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Reopening FAQs

Libraries reopening - Frequently asked questions for customers Libraries reopening - Frequently asked questions for customers

What libraries are opening?

The libraries opening on Tuesday 6 October 2020 are: 

•  Central Library

•  Fountainbridge Library

•  Kirkliston Library

•  McDonald Road Library

•  Newington Library

•  Stockbridge Library

Please note - at Central Library, the Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Music Library and Art and Design Library remain closed.
The Reference Library is open for computer access only.
There are no study spaces available in the library.
Central Children’s Library will open on Tuesday 13 October 2020.

 

What are the opening hours?

From Tuesday 6 October 2020 opening hours are:

Central, Newington and McDonald Road libraries:

Mon: 1pm-5pm 
Tues: 10am-5pm 
Wed: 1pm-5pm
Thurs: 10am-5pm
Fri: 10am-2pm
Sat: 10am-2pm

Fountainbridge,  Kirkliston and Stockbridge libraries:

Mon: 1pm-5pm
Tues: 10am-2pm
Wed: 1pm-5pm
Thurs: closed
Fri: 10am-2pm
Sat:10am-2pm


The library that I use isn’t due to open. Why is this?

We are adopting a phased approach to reopening our libraries because we want to get things right. Some branches will need more allocated work to make them Covid-19 safe for staff and customers.

When will the opening and services return to normal?

While we all want to see our libraries up and running again, our top priority is the health of residents and colleagues. How we safely manage the reopening of any of our services is directed by Scottish Government guidance and Safer Workplace Guidance for Public Libraries. The planning also considers that each library building has its own specific considerations.

The reintroduction of additional services and partner organisations will be led by public health advice and Scottish Government guidelines. We will continue to closely monitor developments and government guidance as the situation can change rapidly.

We will continue to provide online services such as Bookbug Rhymetime and story times for the foreseeable future, as well as Home Delivery Services for some of our more vulnerable customers.

Contact details for our home delivery team are access.services@edinburgh.gov.uk or phone 0131 529 5683.

What cleaning and hygiene measures have you put in place to make the building safe?

All the libraries have been deep cleaned since their last use, and we have altered interior layouts to allow social distancing to take place. There are hand sanitiser stations throughout the building and all returned stock will be quarantined for 72 hours before being put back into circulation. PC stations will be cleaned between customers and library staff will be able to clean touch points and surfaces as necessary. Before reopening all staff have received training in health and safety, cleaning and protective equipment and processes.

Will I need to wear a face covering when I visit the library?

Yes. In line with Scottish Government guidance, it is mandatory to wear a face covering in the Library. We recognise that some customers will have health conditions, disabilities or other factors that prevent them from wearing a face covering. The Scottish Government has published guidance on the use of suitable face coverings and exemptions

Will hand sanitiser be available when I visit the library?

Yes, we will provide hand sanitiser throughout the building for your use.

Will I have to queue to get in the library?

Initially at least, customers will have to book to use the library for most services - this should prevent the need to queue. However due to social distancing measures, processes can take a little longer and we thank you for your patience.

Will I have to book a time slot to use the library?

Yes. For most services, library customers will have to book a slot:

•   browse and borrow books

•  use a public computer

•  apply for a National Entitlement Card (bus pass)

•  collect hearing aid batteries.

Customers can return items and collect Hey Girls free sanitary products without booking.

You can make your booking online, or by phoning one of the six reopened libraries.

Why do I have to book?

Due to public health guidance and social distancing restrictions, we will not be able to provide our full range of library services, and the number of people allowed in library buildings will be limited. We know many of our customers are keen to return, so to avoid queuing which could pose an increased risk to health and to make the best use of our capacity, we have introduced a booking system.

Library customers will have to book a slot to:

•  browse and borrow books

•   use a public computer

•  apply for a National Entitlement Card (bus pass)

•  collect hearing aid batteries.

Customers can return items and collect Hey Girls free sanitary products without booking.

