Edinburgh council relocates library services to Fort community centre while Leith Library is used as Covid testing centre

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Services provided by Leith Library are to be made available at nearby Fort Community Centre while the library is used for Covid testing.

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People will be able to go there to borrow, return and reserve library books and apply for bus passes.

And the community centre, a six-minute walk from the library, will also host Bookbug under-fives rhyme times for children and their parents/carers, offer hearing aid batteries and food recycling bags and Hey Girls sanitary provision.

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People will be able to borrow, return and reserve books at the community centrePeople will be able to borrow, return and reserve books at the community centre
People will be able to borrow, return and reserve books at the community centre

The council says it also hopes to provide adult group activities in the building subject to Covid guidance. The intention is for the services to run from Monday to Saturday, with the opening hours being built up to match Leith Library ones.

Work to adapt the space available is under way and the council says the services should be available soon.

The news comes just days after residents in Oxgangs called for their library, which is also being used as a Covid test centre, to reopen. It is one of the busiest libraries in the city and has been out of action for nearly two years.

The council said work was underway to find suitable alternative properties in Oxgangs and also in Newington, whose library is another test centre

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Culture convener Donald Wilson said: “I’m really pleased we’ll be able to relocate these essential services to the Fort Community Centre on a temporary basis until we get Leith Library back fully functioning.

“There is so much more to libraries in addition to borrowing books – they are trusted and much-loved hubs and bring local communities together. Although our online provision during the pandemic has been incredibly successful there’s no substitute for physical access.”

Vice-convener Amy McNeese-Mechan said: “I’m sure the local community will be delighted to hear that the services provided by Leith Library will soon be available from the nearby Fort Community Centre. All our libraries are centres of learning and information and are also essential for the wellbeing of our citizens.

“We’re actively looking at how we can provide more services for our other communities where libraries are being used as test centres and we’ll do everything we can to get these up and running as well.”

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Edinburgh residents call for one of city's busiest libraries to reopen

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