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National Library of Wales to reopen its reading room

The National Library of Wales

The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth will reopen one of its reading rooms from Tuesday, September 1.By welcoming back its users, the library will provide a limited service and access to its collections, with new measures in place to protect readers, researchers and staff.

This will mean limited opening hours, booking system for visitors, one-way routes throughout the building, social distancing and a regular and thorough cleaning schedule.

In addition, the library will operate a quarantine system for our collections as we endeavour to provide safe access to them.

Initially, only reading room services will be available within the building. However, the public may continue to search the library’s collections on its website and make use of its range of online resources.

The library is exploring the possibility of reopening its exhibitions and continuing the education service and volunteering programme in the near future. For the time being, Caffi Pen Dinas will remain closed. However, it is possible that a limited service will be available from mid-September onwards.

The Library’s commercial reprographic services have been available since August 1.

To receive the latest updates, visitors can follow The National Library of Wales on social media or visit its website to access further details on what to expect as the Library reopens after lockdown.

Pedr ap Llwyd, the library’s chief executive and librarian, said: “I am very much looking forward to being able to start welcoming the public back to the reading room from September 1.

“Although the Library has remained digitally open throughout the lockout period, I am well aware that many of our users are keen to be able to return to the building to work. Although the circumstances will have to be different in order to protect everyone, the welcome will be as warm as ever.”

Over the past few months, Hywel Dda Health Board has stored many of its medical records within the library, and NHS staff have made extensive use of the building’s car park. The library was delighted to show its support to the NHS by lighting the building blue weekly.

As the home to the nation’s memory, the library continues to collect Wales’ Covid Experience. These various records include newspapers, official publications and website content, as well as the nation’s personal materials, such as letters, poems and photographs.

Library security staff have worked on site throughout the lock-up period, and many other employees have continued to work from home. A small portion of the library’s workforce has started returning to the building since July 20.

The library continues to run a weekly programme of online events and presentations, sharing information on its rich and diverse collections, through the expertise of its curatorial staff.