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Date updated: 7/16/2021

Dear Barbican and Community Libraries customer,


Following the announcement from the Health Secretary on Monday 12th July, our libraries will resume “normal” hours and begin to reintroduce our full range of services from Monday 19th July. From next Monday, your visit will no longer be time limited. When we close on Friday 16th July, we will be reinstating our soft furniture and study spaces, ready for Monday. We shall be leaving sanitisation stations in place and ask you to continue to scan the Test and Trace QR code on entering our buildings and observe social distancing.


Wearing a face covering will become a matter of personal choice but we are urged to continue to do so in indoor public settings. Some of our staff have told me they would like to wear a face covering in the libraries and I support their wishes. They will not be wearing face coverings if they are on a desk and behind a screen. We encourage all our staff to take two lateral flow tests every week and we shall continue to do so. They are doing this to protect you and their colleagues and I would ask you to please consider wearing a face covering in our libraries to protect them and each other. And of course, please do not visit if you are feeling unwell.


The number of self-isolation notifications from NHS Test and Trace is currently rising and this may affect the staffing of our libraries. We anticipate this situation will continue until at least 16th August when it is expected that those who have been double vaccinated and are in receipt of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 will be released from the legal obligation to self-isolate. That’s a long way of saying that if you are making a special trip to come and see us, please check that we are open as normal before making your journey!


Finally, last week at Barbican Library, we had 259 3rd stage overdue notices to deal with. That’s a huge number of overdue books and we need them back! If you have overdue loans, do not ignore these notices and please do make every effort to get our stock back to us. If this is a problem for you, please phone your library during opening hours and speak to a member of staff.


On behalf of all Barbican & Community Libraries staff, welcome back, stay well and stay safe.


Carol Boswarthack

Head of Barbican & Community Libraries