ONLINE library services are being boosted after North Yorkshire County Council managed libraries - including Skipton Library - closed temporarily today (Monday) in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The library service is also extending the loan period for all physical books, DVDs and CDs already on loan or renewed to three months, so it says that people do not need to worry about building up fines.

Most of the county’s community run libraries have already closed, but the council says it is keeping close contact with volunteers with a view to maintaining a limited service.

County Councillor Greg White, the council’s executive member for libraries, said: “While the Government has not specifically cited libraries in its briefings, in light of the recent escalation of the Covid-19 situation it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that library buildings should close to protect communities, staff and volunteers from infection.

“We understand that some residents rely on their library as a place to get information and support. We are working to ensure that while the libraries remain closed everyone can access the information and support they need.

“People who are at home and can get online can make use of our extensive digital service. Thousands of e-books, e-audio books, newspapers, magazines, comics, reference works and educational resources are available, and we’re making it easy for people to access them, if they don’t already do so, and to join the library if they are not yet members.”

He added:“We anticipate increased demand for e-books and e-audio, so have placed an order to make more copies available.”

All digital services can be found online at: To access them, people will need their library card and PIN number. Those who do not know their PIN, or who wish to join, can telephone 01609 533878