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New chapter in Covid-recovery as more St Helens libraries set to open this month

Article date - 04 May 2021

More St Helen Borough libraries will reopen to the public over the next few weeks as part of a phased return following the easing of national lockdown restrictions.
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From Monday 17 May, Haydock, Moss Bank, Rainhill and Thatto Heath libraries will open, joining St Helens, Chester Lane, Parr, Eccleston and Newton-le-Willows libraries - as well as St Helens Archive based in the Gamble Building - in offering a normal service.  

Also from Monday 17 May, Rainford Library will begin a click and collect as well as a limited essential IT offer.  

Library staff have been at the frontline of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, with some redeployed to work in symptom-free testing centres - so as things return to normal and staff return from these duties, more services will be expanded. 

The phased return - which started on 12 April - has health and safety at the forefront -  therefore only buildings with the space to facilitate the necessary social distancing will be opened.  This means that for the moment, both Garswood and Peter Street libraries will remain closed in line with Government guidance.  

Meanwhile, for Billinge Library to reopen safely, essential roof repair works will be needed which the council will keep residents updated on.  

Tanya Wilcock, St Helens Borough Council’s Director of Communities, said:  

“We know how much our libraries mean to the people that visit them and it’s been a real shame that due to the pandemic they’ve had to close for most of the past year. 

"We’ve had a positive reaction since being able to reopen certain sites in April and look forward to welcoming even more visitors back over the coming weeks.”  

All items currently on loan are renewed until 1 July. Any library items currently out on loan can be returned to Chester Lane, Eccleston, Newton-le-Willows, Parr, St Helens, Haydock, Rainhill and Thatto Heath libraries. Fines for overdue items have been removed.  

Enquires and visits for the Archive Service can be emailed to archives@sthelens.gov.uk or by phone 01744 671748.    

Digital content including e-books, e-audiobooks, e-magazines and e-comics are available to access 24/7 using a library card by visiting https://sthlibrarieswp.koha-ptfs.co.uk/  

Keep up to date with everything St Helens Libraries Service has to offer by following their Facebook and Twitter channels.