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Libraries are reopening after lockdown

Book worms will be able to browse for books in libraries again from Monday 14 December.

Hampshire County Council is opening some of their libraries again after they had to close for browsing during lockdown.

The libraries that aren’t opening for browsing next week will be opening again early in the New Year.

The library cafés in Winchester Discovery Centre, Gosport Discovery Centre and Fareham will also open.

Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward describes the libraries as “really important community hubs” where people are able to meet.

Regular library user Diane Wells told Winol: “People go in to read the newspaper, because they got nowhere else to go. Some people are lonely so they go to the library.

“Libraries are there for all sorts of things.”

During lockdown people could access books through other library services, like the Home Library Service, the Ready Reads Service and by renewing and reserving books online.

People can continue to use these services when the libraries reopen.

Cllr Woodward encouraged people to use alternative library services and explained the Ready Reads Service.

He told WINOL: “People can specify the genera, the sort of books that they like to read, and then our librarians can choose the books for them, and they can pick them up like a sort of self-serve.

“They can arrive and there’s a bag of books, maybe a dozen books, and they can take those away.”

Measures to protect users and staff are in place, and users have to wear a face covering when visiting the library to browse for books or to pick up books.

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