PENARTH Library has reopened on a controlled basis following extensive refurbishment work.
Funded jointly by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Welsh Government, the redecorated ground floor includes new furniture, enquiry desk, carpet and shelving.
LED lighting has been installed throughout the building, which has also seen many of its features revived.
The new entrance foyer reflects the library’s traditional architecture, while a commemorative plaque, Samuel Thomas bust and original tiles have all been restored.
Additional repairs to the roof around the clock tower have also been carried out.
As with other Vale of Glamorgan libraries, a number of Covid-related safety features have been introduced to help protect visitors.
There are 20-minute book browsing sessions available along with 50-minute slots for computer use, which must be booked in advance by contacting the respective library.
Fixed time limits will also mean staff can properly sanitise machines between uses.
There are also plans to temporarily move some of the children’s stock and services to Penarth Pier Pavilion.
This is so that the regular programme of children’s activities, including Rhyme & Sign and Story Times, can take place in a larger space this summer.
More information about this will be provided through Penarth Library’s social media accounts in the coming weeks.
Cllr Lis Burnett, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet member for Education and Regeneration said: “Penarth Library has undergone comprehensive upgrading work and I can’t wait for people to see the changes.
“Many of the traditional features have been restored and some new touches have also been added.
“Penarth, along with other Vale libraries, is now open again to the public after a range of measures were introduced to keep people safe.”
Library services were initially suspended in an effort to tackle the coronavirus before a click-and-collect service was launched in late June.
That allows members to borrow books, audiobooks and DVDs on an appointment basis and submit preference requests relating to authors or genres.
For the time being, chairs have been removed from the libraries to discourage sitting, toilets will be closed to the public and there will be no meetings, activities or room bookings available.
Anyone entering the building will be asked to use hand gel and complete a track and trace card giving their name and contact details.
Library staff will work behind protective screens when at a desk and wear masks at other times and all books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being cleaned and put back into circulation.
Current weekday opening times at Penarth, Barry, Llantwit Major and Cowbridge libraries are 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm
The Libraries are also open from 10am until 1pm, and 2pm until 4pm on Saturdays.