Wolverhampton's Central Library will reopen to customers on Monday 3 August – for click and collect only – for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March.

It will initially offer a ‘We Select, You Collect’ service through which customers will be able to pre-order books and other items online or over the phone and pick them up from Central Library at an agreed time. 

Members will be able to request specific titles via the online library catalogue at Libraries from Monday (27 July). Requests for specific genres can be made from Wednesday (29 July) by emailing libraries@wolverhampton.gov.uk or calling 01902 552025.

The click and collect service will then be rolled out to Wednesfield, Warstones and Bilston libraries from Monday 17 August. Plans for the further expansion of the service will be announced in due course.

Meanwhile, the Home Library Service, for vulnerable housebound residents run in partnership with Citizens Advice Wolverhampton, will be in operation from Monday 3 August.

Library members are advised that all books and other items currently out on loan and borrowed from any of the libraries have been automatically renewed until 31 August, so no fines will accrue before that time.

Councillor Stephen Simkins, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "We are pleased that we will shortly be in a position to safely begin reopening our libraries to customers, initially by offering a click and collect service at Central Library from Monday 3 August and then at three of our district libraries a fortnight later. 

"I know how well-loved our libraries are and that, while many customers have been enjoying our digital offering during the lockdown, they are looking forward to getting their hands on physical books once again.

“Our plans for a gradual reopening of Wolverhampton’s libraries are focused on ensuring the wellbeing of staff and customers. We hope to be able to increase the range of services available over the coming months and we thank customers for their patience during this time."

Library customers are reminded they can still get hold of the latest collection of bestselling eBooks and eAudiobooks for free via the BorrowBox library on any Apple iOS and Google Android phone, tablet or computer.

BorrowBox titles can be borrowed for free for a period of three weeks, at which point they can be renewed or will automatically be deleted from people’s devices, meaning customers won’t be fined for forgetting to return books on time. To sign up, visit Libraries.  

Anyone missing their reading groups can join in book discussions online through the library service’s Facebook and Twitter pages, using the hashtag #StayingInReadingClub. 

It's free to join Wolverhampton’s libraries and people can sign up on line. Please visit Libraries, or follow on social media at Facebook and Twitter for more information.

he latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind.