Man in library, Source: Gothenburg Municipality

Gothenburg libraries set to reopen on 4 January

Gothenburg libraries set to reopen on 4 January

Swedish authorities consider them to have socially important function

Gothenburg has some good news for its residents, and especially those who like to read and research – its public libraries will re-open on 4 January. This comes after a decision was made by the Swedish Public Health Agency which stated that libraries provide an important and essential service to society and as such, they should remain open while still keeping within proper sanitary measures.

Libraries in the city have been closed since 19 December

The libraries have been officially closed since 19 December, following some initial confusion where the national government first declared them non-essential services only to reverse that decision five days later with the argument that the law provided that they must be available to all citizens.

In reality, Gothenburg’s City Library has actually been closed since 16 November. Its staff, however, is now working on preparing it for the upcoming re-opening day.

We are now working on as soon as we can to be able to open on 4 January. Libraries are an important pillar of human rights and must work for the development of a democratic society by contributing to the dissemination of knowledge and the free formation of opinions. But we must also contribute to reducing the spread of infection while maintaining a good working environment for our employees,” says Anette Eliasson, sector manager for libraries in the Swedish city.

That of course means that no social or cultural activities will be taking place for the time being, but people will be able to use them for their original purpose, borrowing books and researching information. The process of book borrowing and returning, however, will be sped up.

Readers are advised to pre-book the books they want to take out online and then collect them at the library premises without hanging around too much. There will also be self-service computer stations for making printouts and copying.



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