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Bishop's Stortford library to launch Ready Read service as lockdown eases

A Ready Read service is being set up at Bishop's Stortford 's library to resume lending.

The initiative by Herts County Council will be rolling out at 10 sites from Monday, July 6, following the Government's latest announcements on relaxing coronavirus lockdown.

Users will be able to collect a pre-selected book pack from the library in the Causeway to read at home.

Bishops Stortford's library
Bishops Stortford's library

Customers will be notified when their books are ready for collection from the door or lobby of the library while observing social distancing guidelines.

All returned items will be placed in quarantine for 72 hours before going back into circulation.

The Ready Read Service will be introduced at Watford Central, Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage libraries initially. These will be closely followed by Bishop's Stortford, Hemel Hempstead, St. Albans, Rickmansworth, Royston, Hoddesdon and Borehamwood libraries.

Cllr Terry Douris (37144957)
Cllr Terry Douris (37144957)

Cabinet member for libraries, Cllr Terry Douris, said: "The safety of staff, volunteers and customers remains the highest priority and we have decided to open these libraries because of their locations offering a good geographical spread across Hertfordshire.

"Libraries are invaluable to local communities in many ways, so I'm really pleased we are able to begin to reopen, albeit in a different way to what we are used to.

"It is important that social distancing and Government guidelines are followed, but hopefully the offer of Ready Reads at some libraries across the county will bring a sense of normality back to everyday life. Libraries offer so much more than just books and staff have done a fantastic job of continuing the service online while the library buildings have been closed."

The service, where readers fill out an online form and pick from a number of pre-selected book packs and the library they want to use, will be extended to Harpenden, Hatfield and other libraries across the county once safety measures are in place.

Staff will inform customers when their pack is ready and it must be collected within seven days. Customers will need their library card or another form of ID – and a bag.

Books which were borrowed before libraries closed due to the coronavirus pandemic can also be returned to libraries offering Ready Reads but requests for specific books cannot be accommodated yet.

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