LIBRARIES in Wokingham and in Woodley have reopened for the first time since before lockdown today, with other libraries soon to follow suit.

The two libraries reopened today at 9.30am and 9am respectively this morning, and will be open until 1.30pm/1pm on weekdays from now on, only allowing residents to return and borrow books - study areas, public computer use, and newspaper/magazine browsing will not be permitted.

Users are required to use face masks, use hand sanitiser provided on entry and exit, and one way systems implemented in the libraries must be followed.

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Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, said: “Libraries are such rich and vibrant community focal points so their closure these past few months has been sorely felt by everyone.

“Our library staff have been working hard behind the scenes to get Wokingham and Woodley ready.

"We listened to your concerns in our libraries reopening survey about interaction with other people and library book cleanliness and the new Covid-19 measures we’re introducing reflect these.

"Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. These new measures are there for your safety and to also give you confidence to once again access and enjoy what our libraries have to offer you.

"Remember, of course, you can still use our online services for e-books and audio, and search our catalogue although this will always lag by 72 hours until returned items go back on the shelves.

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"And many events and groups that moved online during lockdown are still happening there."

Wokingham Borough Libraries aim to open more branches and increase opening hours, however this will be depending on public demand and safety management.

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