cleaning will be in place for services such as our computers and self-service kiosks.

For government guidance on face coverings click here.
 

Using the library

Our libraries are open for public access to choose books from our shelves.

We recognise that libraries are places where you enjoy browsing and that glancing through a book before choosing to take it home is often an integral part of the experience.

In the event you change your mind about an item you have picked up, we have installed ‘browsing trolleys or boxes’ where you can safely leave it. At the end of each day, items from our browsing trolleys will be safely quarantined for 72 hours. This system is in place to support safety in our libraries.

Any loans can be returned to your local library. We have extended loans to allow you more time and you can manage renewal dates via our website or by contacting your local library for assistance.

For safety reasons libraries may initially be offering a more limited selection of stock for people to choose from. All books and items returned to the library will undergo 72 hours quarantine before they are removed from your account and returned to the library shelves. We will be asking you to place returned items into a box near the library entrance to keep them separate for quarantining.
Computer sessions may be limited to 1 hour and with less computers available (in order to maintain social distancing) booking is advisable, particularly in smaller libraries. Computers are bookable online, by phone, email or in person at your library. Please speak to us if you think you may need extra time. Every computer is cleaned between customers.

Please have the exact money to pay for any printing as there is currently no change available.

Please see the new links available on the public computer desktops for help with computers and IT queries. We will not be able to give assistance with the computers at this time.
Children and families are very important to us and we want to make sure children continue to have a positive digital experience from their local library.
 
Events in libraries remain suspended for now but you can still enjoy the activities and events that we are streaming and sharing online. Find your local library on social media (Facebook and Twitter) to enjoy these events.
Online reservations are available via our website as part of our Lifeline Choose and Collect service. You can borrow a maximum of 24 books.

Our digital library remains open, you can download and stream free eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and e-newspapers from our extensive collection. You can use our online resources from home and access to Ancestry Library Edition has been extended to March 2021.
During lockdown please contact your local library if you need to make a payment and we will arrange payment over the telephone.
 

Our Facilities

Our customer lifts will be limited to one person, or one family group at a time. Our customer toilets will remain closed until further notice to maintain a safe environment. Seating areas in most libraries will be limited or removed due to space restrictions and social distancing.
If you are wanting to use the library for the first time please join online in advance. You will be able to use our digital services immediately. If you wish to use the physical library please contact your local library by phone or email with your temporary [UNREG] number and we will arrange a library card for collection.
Download and stream free eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and e-newspapers from our extensive collection. You can use our online resources from home and access to Ancestry Library Edition has been extended through to March 2021.
Meeting room hire across libraries in Torbay is suspended.

If you have a meeting room booking, our room hire team will be in touch to discuss your booking.

To make a booking or for room hire enquiries please call 0333 2342123 or email roomhire@librariesunlimited.org.uk
 

Lockdown - Library Service FAQs

To provide a flexible service at this time and to help our customers we have put the following temporary arrangements in place:

-Existing loans due back between 5th November and 2nd December have been extended to week commencing 11th January 2021
-Extended our book loans to 10 weeks on any books borrowed from Thursday 5th November You can borrow up to 24 books
-Extended loans on DVD/CDs/audiobooks to 10 weeks on items borrowed from Thursday 5th November
-Suspended our reservation charges through to 31st March 2021

You will be able to view your return date online by signing into your library account and proceeding to "My loans". If you have forgotten your PIN please click the 'Forgot PIN' option to get a PIN reset sent to your registered email address. If you need assistance please email your local library stating your name and library card number.
Digital Library Download and stream free eBooks, eAudioBooks and eMagazines.

- We have added 3,500 titles to Overdrive (eBooks and eAudiobooks)
- We now have 1,000 unlimited use eAudiobooks through RB Digital
- A selection of eMagazines are available on RB Digital
- Access eAudiobooks via BorrowBox
- Access the ‘Reading Well’ collections on our digital platform Online Reference resources
- Access to Ancestry Library Edition has been temporarily extended to Torbay Library members at home, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry.
- Our libraries are creating fun online content and live streaming events. Check out individual library Facebook pages for more information.


Join the Digital Library

You can join the library by visiting this page. Once you have completed the online joining form, you will be given a temporary [UNREG] number which will enable you to access our digital library immediately. As and when our libraries re-open we will process all temporary memberships registered during this closure period and we will issue a library card to you.uff
Please bear with us, at this time, as we are receiving an increased number of enquiries We can also answer general enquiries and/or forward on general enquiries to the relevant member of the team from our info@ inbox. Please email info@librariesunlimited.org.uk Please note that we aim to respond to all enquiries within 5 working days, but due to the current high level of enquiries and fast-moving national picture, we cannot guarantee this.

If you cannot get through to the library team via phone, please leave a message or send us an email. Your local library team will then call you back.
 

The safety of both our staff and our customers are important to us, and we are working hard to ensure libraries provide a safe and protective environment. Following government guidance our staff are provided with safety equipment and you may see us wearing gloves, masks or visors. All members of staff have completed Health & Safety training on how to work safely in this new environment.

Information and advice

Reliable and up to date information about the coronavirus situation is available from:

Vulnerable and older customers

We provide invaluable social contact for many of our older and more vulnerable customers. Many of our Home Library Service volunteers are remaining in touch with customers. 

Business support

We have a range of online business support, events and information available via our Business and IP Centre.
 

Our libraries

Reopening from April 12th check your library page for more information.

 
 
Open for Choose and Collect
please pre-arrange a time
 
Open for computer use
please pre-arrange a time
 
 
Open for meeting rooms
please pre-arrange a time
 
Open for browsing books
please check opening times

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