Thousands of people have visited Leicestershire’s main libraries – including Harborough’s – since a browsing service has been restarted

The county council wants to extend opening hours to encourage more people to use an appointment system for visits

Thursday, 10th September 2020, 12:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th September 2020, 12:18 pm
More than 5,500 people have visited Leicestershire’s main libraries – including Market Harborough’s – since a browsing service was restarted last month.

More than 5,500 people have visited Leicestershire’s main libraries – including Market Harborough’s – since a browsing service was restarted last month.

The county council has now said that opening hours are being further extended to encourage more people to use an appointment system for visits.

The new move builds on the success of a ‘click and collect’ service.

This allows members to request a selection of books as recommended by library staff - and over 1,600 orders have been made since it was launched in early July.

Other figures also show that over 95,000 e-books and audiobooks have been loaned out ‘virtually’, a drastic increase on pre-lockdown usage.

Cllr Richard Blunt, the county council’s cabinet member for libraries, said: “I’m really proud of what has been achieved through introducing ‘click and collect’ and the appointment system.

“It’s contributed towards getting the service up and running again.”

He added: “There are a few more services we need to re-introduce, but we’re almost there.

“Every step is being taken to ensure that libraries are safe to return to and for visitors to enjoy what is on offer.”

To book a time slot for a visit, go to: https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/libraries/book-a-library-visitTo request ‘click and collect’, visit: https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/libraries/click-and-collect-serviceCustomers without internet access can book a visit or a click and collect selection by calling 0116 305 2695.

The county council is also working towards re-instating computer availability for customers over the next few weeks.

You have to wear a face covering inside library buildings in line with Government guidance and all returned items are quarantined for 72 hours.

Other measures to help combat the spread of Covid-19 include hand sanitiser and protective screens.