A NEW call and collect library service will be launched in Blaenau Gwent next week as part of a phased re-opening.

From Wednesday, July 22, customers will be able to pre-arrange to collect books and other library stock from Abertillery and Ebbw Vale libraries where the service is being trialled.

It will later be extended to other areas if successful.

There will also be a contactless home delivery option for those unable to collect.


Cllr Joanne Collins, Blaenau Gwent council’s executive member for education, said: “As a council, together with our partners, we are continuing to ease cautiously out of lockdown and slowly beginning to re-introduce services where it is safe to do so.

“It is important to stress, however, that services will not immediately return to the way they looked before Covid-19.

“Borrowing books, physically or online, is a much more sustainable way to enjoy reading and libraries across the borough are popular with people of all ages.

“I’m delighted that more people have been taking advantage of the digital offer, but we acknowledge that this is not an option for everyone, and some people just like the feel of a proper book in their hands, so I’m pleased that call and collect and home delivery will be an option from next week.”

During lockdown, Blaenau Gwent libraries have continued with digital services and the council says e-resource use has increased by around 40 per cent compared to the same period last year, with online library membership also increasing by 60 per cent.

The Summer Reading Challenge will also launch online later this week.

Although it has a digital approach this year, families will need access to physical books and this can be done through the new call and collect service.

Phill Sykes, operations director of Aneurin Leisure Trust which manages libraries in the borough, said it is working towards opening up all of sites in line with the Welsh Government’s guidance.

Customers will be asked to contact the library to pre-arrange either collection or a contactless doorstep delivery.

The service will initially be available between Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.

Call Ebbw Vale library on 01495 355055, Abertillery library on 01495 355646 or email blaenaugwentlibraries@aneurinlesiure.org.uk.