Q. When does the SPL re-open?
A. As things stand with the public health guidance from the Scottish Government, we hope to be open to the public in September.
Until then, from Monday, 17 August we will introduce a ‘Click and Collect Service’ and continue with an expanded postal borrowing offer. The building will be staffed from Monday to Friday, between 10am and 2pm. Saturday services will be put on hold until further notice.
One of our main sources of reference for managing our services coming out of the lockdown in the safest way is a document produced by SLIC and the Scottish Government for public libraries, which can be read here.
Q. Is it safe to borrow books?
A. Yes, the latest advice provided by library professional bodies is to set aside (quarantine) books for 72 hours.
Q. What will the visitor experience feel like?
A. For the Click and Collect service a member of staff will come to the front door and hand over your reservations in a pre-packed bag. Staff will be equipped with the appropriate PPE.
When we re-open the building to the public in September we will likely control the number of people entering the building. As well as staff on hand, we will have signs to provide guidance on orientation and spaces and resources that will be accessible.
Q. How does ‘Click and Collect’ work?
A. If you wish to borrow a book, first check it’s on the catalogue. After that, email our librarians at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0131 557 2876 between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Friday.
To repeat the main points:
- Our staff will be able to reserve your book if it is in stock and not being borrowed.
- We will bag the books up and have them ready for you to go when you arrive.
- We recommend that borrowed books are quarantined for three days after collection.
- After books are returned, we will set them aside for three days before returning them to the collection.
Q. What safety measures will be in place for borrowers and staff?
A. We aim to make the library safe for visitors and staff alike. We will follow best practice guidelines on PPE for handling books, cleaning the building and making available, for example, hand-gel dispensers. Please wear a face-covering.
Q. What about postal borrowing?
A. In the short-term, from 17 August, we will offer free postal borrowing of up to two books at a time for all of our borrowers. You can reserve books by emailing our librarians at email@example.com or by phoning 0131 557 2876 between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Friday. We will manage a once-a -week bulk postal service and will provide a freepost label so you can return the books to us.
The standard borrowing limit of up to six books will continue for the Click and Collect service. The loan period will be extended to eight weeks.
Q. How do I return my books?
A. Books can be returned at any time either through our library letter box at the front door or via post.
If a book you have already borrowed before lockdown in March hasn’t been reserved by another user, and you would like to keep hold of it for a little while longer, you can renew it online or contact the library reception and we can do this for you.
Q. What happens if a staff member who has been working in the Library becomes ill?
A. Our staff will work in two teams or ‘bubbles’. If a member of staff is suspected of contracting COVID-19, we will ask the team in that bubble to self-isolate for 14 days. We might have to pause our services for part of the week, depending on our capacity and the available track and trace guidance provided by the Scottish Government. Updates will be provided on our website and social media platforms.
Q. Will the Library be hosting any events or reading activities?
A. As with all other indoor venues in Scotland, our events programme has been suspended. We will continue to support and recommend online readings and discussions hosted by book festivals and literary partners.
Our frequent reading and creative writing groups have moved to virtual online platforms. This is an area of work that we will likely expand beyond the present period of physical and social contact restrictions.
When we reopen the Library, a primary consideration will be in supporting the physical access needs of people with mobility and sensory impairments.
Q. Will the Library be available for venue hire and room bookings?
A. As things stand, we won’t be hosting any new activities in the building’s rooms and spaces until the public health guidance makes it safe for us to do so.
Q. Will the library be open as a study space?
A. Given the present advice on physical distancing our static desks and tables will not be available to use until the building is fully open.