New Forest libraries welcome customers back as lockdown eases
LIBRARIES across the New Forest are reopening today (Monday) as lockdown restrictions continue to lift.
To reduce waiting times and allow more people to enter, visitors will be limited to 30 minutes to browse or collect reserved items. Public computers or study spots must be book in advance.
However, the toilets at libraries remain shut, while events, activities and groups cannot yet meet - although sessions such as bedtime stories and podcasts are available online.
Operator Hampshire County Council has requested customers use self-service machines to borrow or return items or download the Spydus Mobile app to check out books by mobile phone.
There is also a "fines holiday" on overdue books until Tuesday 1st June. Items taken back after that date will be subject to the penalty charge and outstanding amounts can be paid online by calling 0300 555 1387 or at the libraries using cashless payments.
The Hampshire Record Office will thrown open its doors again on Tuesday 13th April for pre-booked appointments.
HCC director for culture, communities and business services, Felicity Roe, said: “There will be a range of measures in place to provide added reassurance to our customers.
"This includes reduced capacity to allow social distancing, pre-booking for public computers, and the quarantine of all books returned to us.
"We are also encouraging library users to use self-service machines, cashless payments and to download our app which enables you to check out books on your smartphone.”