The Lancashire libraries that reopened last month are to have longer opening hours.
From Monday, 17 August, the opening hours will be extended to 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday, in addition to the current 10am to 1pm.
The 12 libraries are: Accrington; Ansdell; Chorley; Coal Clough; Fulwood; Garstang; Leyland; Morecambe; Nelson; Rawtenstall; Skelmersdale and Whalley.
People will still need to book an appointment before visiting.
Appointments can now be booked to use the Six of the best service in the afternoon after August 17, and slots to use the Browse and borrow Service will be made available from next week.
The Browse and borrow service means that customers are able to come into the library for a pre-booked 30 minute period and choose up to 20 books. There will be a limit on how many people can come into the building at any one time.
From Monday, 17 August, some of the public access computers will also be available at the libraries that have opened. Customers should use the online booking system to use this service.
The online system to book an appointment is available at www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/libraries
For those who can’t book online, appointments can be made by calling 0300 123 6703.
When visiting the library for a Browse and borrow appointment or to use the public PCs, customers will be asked to provide their name and contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace system. During their visit, customers will be required to wear a face covering.
The ground floor lending library at The Harris in Preston, which is run by Preston City Council on behalf of Lancashire County Council, has been open since 11 July. Books can be returned and borrowed without an appointment at The Harris.
As other libraries will remain closed for now, customers can make an appointment to visit any of the libraries that are open, even if it isn’t their local library.
All visitors will be required to wear a face covering unless they are exempted. Children under 11 will not be required to cover their faces.
Access to printers and photocopiers will also be available in those libraries from 17 August.
County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “It is great that we have started to welcome our customers back into our libraries, but we are taking a phased, step-by-step approach to this.
“I am sure that customers will appreciate the longer opening hours, as we try to cautiously get back to a normal service.
“I’m grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding, and I’d ask everyone to keep an eye on our website and social media channels where we will announce further details of more libraries reopening.”
Anyone wanting to return books can do this by placing them in the returned books container at the entrance of the libraries that are open. No appointment will be necessary to do this, but people may need to queue in a socially distanced way so that this process can be safely managed. Books will be quarantined for 72 hours before they are re-shelved.
Customers will not be charged for any overdue items.