Stirling’s libraries are opening up a new chapter as they extend their opening hours further and remove more restrictions on browsing.
Stirling Libraries 4

With Scotland now having moved “beyond Level 0”, residents are being given more freedom to browse, borrow books and access the internet in the ways they used to before the onset of the pandemic.

Appointments for browsing are no longer required and Raploch library, which operates on a self-service basis, is also now available during hours of opening for the Campus. In single-staffed libraries users may be asked to wait or to make an appointment depending on demand, but it will not normally be required.

Mobiles Libraries will continue to adhere to the current timetable, which will be reviewed in September.

Convener of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Cllr Chris Kane said: “Stirling’s libraries are cherished local assets. Restrictions in force during the Covid-19 pandemic meant access to their physical services was reduced and more services were delivered online, with e-book and e-audio book titles increased and free online newspapers proving particularly popular and online book groups and festival events.

“While access inside library buildings was not possible, the Council’s hugely popular ‘Select and Collect’ book request service kept residents supplied with their much loved books and other items from libraries and mobiles.

“Readers have had their books on loan extended throughout the pandemic with no fines due and following a Council decision in March, no fines will be payable for either adults or children from now on.”

Stirling Council’s Libraries Service also branched out into using 3D printing technology to produce vital *PPE equipment for NHS staff and other essential workers in the frontline of the COVID-19 battle.

More than 100 face masks were being made each week using the service’s large 3D printers.

Cllr Chris Kane added: “Being able to browse our libraries freely was no doubt one of the aspects of Council service delivery which our communities missed the most during lockdown.

“Our libraries are important community hubs and I have no doubt that the further extension of their opening hours will be extremely welcome news for the public.”

Vice Convener, Councillor Scott Farmer, said: “We are delighted to be able to make our library services available to the public on an even wider basis as restrictions ease.

“Please remember, the Covid-19 virus has not disappeared and we are still seeing new cases of coronavirus every day across Scotland. Enjoy using our libraries but also take the necessary precautions to protect yourselves, family and communities as we look to get back to normal life.”