West Lothian’s Library Service is set to start a phased re-opening from this week.

The service will begin with a click and collect service from  Wednesday (July 15).

This follows updated guidance from the Scottish Government which enables the gradual re-opening of libraries subject to appropriate distancing and hygiene measures being in place.

From July 15, an appointment-based, click and collect/phone and collect system will launch across six West Lothian libraries – Broxburn (Strathbrock), Carmondean, Lanthorn, Linlithgow, Simpson (Bathgate) and Whitburn.

Library customers will be able to book an appointment from Monday (July 13).

The service will operate appointments over two sessions per day from 10am to 12.30pm and 1pm to 4.30pm from Monday to Friday.

Customers who have digital access are encouraged to register and use the online catalogue or the Bookmyne app where they can search, select and reserve up to five books from the library they wish to collect their books from. Customers can then book a slot to collect their books using the MYPC booking system.

Please ensure a minimum of 48 hours after you have placed your request to allow time for your request to be processed. If you wish to return books, this can also be done at this time.

A step by step guide on the process of reserving your book online is available via the Libraries section on the West Lothian Council website - https://www.westlothian.gov.uk/libraries.

If customers don’t have access to the internet then can phone and collect from the participating libraries. Phone the library and request a selection of books of your choice, if available to borrow these will be made ready for collection at an agreed pick up time.

Contact numbers for participating libraries are: Simpson Library, Bathgate, 01506 282910; Broxburn Library, 01506 284294; Linlithgow Library, 01506 283880; Carmondean Library, 01506 777602; Lanthorn Library, 01506 777700; Whitburn Library, 01501 678050.

Please note that only library members with a pre-arranged appointment will be able to collect or return books.  Books will be bagged, issued and ready for uplift.

If you wish to return books without collecting new ones please use the MYPC booking system or phone to make an appointment.

There will be no facility to browse books, use PCs or access any other in-house/physical library services at the present time.

It is anticipated that further elements of the service will be gradually re-established once the Scottish Government announces that the country is moving into phase 4 of the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Executive councillor for culture and leisure, Dave King said: “It is pleasing to be in the position to begin to bring back elements of our library service. We know how important libraries are to the lives of many in our communities, so whilst things won’t be normal we hope that customers will be able to enjoy the experience of accessing new books to read once again.

“It is very important that everyone follows the guidance set out when either booking or visiting one of the six libraries initially participating. The measures put in place will allow us to get the service up and running and if we all stick to the rules then it means a greater chance to see other elements of the service reintroduced sooner rather than later pending national guidance.”