As COVID-19 Coronavirus loomed large in the UK during March 2020, one of the many village facilities suddenly closed down was Ruddington Library.
This not only stopped dead its loans and reference services but also caused the cancellation of special events (Henry Normal was due to visit!) and halted numerous classes and group activities which usually happen there on a monthly bass. The building has not been used since.
Nine weeks later, it’s been announced by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Libraries and Archive Services, managed by Inspire Culture, that plans are now being made to resume services in line with Government guidance. The third step in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘national recovery plan’ could see some libraries starting to reopen from Monday July 6th – and it seems Ruddington shouldn’t be too far behind.
Peter Gaw, CEO of Inspire, tells RUDDINGTON.info: “Safety is our top priority and staff are preparing now and in the coming weeks. This includes capacity quotas, signage, PPE, new cleaning routines and staff training. We are working to meet government guidance and using our health and safety advisor to undertake risk assessments and redesign operational procedures for each of our 67 sites. We will be having a phased approach to resuming a face-to-face library service. A limited loan, information and ICT service will be on offer, with each library having a specific, pre-set visitor capacity which will allow people to socially distance themselves and be safe.”
In terms of our village library, Peter reveals: “We will be opening seven sites week commencing 6th July, if the ‘R number’ allows. Ruddington will not be one of these seven, however our aim is that within the following two weeks we will open all libraries that we are able to operate safely. We will be confirming opening times and the service offer by the 15th June. I have no doubt Ruddington Library will reopen as soon after the 6th of July as we can arrange.”
Cllr John Cottee, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities & Place Committee says: “While our buildings have been closed many customers have discovered our virtual offer, Inspire Online, and our helpline service, ASK Inspire, so we have been able to provide a range of services remotely. However, I’m really pleased that we are now in the planning stage of opening physical sites again to help support the needs of our communities during this difficult time.”
Please keep checking back to RUDDINGTON.info for further updates.