Unbelievably, it’s been fifteen months since we were last able to have members of the public wander around our libraries, free to look at and choose books for themselves. We’ve been running a ‘Select & Collect’ takeaway service in the meantime, which has become extraordinarily successful and a lifeline for many people hungry for a constant supply of reading material, for escapism while there’s been nowhere to physically go, for books for all ages to stimulate and inspire and entertain and educate and just pass the time of day with. (Books make the nicest company and you don’t even need even to tidy up for them.)
Not everyone in the community is confident using the Internet or even telephones to access services like this, though, and nothing compares to holding a book in your hand, feeling its weight, seeing its cover, reading the description on the back, so we’re very glad to announce that, from June 8th, both New Barnet and South Friern Libraries will be allowing people in again for what Barnet Libraries are calling ‘Quick Pick’ browsing. We’ll still be playing things safe – limiting how many people are in the library at any one time, asking everybody to sanitise their hands on entry, wear face coverings throughout their visit unless exempt, maintain social distancing and leave as soon as they’re finished (among other precautions. Unfortunately, we’re not able to offer study space or a place to just plonk down and read the newspapers yet) – but this still feels a momentous moment. We look forward to seeing some of you in person again very soon.
Details on the new opening hours can be found here.