London libraries set to reopen with restrictions

A stack of books sitting on a table. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Pakhnyushchyy.

Book lovers will soon be able to return to local libraries in person with four London branches opening their doors starting next week.

The London Public Library announced on Thursday that it will be reopening the Beacock and Sherwood branches on Monday, followed by the Byron and Crouch branches on Tuesday.

“Library staff have worked extremely hard at adapting library services throughout the pandemic,” said library CEO Michael Ciccone in a news release. “Opening our doors with limited services in place is a significant step in this staged process and we will continue to keep the safety of patrons and staff at the forefront of our strategy.”

Anyone who wishes to attend one of the four branches in person will be able to find and borrow books and other available items or pick up any items that may be on hold. As well, the library will be allowing the public to utilize its computers, printers, and wifi for up to 45 per day. Library Settlement Service will also be available but by appointment only.

Each branch will have health and safety measures in place and quick visits will be encouraged. Masks also must be worn and social distancing must be maintained.

Washrooms, photocopying, play areas, meeting spaces, and room rentals will not be available at this time for health and safety reasons. As well, the public will not be able to read or borrow magazines and newspapers or participate in in-person library programs.

All borrowed items must be returned outside using outdoor return chutes and all returned items will be quarantined for three days.

The Carson and Landon branches will not be opened to the public but will continue to offer curbside pick-up. As well, the Lambeth Branch, which has been closed during the pandemic, will launch a curbside pick-up service on August 18.

“We know that Londoners need library services and resources more than ever. We will continue to innovate and improve so that we meet the existing needs of our community as well as their future needs as we enter this period of recovery and reinvention,” said Ciccone.

The hours of operation for each branch and further information can be found by clicking here.