LIBRARIES are due to reopen in towns across Lancashire from Wednesday September 30 onwards having been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

East Lancashire will see libraries in Barrowford, Burnley, Haslingden and Mellor reopen with others also set to open their doors further afield across the county.

Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for community and cultural services Councillor Peter Buckley welcomed the news.

He said: "Our library service has been working very hard to put arrangements in place to allow them to reopen, and I'm very pleased that we'll be able to welcome even more people back from next week.

"We've been taking a phased approach to reopening library buildings, as well as making more of the services they provide available again as we go.

"I'm grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding, and I'd ask everyone to keep an eye on our website and social media channels for news if their local library is one of the very few we’re still working to reopen."

However, services will not be back to normal straight away.

The libraries will be operating the same opening hours as before but will close for lunch from 1pm to 2pm unless the library in question is opening later in the day.

Visitor will be allowed to browse and borrow books and use photocopiers and computers without an appointment, however, they may have to queue before being able to enter due to new social distancing arrangements, which limit the number of people allowed in at any one time.

Attendees will also be asked to provide their name and contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace system.

Anyone wanting to return books can do this by placing them in the returned books container at the entrance of the libraries that are open, while books will then be quarantined for 72 hours before they are re-shelved.

Public computers will also be available for 45 minute sessions starting on the hour, on a first come, first served basis.