PONTARDAWE library is set to partially reopen next week.

Libraries in Neath, Port Talbot and Pontardawe will partially reopen with locals having access to books via a new pick-up service.

With the launch of a new ‘Call and Collect’ service, residents in Neath Port Talbot will be able to take home library books as of Monday 22 June.

Cabinet member for education, skills and leisure Cllr Peter Rees said staff had “worked hard” to prepare the service, which will also enable users to return books and other borrowed items to the library.

The partial reopening of the borough’s three main libraries is the “first step” towards the full restoration of all libraries in the area, according to Cllr Rees.

The Call and Collect service will allow readers to borrow up to 10 items including, hardback and audio books, by placing an order over the phone.

They will then be allocated a time slot to collect their items, which will be placed inside a paper carrier bag.

All items borrowed from the libraries will be placed in quarantine for at least 72 hours.

A returns box will be provided to drop-off books and the loan period has been extended to six weeks.

Libraries throughout Wales have launched similar services in recent weeks, including a select few in Cardiff and Torfaen.

According to the Neath Port Talbot council, the remainder of its libraries will gradually reopen in “the next few months”, beginning with a Call and Collect service.

Cllr Rees said: “There is a long way to go yet and we will be taking a cautious, gradual approach to reopening for the safety of library users and our staff in line with other library services across Wales.”

The libraries will continue to waive fines for items currently out on loan or borrowed through Call and Collect.

CDs and DVDs cannot be borrowed at present.

Printing, photocopying, and internet access will remain unavailable.