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Hackney libraries to reopen services in “phases” to reduce risk of coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 15:30 19 August 2020

Dalston C.L.R James Library:Picture Ken Mears

Dalston C.L.R James Library:Picture Ken Mears

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Hackney Libraries will be reopening on a “phased basis” to manage the risk of coronavirus and protect staff and service users.

Libraries in the borough are currently open for orders and collection but some residents wonder when libraries will fully reopen as many people rely on them to access the internet and print documents.

Resident Nigel Gansell, 80, told the Gazette: “I don’t know why they have taken so long to rearrange seating in a library and to rearrange the computers.”

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Nigel, a regular library user, must now visit an internet cafe to access a computer costing him a pound every half hour.

Still, Culture chief Cllr Guy Nicholson says libraries must reopen on a phased basis to manage risk and protect staff and service users: “Six libraries are currently open for people to order and collect, and our community library service delivers to residents who are housebound or in hospital.”

The council’s phased service recovery has involved limiting the number of people allowed in library buildings and having service users collect books and resources at building entrances, where staff can be protected behind perspex screens.

All returned books must also be quarantined for 72 hours.

The council has not said when other library services will be open to the public.


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