Hemel Hempstead Library will launch a new 'Ready Reads' lending service

Libraries in Hertfordshire will be launching the new lending service next month

By Holly Patel
Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 9:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 10:24 am

Hemel Hempstead Central Library will be one of 10 sites in Hertfordshire that will be rolling out 'Ready Reads'.

Following the Prime Minister's latest announcement, the service will be rolled out across 10 sites from Monday, July 6, 'Ready Reads' will allow users to collect a pre-selected book pack to read at home.

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 Central Library, The Forum (C) Google Maps

The Ready Read Service will be introduced at Watford Central, Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage libraries initially.

These will be closely followed by Hemel Hempstead, St. Albans, Bishops Stortford, Rickmansworth, Royston, Hoddesdon and Borehamwood libraries.

The service will be extended to Harpenden, Hatfield and other libraries across the county once safety measures are in place, details will be regularly updated on the Hertfordshire Libraries pages.

Cabinet member for Libraries, Terry Douris, 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.

“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.”

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, the Library Service is actively working to allow customers into some buildings during July for limited browsing and self-service.

The county council will continue to monitor the Covid-19 alert level which will determine when they can introduce more services for customers.

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