RIVERSIDE Library will reopen its doors to the public on Monday for the first time in 16 months — but numbers will be limited "for at least two weeks".
Government rules allowed for the reopening of libraries nationally on April 12 — but the doors at Riverside have remained shut.
Staff have instead been redirected to support coronavirus testing work and the council HQ has been used as a foodbank site.
Last month, the Advertiser highlighted one library user’s frustration at the “lack of transparency” over its reopening date.
Keith Ballam (78), of Kimberworth, also blasted the “inadequate” access and order and collect service saying: “The Gestapo won’t let you in.”
Cllr David Sheppard, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for social inclusion, said: “We'd like to thank library staff for their support in helping with the lateral flow testing service that has been based at Riverside Library through the pandemic.
“We look forward to welcoming more people back to libraries across the borough. Details of these can be found on the council website and social media platforms. Library users can also continue to access a vast array of information online including borrowing an online book, magazine or newspaper.”
Numbers will be limited at Riverside House Library “for at least the first two weeks”, say RMBC, in order to "operate safely for customers and staff".
The Advertiser has asked for clarification around how many library users will be allowed in at once.
The order and collect service will remain in place with customers able to look at the online library catalogue to pre-order or check the availability of books in the library of their choice.
All 15 libraries across the borough have received improvements as part of the council's £1.8 million Libraries Capital Improvement Programme with Wath Library due to open on August 9 following refurbishments.
Kimberworth Library is currently closed for repairs.
An up-to-date list of libraries that are open can be found at www.rotherham.gov.uk/libraries/rotherham-libraries/1.