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Library services reopen in Sheffield

More library services in Sheffield that stopped at the start of the pandemic are relaunching in October.

Sheffield central library 21684987449

Sheffield Central Library.

Photo by Julia Chandler/Libraries Taskforce (Wikimedia Commons).

Several library services that were suspended at the start of the pandemic are returning this month, with access to computers and city archives also being made available

Sheffield Libraries have been running an Order and Collect service since early August, but opening hours have now been extended and the service has been rolled out to all council-run libraries.

Nine computers are now available for use in the Central Library as part of The People’s Network. These will be in a separate bookable room with social distancing measures in place.

“The most important part of reopening is safety and we are being extra vigilant and following guidance," said Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure Cllr Mary Lea. "This means that some services will be available at some libraries before others."

Sheffield City Archives on Shoreham Street have put safety measures in place to reopen on 12 October. Visitors will need to book an appointment to view documents and other historical materials.

Throughout lockdown the City Archives have been tweeting interesting items from their collection, and have also been collecting new material documenting the city during Covid-19.

Using a new electric van, a home service has also restarted for borrowers unable to get to their local library. Sheffield residents who want to use the service need to email the team or call 0114 273 4277.

The Council say this service is also available on a temporary basis, for example while someone is recovering from an operation.

The libraries team hope to offer book browsing again soon, but this is currently not allowed under national coronavirus guidelines.

"We know that this is a very difficult time for so many people and the reassurance and welcome that a library brings is something we want to see re-established as soon as possible right across the city," said Cllr Lea.

by Sam Gregory (he/him)
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