LIBRARIES across the Wokingham borough are to remain closed until further notice, despite the government's latest lockdown rules allowing them to open.

The announcement was first made to residents on July 2, following the Council's decision that it would not be safe for residents or staff for them to open.

It was decided that residents would be given the opportunity to fill out a survey, detailing what functions should be prioritised by the libraries, and therefore allowing them to better prepare and reopen faster.

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A spokesman for the Wokingham Borough Council said: "To ensure the safety of its residents and libraries staff, Wokingham Borough Council will not re-open its libraries on 4 July.

"The decision to keep libraries closed has been as difficult as our decision to close them when this crisis first started, as the Council knows they are much loved and widely used by residents across the borough.

"There have been two main factors, which have prevented the borough’s libraries opening this weekend. "Firstly, there are logistical issues around keeping libraries books and other items safe. "The Government Covid-19 guidance states that returned books must be quarantined for three days, on return to the library. As it stands there are 37,000 items out on loan. "The second issue, is that over 30 members of staff are currently re-deployed to critical community roles or roles within the council.

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"In coming to a decision not to reopen the libraries at this time, the Council has needed to balance the risk of staff being needed to continue to

support direct care services to residents and the amount of work that would be needed to operate the libraries safely.

"This decision is under constant review and the Council will continue to post regular updates. Residents can help by saying what they’d like to see prioritised when library services begin again.

"Residents can still access a wide range of online library services, including e-Books e-Audio, e-Comics, eNewspapers and e-Magazines."

To fill out the survey, visit