A well-loved Wirral library, which was a key staging post during the borough’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to be returned to normal operations next week.
Heswall Library was the first indoor testing site for COVID-19 to open in Wirral in November 2020 and it remained an important place for people with symptoms to go to be tested during the pandemic, right up until the requirement for testing was removed on 1 April this year.
Now it is set to resume as a community library from next week after improvements to the ventilation system have been put in place and a comprehensive programme of cleaning, repairs and renewals, which were part of the process to decommission it as a testing centre. Library staff have also been working flat out to reinstate shelving, update and restore book stocks and reinstall IT equipment.
The library will open next Tuesday, 21 June and then every Tuesday and Friday, plus alternate Saturdays, thereafter from next week. Opening times are 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm on the weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.
Leasowe Library will also reopen to the public on Monday 20 June and will be open every subsequent Monday from 9am to 1pm, then 2pm to 5pm.
Aside from the usual book lending service, IT and printing services will be available once again at libraries, as will borrowing of CDs and DVDs.
Customers who might have borrowed books from their local libraries before they closed during the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020 and not had the chance to return them before April 1st 2022 should be reassured that there will no charges for their overdue return!
For customers needing advice and support on council services, library staff can field general enquiries and signpost to specific or more specialised areas of help where necessary. Other services that are provided through the council’s One Stop Shop service are still being managed through a dedicated customer phone line, 0151 606 2005. For enquiries that can’t be resolved over the telephone, an appointment system is in operation for customers to speak to staff face-to-face.
At Heswall library, it is hoped that eventually a customer service booth – a room that allows customers to speak to an advisor direct via an online video link – will be provided, similar to one that is currently being piloted at Birkenhead Central Library and proving popular with users.