A new collection service to give people access to more books from Powys libraries is to be trialled this month.

From June 22, residents will be able to ask for new collections of books via Powys Council's website. Library staff will then put together collections based on people's interests, which will then be ready to collect from June 29.

The new system has been designed to allow people to use library services during the period of the pandemic, when they can't actually get into the buildings.

Books will be loaned for one month as normal, and there will continue to be no fines on books not returned. The normal “request” facility for specific titles on the library catalogue will not be available, to eliminate the need to transport requested books all around Powys.

The six sites which will be used for preparing collections of books will be Machynlleth, Llanfyllin, Newtown, Llandrindod, Brecon and Ystradgynlais.

Readers who live close enough to those sites will be able to collect a bag of books from the library door by appointment only, following social distancing and hygiene measures. For all other readers, the library service will be working closely with local members, PAVO, partners and local volunteer groups to ensure that books are delivered safely to the doorstep.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help to deliver library books to your local area is urged to register as a volunteer with PAVO https://www.pavo.org.uk/help-for-people/volunteering.html

Councillor Rachel Powell, cabinet member for libraries said: “The safest way of getting new library books remains the same – go online if you can and use our Borrowbox app, which is available 24/7.

"However, recognising that not everyone can access online resources, that reading is a positive way to support people’s well-being, and that the Welsh Government has asked local authorities to plan how best to offer safe library services, we are pleased to be able to launch a ‘Call and Collect’ service for our residents.

“Powys County Council takes the health of our staff and our readers very seriously, so we would very much appreciate people’s co-operation as we trial this new approach, to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”