WITH plans for library services to restart from August, Wiltshire Council is urging residents to share their ideas and feedback on how to do this safely.

During the Covid-19 pandemic libraries have been temporarily closed, with digital resources available including an online library, e-services and social media events.

Now, Wiltshire Council is preparing to reopen libraries across the county with social distancing measures in force, but would like to hear from the public on ways to reopen.

From an order and collect service to computer access, the authority has put forward the following options for residents to consider during a four-week consultation:

Option 1

Order and collect - Customers contact the library by email or phone to request books or other materials that they wish to borrow. These would then be collected in person from a library.

This would operate from August 10 at some main library hubs in Wiltshire, and in each of the 18 community areas across the county by the end of September.

Option 2

Order and collect service with bookable computer access - The order and collect service as detailed above, but with the ability to pre-book a computer session for those without access to the internet.

Option 3

Socially distanced service offering the public access to browse stock and use computers - This would operate in up to six libraries from the end of August.

Residents are also welcomed to shared their own ideas.

The consultation closes on July 26.

Philip Whitehead, leader of Wiltshire Council, said: "People are rightly passionate about their libraries and that's been evident in the astonishing take-up of our online services since lockdown in March.

We're taking this opportunity to think about how we reopen the service safely, carefully and in a phased way during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We have suggested some possible options on how we may reopen library services, but we really need people to share their thoughts and ideas on we can overcome the challenges we face at this time. We're looking forward to hearing what people think."

Following an analysis of the feedback received, the favoured option is likely to be introduced initially for a six-month period from August 10.

A hard copy of the consultation will be made available at Bourne Hill. To view online visit the Wiltshire Council website.