It’s been over a year since Bedford Borough’s libraries were forced to close as part of the first national Covid-19 (coronavirus) lockdown.
But from next Monday (12 April), Bedford Central and Kempston libraries will reopen, with Putnoe Library joining them from 19 April.
Bromham and Wootton libraries will open from 26 April, with a Select and Collect service available at these two sites for some hours between 14 and 26 April.
The Virtual Library website had full details of opening hours and further service updates.
Initially, the libraries will be open for what the Council call ‘managed browsing’, allowing visitors to select their own books.
Essential computer use will also be available and people are encouraged to book a session in advance if they can, as fewer computers are available due to social distancing. You can book a 45-minute session here.
Visitors are required to wear a face-covering and will also be asked to use the NHS Test and Trace app.
The Mobile Library will also be returning from the week beginning 12 April. Due to the small space, customers will not be able to browse the shelves on the vehicle, but will be able to request books using the Select and Collect service and collect them from a Mobile Library stop.
A temporary change to routes will be in place and details will be available shortly via the Virtual Library.
A Borough Council spokesperson said: “The staff have done a fantastic job providing a much-needed service throughout this difficult year, ensuring people could still access books and other library stock while we have all been staying at home much more than we normally would.
“Now we can start to get our libraries reopened in a COVID-safe and responsible way, and we look forward to welcoming you all back.”