You can make your booking online, or by phoning one of the six reopened libraries.

Will I need to provide my contact details?

Yes. You will need to provide your contact details when you make a booking.

To complete your booking, you will be required to provide personal details which the Council will only use to:

•   confirm your booking by email

•  ensure access to age relevant material

•  contact you with further information about your booking, for example if there are changes relating to your visit

•  manage your visit to the site, investigate any complaints or incidents and to improve Health and Safety

•  enable service planning and analysis of site usage Your personal data will be held on file for 12 months after your booking. Find out how we handle your personal data.

At this time, we are also collecting personal information from everyone entering the library as part of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect.

We have a lawful basis to process your information. Your information will be held securely, controlled by City of Edinburgh Libraries and will be destroyed after 21 days. Your information will only be used if requested by NHS Scotland or statutory partners. You have the right to have your data erased or corrected. For the full Collection of Data Privacy Notice, visit gov.scot/contact-tracing-privacy-notice.

What are you doing about Test and Protect?

Edinburgh Libraries are supporting NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect.

To stop the spread of Coronavirus we’ll record your name, contact telephone number, date of your visit, time of arrival and departure. In the unlikely event there is a cluster of coronavirus cases linked to the library, NHS Scotland may ask us for details of those individuals who were present. If you were near someone at the library who tests positive for Coronavirus, NHS Scotland will get in touch. Contacting people who might have been exposed to coronavirus is an important step in stopping the spread.

We have a lawful basis to process your information. Your information will be held securely, controlled by City of Edinburgh Libraries and will be destroyed after 21 days. Your information will only be used if requested by NHS Scotland or statutory partners. You have the right to have your data erased or corrected. For the full Collection of Data Privacy Notice, visit gov.scot/contact-tracing-privacy-notice.

I have books that I took out in March, will I be fined when I return them?

No. All items that were borrowed in March 2020 and have been out on loan during our closure and phased reopening period have had their loan period extended and no fines have been incurred.

 

I have reserved items to collect, will they still be there for me?

Yes. If the pick-up library is one of the libraries to reopen and you received a notification that your reservation was awaiting collection, you can book a browse/borrow slot and collect your book from the library.

However, if you received a notification of a reservation awaiting collection from one of the branches that is yet to reopen, please await further communication. We do not currently have access to these buildings or stock.

Will I be able to browse for books, and if so, how long will I be allowed to do this?

Yes. However, in line with public health guidelines and social distancing restrictions, we have introduced a booking system to minimise queuing and make the best use of our reduced building capacity. You will be able to book a standard browse and borrow slot of 15 minutes, or you can book a double slot of 30 minutes.

Will I be able to reserve books online and request specific titles?

No. As only some of some of our branches will initially reopen, unfortunately not all of our titles will be available for loan or reservation.

If I can’t reserve books online, will staff be able to do this for me?

You can email or phone any of the open libraries staff there will be happy to assist you with sourcing books. Please note however that as not all branches will open initially the range of stock available will be limited. It may be possible for staff to reserve a particular title for you if it is held within that library.

Will books be quarantined on their return?

Yes, all of our returned stock will be quarantined for 72 hours before being returned to the shelves for borrowing. The process means there will be a delay in the returned books being taken off your library account.

Will I be able to use the PCs?

Yes. Customers will be able to access PCs and internet. In line with current social distancing restrictions not all PC stations will be available for use. As we expect there to be a high demand for use of the PCs, they will be available only by booking and customers will be restricted to a maximum of one hour use per day per person. Library staff will clean the area and replace the keyboard and mouse between customers.

How long will I be able to use the PC for?

As we expect there to be a high demand for use of the PCs, they will be available only by booking and customers will be restricted to a maximum of one hour use per day per person.

Will staff be able to assist me to use the PC?

Library staff will be restricted in the level of one to one support they will be able to offer due to social distancing guidelines. Any assistance provided will involve the customer moving away from the PC work station to allow staff access.

