Libraries reopening - Frequently asked questions for customers

What libraries are open?

All our Libraries have now reopened. Visit the library directory for information about services available and opening hours.

Some services still must be booked in advance. Please check which services are bookable at your library destination and book a time for your visit if required.

We will continue to provide 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 are the opening hours?

Check opening hours of your local library on the Libraries Directory

 

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

There are hand sanitiser stations throughout our buildings. PC stations are cleaned between customers and library staff will clean touch points and surfaces as necessary.

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

Whilst the Scottish Government has advised that there is no longer any legal requirement to wear a face covering when accessing libraries, they do continue to encourage the wearing of a face covering when moving around and in communal settings.

Will hand sanitiser be available when I visit the library?

Yes, we provide hand sanitiser in our libraries for your use.

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

Yes. For some services, library customers over the age of 12 will have to book a slot to:

book a study space (except at Central Library where space is allocated on a drop-in basis)

use a public computer

apply for a National Entitlement Card (bus pass)

 

Customers can browse and borrow books, join the library, return items, collect hearing aid batteries and collect Hey Girls free sanitary products without booking.

You can make your booking online, or by phoning your local library.

 

Why do I have to book?

Booking for the services above means we can better manage the number of people we have in the building. Booking helps us to reduce queues and allows us to make the best use of our capacity.

Library customers over the age of 12 will have to book a slot to:

•  use a public computer

•  book a study space (except at Central Library where space is allocated on a drop-in basis)

•  apply for a National Entitlement Card (bus pass)

Customers can browse and borrow books, join the library, return items, collect hearing aid batteries and collect Hey Girls free sanitary products without booking.You can make your booking online, or by phoning one of the reopened libraries.tems,  collect hearing aid batteries and collect Hey Girls free sanitary products without booking.

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

 

I have books that I took out before the lockdown, 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. We are currently not implementing a fines system.

 

Will I be able to browse for books?

Yes. You no longer need to book a slot to browse and borrow books.

 

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

Yes you can reserve items online.

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

You can email or phone any open library - staff will be happy to assist.

Will I be able to use the PCs?

Yes. Customers will be able to access PCs and internet. We have reduced the number of available 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 between customers.

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

Customers are  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 are restricted in the level of one to one support they can offer. Any assistance provided may  involve you 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 some 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 are being taken in libraries at the moment.

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

Many of our group activities are running again. Please contact your local library to find out what is available.

Will the Macmillan Information Service be available?

The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service has restarted in some of our libraries. You can drop in to one of the sessions to speak to a member of the Macmillan Cancer Support team or contact them via voicemail service (0131 242 8125) or email at Macmillan.Libraries@edinburgh.gov.uk

Visit Macmillan Cancer Support for up to date information about service point locations and drop in session times. 

 

You can also 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. You can also manage all National Entitlement Card transactions 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 collect your batteries from libraries. 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?

Currently there are study spaces available in Blackhall, Central, Currie, Gilmerton, Kirkliston, McDonald Road, Piershill, Portobello and South Queensferry Libraries. You can drop in to study at Central Library  - for the others please Book online or phone the library.

Will the toilets/ changing area be available?

Public toliets are now open.

Will I be able to hire the community room?

Rooms at Central Library are now available. Please go to https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/venues/room-hire-libraries for further information.

Community rooms in other libraries are not yet 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.

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 when the library is closed?

Yes. Our online resources include ebooks, audiobooks, online newspapers and magazines.

 

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