Users of any of the eight libraries in the High Peak are being warned that services are being reintroduced in "a phased approach" following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
This applies to the borough's eight libraries, which are located in:
- Glossop (Talbot Road)
- Gamesley (Grindleford Grove)
- Hadfield (Station Road)
- Chapel-en-le-Frith (Market Square)
- Hayfield (Kinder Road)
- Buxton (Kents Bank Road)
- New Mills (Hall Street)
- Whaley Bridge (Market Street)
Derbyshire County Council, which runs the libraries, has been cautiously opening up its buildings and services at each step of the government's roadmap for easing restrictions - including reintroducing visiting without appointments, browsing the shelves and reverting to normal opening times.
With the government now lifting most of the remaining restrictions, the library service is able to take further steps to get the service back to normal.
The main change will see libraries reverting to pre-covid capacity levels, which means the number of visitors at any one time in any library will no longer be limited and people will be able to stay as long as they want, rather than an allotted 15 minutes.
Customers will also be able to sit in a library to use the free Wi-Fi using their own device or to study, as well as using the reference and local history materials including microfilm and microfiche where available.
Councillor Barry Lewis, DCC Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture, Tourism and Climate Change, said: “Like many of our services, our libraries have had to adapt quickly to rapidly changing circumstances and they have worked really hard to ensure there is access to as much of what they offer as possible.
“The number of people signing up to our online library service soared during the lockdowns and continues to prove invaluable, but we know how much people appreciate and enjoy being able to visit a library in person. That’s why these changes are another huge step in the right direction for us all.”
Full details of what services are now available at libraries can be found at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/libraryupdates
The county council say staff working in libraries will still be following some Covid-19 restrictions - including wearing masks and keeping a safe distance from others.
Therefore, visitors to libraries are still being encouraged to use the hand sanitiser on arrival and enter their details for Test, Trace and Isolate by scanning the QR code or providing their details to a staff member. They are also being encouraged to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing.
The council say the following services are currently closed but are being reviewed regularly with a view to reopening as soon as possible:
• Reader group meetings in libraries
• Computer one-to-one sessions and in-person local studies support
• Use of meeting rooms, events and activities
• Toilets and baby change facilities
• Donations of books and to foodbanks