AWEN Cultural Trust, the registered charity which manages the library service in Bridgend County Borough on behalf of the local authority, has reopened its Aberkenfig, Bridgend, Maesteg, Pencoed, Porthcawl and Pyle branches for book browsing and borrowing. Their temporary new opening hours will be 9.15am – 12pm and 1pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, said:
“We are delighted to welcome customers back to browse for books, as we move to next phase of reopening libraries following the easing of some coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Hundreds of people have made use of our ‘book and collect’ services in recent weeks, but we know that many more have missed visiting these vital community spaces since March.
“Staff and customer safety remains our priority so we have implemented a number of measures to support social distancing including allowing fewer people in the library at any one time, hand sanitising stations and additional cleaning. We are also suggesting people browse for books for a maximum of 20 minutes a day.”
Access to a reduced number of public computers must be pre-booked. Appointments are limited to 45 minutes, to allow staff to clean each PC, mouse, desk and chair, and replace the keyboard covers between each session. Quiet study space can also be booked for up to two hours in some branches. Printing and copying is available but customers are advised to bring the correct change.
The ‘book and collect’ service will continue to operate for customers who are unable or reluctant to come inside just yet. They can plan an order by telephone in the morning, for collection later that afternoon. All returned books are quarantined for at least 72 hours, as advised by Welsh Government, before being returned to the library shelves for others to borrow.
Councillor Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Well-Being and Future Generations, added:
“It’s good to see how Awen are taking appropriate measures towards reintroducing services in a safe, sensible manner, and I am sure that residents will welcome the reopening of these local libraries.”