Chineham Library and opening hours
There has been a lot of speculation recently regarding Chineham Library and opening hours.
Below are the facts as it stands today when writing this article. 6th June 2021.
I believe we are extremely fortunate to have such a well-run library and that’s down to the Staff and volunteers.
Chineham is currently 4 weeks into an 8-week reconfiguration works to enable the School Library Service’s move from South Ham to Chineham - you may recall this was all decided off the back of the previous public consultation which cited both South Ham and Chineham as possible libraries for closure; it was decided to close South Ham and move SLS to Chineham to make Chineham more viable in terms of cost, space and use. There was a brief period of enforced closure whilst the main structural change occurred (a new internal wall and electrical changed) and it was reopened as soon as it was safe for browsing to prevent any further delays to the public. Mostly these changes have been positively received by our regular library customers.
We are hoping to move to the new opening times for Chineham on June 21, but this is reliant (as with all other libraries) on some of the more stringent COVID secure measures being removed from the team’s daily routines, so that we can staff all our buildings more efficiently again. The current COVID opening times we are running at present at Chineham are actually healthier than most due to the staffing structure there and we are currently running at 96% of the new opening times, the only impact we have in this library is that we close an hour earlier on a Saturday than we will in future.
New opening times are as follows (for a reminder Chineham’s hours were reduced from 38.5 to 26.5 as part of the 2020 Public Consultation):
During lockdown Chineham has provided emergency PC use to those most in need and ran a successful Ready Reads programme, as with other libraries across the county (Ready Reads was implemented to ensure customers had safe access to physical books when we were unable to open for browsing during Lockdowns). At its peak they had in excess of 200 users and now we are back open for browsing collections and requests have reduced by over 50%. Now that we are back open and in our recovery phase visitor numbers are slower than usual but are growing as public confidence increases and as we recover more and more of our service and associated activities. Footfall has tripled since we re-opened for browsing in May, and once the new layout is fully functional after the reconfiguration, we plan to resume our successful Rhymetime events once again as a priority.
Cllr Elaine Still