Coronavirus: Public libraries in Cambridgeshire to remain open but in neighbouring Norfolk they will close

Events cancelled but Cambridgeshire libraries will remain open for now. Picture; ARCHANT

Events cancelled but Cambridgeshire libraries will remain open for now. Picture; ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Public libraries across Cambridgeshire will remain open for now but in neighbouring Norfolk all will close on Saturday.

Simultaneous announcements from Cambridgeshire County Council and neighbouring Norfolk County Council set out their policies.

“Libraries are remaining open however we have put in place the following to support customers unable to attend and protect staff and users in light of Government advice in relation to Covid-19,” said a statement from Cambridgeshire County Council.

“We are very sorry to announce that all events in Cambridgeshire Libraries have been cancelled from today, 17 March 2020. Events include The Library Presents arts activity, Business & IP Centre, Story and Rhymetime sessions and Assisted Digital.

“In light of the announcements made by the government on 16 March about coronavirus and in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers, visitors and audiences, Cambridgeshire libraries have cancelled all public events with immediate effect until the end of April. We will let you know about events beyond this date as soon as we are able to make an informed decision.”

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The statement added: “As of 17 March 2020 all library charges are now suspended, and the due dates of items extended for at least until the end of April.

“Finally, we are waiving the cancellation fee for any activities or room bookings in our library spaces during this time.

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“We will continue to engage with our audiences and communities using our digital channels. Please keep looking on our website and social media.

“If you have pre-booked for an event please be aware that we hope to re-schedule events later in the year, or we are quite able and willing to offer refunds.

“Thank you for your support. This will apply at least until the end of April, and we’re currently not able to predict beyond that but we will share information as soon as we have it.”

In Norfolk the county council spokesman explained that “following careful consideration and government guidance on coronavirus, we have taken the decision to close all our libraries from Saturday 21 March at 4pm.

“All borrowed items have been automatically renewed until further notice, and library books should be kept at home. People will not be charged overdue fees, and charges won’t increase over time”.

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