Libraries across Mayo have started to reopen and they are delighted to welcome readers back through their doors.
Outlining what people can expect, Darina Molloy from Castlebar Library said: "We’re back! It’s been a long lockdown, and we are so delighted to see you all again.
"We thought you might like to know about a few changes we’ve had to implement – much like many other public offices, and shops and businesses. More importantly, we have lots of lovely new books just waiting to be read, so come and stock up for your holiday in the Costa del Back Garden.
"Eleven library branches have reopened in Mayo - Castlebar, Ballina, Westport, Claremorris, Swinford, Louisburgh, Kiltimagh, Ballyhaunis, Foxford, Achill, Crossmolina and Belmullet.
"Ballinrobe Library is temporarily closed because of building works – but service will hopefully resume very soon there. Charlestown Library won’t open for the moment due to staff shortages. We promise to keep you updated.
"If you are nervous about fully re-emerging out into the world just yet, or you are cocooning, we’d like to reassure you that all libraries will continue to operate a ‘Call and Collect’ service when they are open – you can still contact your library, order a bag of books, and arrange a day and time for a socially distanced collection.
"We are also continuing our delivery service with the help of the great crew at Local Link Mayo – contact your library, order a bag of books, and arrange to have it delivered straight to your door. What’s not to like?!
"Even if you’re not ready to visit your library at the moment, you’re welcome to return your library items through our letterbox slots. So, what can you expect to see when you visit your local library? There have been changes to our opening hours – these are temporary and will be revised again.
"All libraries will close for a short time during the day to facilitate cleaning. Libraries are open for browsing and borrowing only, and we’re asking people to keep their visits to 20 minutes or thereabouts, in order to facilitate everyone who wants to visit.
"There are no computers or printing available at this time. Study areas in our bigger libraries are temporarily closed. We know some people are disappointed about this, and we ask you to bear with us while we work to restore all services.
"During busy times, you may have to queue, but this hasn’t been a huge problem over the first few days of opening. There are no toilet facilities available at this time, and we’d ask you not to visit the library if you or a family member are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. We’d also remind you to observe social distancing in the library. Children are welcome, but under-12s should be accompanied by an adult.
"It’s been lovely to welcome so many of you back, and we look forward to seeing more of you in the days and weeks to come. Our online services – ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers and education courses – continue to be available 24/7.
"If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your local library, or phone (094 ) 9047940 or email [email protected]."
Library branches near you are: Achill (098 ) 20910; Ballina (096 ) 70833; Ballyhaunis (094 ) 9630161; Bellmullet (097 ) 82555; Castlebar (094 ) 9047936; Claremorris (094 ) 9371666; Crossmolina (096 ) 31939; Foxford (094 ) 9256040; Kiltimagh (094 ) 9381786; Louisburgh (098 ) 66658; Swinford (094 ) 9253120; Westport (098 ) 25747. Or check out www.mayolibrary.ie for more information on events and a full library catalogue.