Hampshire Library Service is encouraging residents of all ages, where possible, to access its digital E-book borrowing and other services, as all libraries will close from 21 March until further notice due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, said:
Given the scale and reach of the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to close all County Council run libraries from 21 March 2020 until further notice. This is to help stop any possible spread of the disease in our communities and to free up staff to support other critical services where needed.
We haven’t taken this decision lightly as we know many people enjoy visiting their local library but the welfare and safety of our visitors and staff is paramount. Many people will be staying at home at this time, so we are encouraging customers to take advantage of the great variety of free recreation and learning resources available such as e-newspapers and e-magazines. We are also releasing more titles on Borrowbox – the free app which has hundreds of audiobooks and e-books for children and adults. In addition, our Hampshire Libraries Facebook site has lots to explore, including Online Rhymetime and a Digital Reading Group.”
However, we are mindful that not all of our customers have on-line access, and we are looking at ways to ensure that those residents can remain in contact with the Service. We will provide more details about these arrangements, as soon as possible.
In the meantime, we are grateful for the support of our customers and we will do our very best to provide this valued service during this difficult period.
Existing and new customers can find out how to access eBooks and other free digital content from www.hants.gov.uk/librariesandarchives or on Facebook, search for ‘hantslibraries’.
For the next 12 weeks:
Reservations and inter-library loans are unavailable;
Fees for items which are overdue are frozen.
Follow Hampshire Library Service’s social media accounts for up-to-date information.
For more details on the national guidance, go to the County Council’s Coronavirus web pages.