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6 Isle of Wight Council-run libraries will be reopening in a phased and COVID-secure way during July.

From Monday (6th July), the libraries team will be welcoming the return of any books and talking books that have been on loan now for several months. There will be no ‘late fees’ applied.

At this time, libraries will not be fully open as people will be used to.

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Returned books will be ‘quarantined’ for 72 hours before they are loaned out again for the foreseeable future to contain the spread of coronavirus.

An ‘order and collect’ service is being developed so that people will be able to borrow books once again, as is a home delivery service to those on the shield list or self-isolating. Further details will be released soon.

Libraries manager, Rob Jones, said:

“We really need to refill our shelves before we can start loaning out books; we ask that anyone who has library books languishing at home throughout lockdown, please return them to us.

“We can’t wait to welcome our customers back to our libraries in a safe way when we can — we’ve missed you!”

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The library book drop-off times will be 10:00 to 12 noon and from 14:00 until 16:00 at the following libraries and on the following days, from 6th July:

• Cowes: Monday/Tuesday/Friday.
• Freshwater: Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday.
• Newport: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday.
• Ryde: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday.
• Sandown: Tuesday/Thursday/Friday.
• Ventnor: Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday

During lockdown, a number of library staff were redeployed to support the coronavirus crisis response, including delivering food parcels and manning the council’s telephone helpline. Some library favourites, including ‘rhyme time’ and story time sessions, were offered digitally via social media.

Rob added:

“Lots of library services are available digitally and I’d really encourage people to keep accessing those e-books and other things until we are in a position to open a more ‘normal’ library service.”

For more details visit, ring 01983 823824 or email [email protected].

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