Library staff will be able to signpost to a range of resources which can support and guide customers in essential digital skills.

Will I be able to print or photocopy?

Self-service photocopying has been suspended, but staff will be able to assist with photocopying requests. Printing can be collected after or during the use of PCs as normal.

Will I be able to make contactless payments?

No. Edinburgh Libraries do not offer contactless payment. No payments will be taken in libraries during this restricted reopening phase.

Will Bookbug, story time, crafts, Book Group, Knitting Group etc be running?

Due to the current restrictions around the size and make up of groups from different households we will not be able to run any of our usual group activities for some time. Edinburgh Libraries have been running online versions of Bookbug, story times and crafts and we plan to continue to do this for the foreseeable future. Please visit our Libraries in Lockdown page for more information about our online events and activities.

Will the Macmillan Information Service be available?

A physical service will not be available at this time. The reintroduction of additional services and partner organisations will be led by public health advice and Scottish Government guidelines. We will continue to closely monitor developments and government guidance as the situation can change rapidly. However, Macmillan Cancer Support has lots of resources for those who can access online support – you can email and chat online from this site.

You can also email Edinburgh Libraries' Macmillan team on macmillan@edinburgh.gov.uk or speak to a member of the team -
Monday, Margaret - 07710 854579
Wednesday, Gaynor - 07894 802557
Friday, Angela - 07562 437727
Tel. 0131 242 8125 for voicemail service

You can phone Macmillan 7 days a week from 8am-8pm on 0808 808 00 00


Will I be able to apply for, renew, resolve a query with my bus pass?

Yes. Appointments for all National Entitlement Card types can be booked online or by phoning one of the libraries. Did you know you can apply for your 60+ and Young Scot National Entitlement Card online. If you need to renew or replace a lost/broken bus pass you can email one-edinburgh@edinburgh.gov.uk More useful advice including types of evidence required at application can be found at Transport Scotland.

Can I get replacement hearing aid batteries?

Yes. You can book a slot to collect your batteries online or by phoning the library. You can also arrange to receive new hearing aid batteries by contacting Audiology by phone on 0131 536 1637, or by email audiology@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

Will I be able to buy food waste bags?

Not at this time.

Will newspapers be available?

No. Newspapers will not be available for the time being. However, you can access newspapers and magazines with our digital service for free with your library membership number. If you are not a member, you can join online.

Will study space be available?

There will be no study spaces available initially due to limited space as a result of social distancing requirements.

Will the toilets/ changing area be available?

No. Unfortunately due to increased hygiene and cleaning requirements we will not be able to offer access to our public toilets and changing areas when we reopen.

Will I be able to hire the community room?

No. Our community rooms will not be available for hire. The reintroduction of additional services and partner organisations will be led by public health advice and Scottish Government guidelines. We will continue to closely monitor developments and government guidance as the situation can change rapidly.

How long will these measures be in place?

While we all want to see our libraries up and running again, our top priority is the health of residents and colleagues. How we safely manage the reopening of any of our services is directed by Scottish Government guidance and Safer Workplace Guidance for Public Libraries. The planning also considers that each library building has its own specific considerations.

The reintroduction of additional services and partner organisations will be led by public health advice and Scottish Government guidelines. We will continue to closely monitor developments and government guidance as the situation can change rapidly.

Can I join the library service without visiting the library in person?

Yes. You can join the library service online. This will give you access to our online resources.

Can I still access resources while the library is closed?

Yes. Our online resources include e-books, audiobooks, online newspapers and magazines.

When are your telephone and email services available during your closure?

Library staff will be available to answer telephone enquiries during opening hours. We will answer all email enquiries as promptly as possible. If the library that you usually use is not one of the first to open, staff at any of the open libraries will be able to assist you. We will keep you informed about the timetable for reopening libraries across the city.

Will the library accept book donations?

Due to the current quarantine restrictions in place we are not able to accept donations of books.

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