Bridgwater Library has welcomed back local book lovers to browse the shelves and access key services.

Somerset County Council has been rolling out a phased opening of libraries by offering an order-and-collect service.

Bridgwater Library is now allowing the public in to browse their shelves – all done with strict social distancing and infection control measures in place.

Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, said: “We are very pleased to be able to invite visitors back to the library to browse our shelves and make use of our other community services.

“I’d like to thank our library staff for all their hard work in adapting the library, so that the community can return in a safe and socially distanced way.”

On entering the library visitors are being asked to use the hand sanitiser provided and wear a face covering if they are able to – staff are also wearing visors or masks.

Once inside there is a one-way system with two-metre social distancing marked out along the aisles. Books can be checked out using the self-service machines.

The popular public computers are also available at the library. Computers need to be pre-booked and are available for one-hour slots, with time built in for cleaning.

Somerset libraries have been running a host of online events and activities for families, which have been available every day and have proved very popular – including story-times, performances and activities as part of the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge – delivered this year by ‘The Silly Squad’.

Library staff have been busy creating a range of videos for grown-ups too; such as nature walks, a gardening club, cookery tips and tips to help with health and wellbeing.