A FURTHER eight libraries will soon be opening in Wiltshire, including the one in Amesbury.

As part of the reopening, the libraries will be providing a new order and collect service to residents.

From Monday, September 14, libraries in Amesbury, Bradford on Avon, Calne and Marlborough will open, followed on September 21 by Royal Wootton Bassett, Westbury and Melksham.

People won’t be able to drop-in and browse at these libraries but an order and collect service has been set-up providing access to books.

People can also book to use the computers for up to 45 minutes. It is hoped that people will be able to browse at these libraries in due course.

People are asked to let the council know what kind of books they enjoy. This can be done by completing an online form or by phoning the respective library during their opening times.

The council will also need to know the person’s library card number and phone number.

Twelve books will then be selected on the person’s behalf or 20 for a family – audiobooks can also be selected if the person has an audiobook subscription or membership exemption.

When the books are available, the council’s library team will contact the person to arrange for them to collect them from the library entrance at a date and time that’s convenient for them.

When the person arrives, a library team member will ask for the person’s name and to see their library card, and then pass on the books.

If anyone wishes to reserve a specific book and collect it from one of the order and collect libraries, they can use the council’s normal reservation service.

Books can be reserved via the online catalogue for 95p. Books are loaned for three weeks and will need to be renewed, if people wish to keep them longer. They can be returned through the library letter box at any time.

Returned books will be stored for 72 hours before being put back on the shelves and will still remain on the person’s account until that time.

To book a computer session, people should phone the respective library.

Councillor Ian Blair-Pilling, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Libraries, said: “Our libraries team has worked incredibly hard to get more and more libraries open and providing services.

"We have to manage our staffing levels carefully so although we can’t allow people to browse at this batch of eight libraries, they will still be getting services – and that’s the most important thing.

“The order and collect service will also likely introduce people to new titles and stories that they may not have heard of or read before and that will be exciting. I shall certainly be giving it a go and look forward to some expert suggestions. Our library service has adapted so well throughout the pandemic and it’s great to see people continually embrace what we’ve been able to offer.”

So far, more than 7,000 people have visited the libraries that reopened in Wiltshire last month.