Lancashire libraries and museums close due to Coronavirus outbreak

Posted on - 23rd March, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston Council, Preston News
The Harris exterior
The Harris Museum already announced their closure last week due to the Coronavirus outbreak

Lancashire libraries, archives and museums closed their doors on Monday 23 March, including those in Preston.

The closure came into affect on 5pm on Monday to allow library users the opportunity to get books out before they closed. The mobile library service closed on Monday too. This was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council is doing all it can to maintain as many of its services as possible, but due to the extraordinary nature of the coronavirus crisis, many services are likely to be affected – but we will ensure the people of Lancashire are kept informed and updated. 

Read more: How these family-run Preston businesses are helping people affected by coronavirus

Lancashire libraries, archives and museums to close

Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, County Councillor Peter Buckley, said: “We have not taken this decision lightly, but it is the right thing to do for the people of Lancashire. 

“During the time that libraries are closed, Lancashire’s library members will still be able to download eBooks and audiobooks using BorrowBox, which is available at any time. 

“We will also continue to provide a home library service – but will have more details on how this will work.”

Leader of Lancashire County Council, County Councillor Geoff Driver CBE, said: “We are sorry to have had to take these measures due to the COVID19 outbreak but I’m sure residents will agree it is in the best interests of the people of Lancashire and our staff. 

“We will of course keep everyone updated about when we can reopen these services.” 

Read more: Preston events scene takes a hit as coronavirus causes mass cancellations

No customers will be charged for the late return of any items during the period that the libraries are closed. Customers will not be required to renew their items during this period. Library users are being asked to hold onto their books and not try to post them through letter boxes or leave them outside libraries. 

Lancashire Archives has also closed but it intends to offer a remote archive service. They will be able to answer most enquiries and intend to keep the copying service going for as long as possible. Information will be on the website, and the online catalogue, LANCAT, will still be available. Many Lancashire parish registers are available online at Ancestry. 

Last week The Harris confirmed that it would be closing for the foreseeable future too.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak.

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