THE phased reopening of libraries in Darlington is starting tomorrow.

As the Government continues its programme to ease lockdown restrictions, library staff are working on a Covid-secure reopening to ensure the safety of library users and staff.

From Monday, quick pick borrowing and book returns will be reintroduced at Crown Street Library, while Cockerton Library will be open at various times for a click and collect service.

Councillor Andy Keir, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for local services, said: “Our staff have been working hard to keep as many services running as possible during lockdown, with a library home delivery service for our older residents and online storytime sessions and activities for younger ones.

“The feedback we’ve had has been tremendous and we know there are many people eagerly awaiting the reopening of the library and this is an important first step towards that.

“From Monday, we’ll be able to open our doors for some limited services and would ask people to be patient and follow social distancing and any signs or instructions from staff to enable us to open safely.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming people back to the library. We hope by opening the town centre library for browsing, our branch library for click and collect and offering free home deliveries for over 60’s, that we are providing a good selection of options for all, whether they are keen to choose books themselves or would rather avoid the crowds and keep safe at home.

“The new app will allow people to self-manage their library account from home, while our staff will be on hand in the library itself to help if anyone needs it.

“Remember too, there are no fines incurred on books, so there is no rush to return them, and our online library remains available to all members and can be accessed from home 24/7.”

Crown Street will be open from 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday.

Customers will be asked to queue at the central doors on Crown Street and wait for staff to invite them to enter via the steps or lift access.

All customers will be asked to sanitise their hands, maintain a 2m distance to other customers and staff, and to browse responsibly.

Cockerton Library will be open for people to return books and for click and collect only on Tuesdays 2-4pm, Wednesdays 9-11am, Fridays 9am-2pm and Saturdays 1-4pm.

Customers can use the Darlington Libraries app to reserve their book and arrange collection from the doors of the Library, which is not open for browsing or computer use. Click and collect times are subject to change.

Residents of Darlington, who are aged over 60 and a library member, can sign up for a free delivery of books by calling 01325 349610.

Other library users can also access a wide range of eBooks and eAudiobooks via Darlington Libraries online services.

To find out more and for details of online events/activities log onto the website at: or download the Darlington Library App.