Published: Wednesday, 7th Apr 2021

Bolton Council’s Libraries and Museum Team have adapted their ways of working over the last 12 months to continue to provide their valuable service to the community. As a frontline service relied on by many residents, they had to think of new ways to deliver their services when they had to close library buildings during lockdown.

They adapted the service to provide the following:

  • A new order and collect service for book lending and a home delivery service to those who were shielding as well as school children  
  • Digital support through access to PCs and a digital support helpline. The team have been on hand to answer digital enquiries – from supporting grandparents to set up tablets so they could contact their grandchildren to signposting to new digital services such as access to GPs
  • Online storytime every Friday morning which has been enjoyed by thousands of children
  • Virtual tours of the museum 

Children were also asked to record their lockdown diaries, and these have been kept in the archives as a record of this extraordinary year.

A council spokesperson said: “Libraries play an important role in our communities and have kept people entertained, amused and distracted during lockdown. Reading can also have a positive impact on mental wellbeing.

“The libraries and museum staff are a fantastic example of a team who will always think on their feet to respond to the next challenge to ensure they can provide a service to residents.

“The staff look forward to welcoming residents back to the libraries once they re-open the doors.”  

As part of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, Bolton’s libraries will re-open their buildings on April 12. The click and collect and home delivery services will continue.   

Libraries will return to their normal opening hours except for Central Library which will open at the later time of 9am

All services remain temporarily closed on Sundays. 

Covid safety precautions including floor markings and hand sanitiser will be in place.  

Westhoughton library will remains temporarily closed for essential maintenance. 

The museum, historic hall and the aquarium will re-open to the public from Monday May 17.