Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage libraries first to reopen for collection only

Welwyn Garden City library in Campus West.
Picture: Nina Morgan

Welwyn Garden City library in Campus West. Picture: Nina Morgan - Credit: Archant

Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Watford Central libraries will have collection services available from Monday, July 6 – allowing users to collect a pre-selected book pack to read at home.

St Albans Library. Picture: HCC.

St Albans Library. Picture: HCC. - Credit: Archant

This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday that pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and libraries can welcome back customers from July 4, but not nightclubs, indoor gyms and beauty salons.

Herts County Council 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.

Hemel Hempstead, St. Albans, Royston, Bishops Stortford, Rickmansworth, Hoddesdon and Borehamwood libraries will then follow – with it only being extended to Harpenden, Hatfield and other libraries across the county once safety measures are in place.

Cllr Terry Douris, HCC cabinet member for libraries, 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.

Hertfordshire County Council cabinet member for libraries councillor Terry Douris at Hitchin Library

Hertfordshire County Council cabinet member for libraries councillor Terry Douris at Hitchin Library. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO


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“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.”

For the latest updates, go to hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/libraries-and-archives.aspx.

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