The Covid-19 pandemic will continue to disrupt what was normal life in ways we can’t predict for some time. The last few weeks have taught us that ‘normality’ is a distant, and maybe a different place to where we were just a few weeks ago. We, our hosts at Kommune and the traders we work alongside have realised the need to survive as a business has to be balanced with the health of the team, suppliers and customers.

We’re aware that La Biblioteka poses a particular problem - primarily a space of encounter for people, ideas, communities. We rely on visitors from Sheffield and across the country to continue. We’ll try to update our current situation here as and when. (30th March)

The Shop – update

The bookshop remains open (updated 6pm 17/3) within Kommune in Sheffield for those who live or continue to work in the city centre. Following recent govt advice on social distancing, Kommune is now very quiet, with plenty of room to pop in and browse a while without coming into contact with many people. As of last week, all independent traders here are cashless, with enhanced hygine procedures throughout.
Our space within Kommune is now closed indefinitely, with no access to traders. Online sales continue to ship out, as long as Royal Mail deliver, but please recognise there may be delays within postal service.

We are more than happy to recommend what magaine or book you should read next. Just get in touch voa email or socials.

Online Shop – update
For those who are prudently home working or self-isolating through any ill health, we are open for business online, as always, and welcome all orders with virtual elbow taps! We will be adding more in-stock products over the coming days, but all orders are picked from the shelf and posted same day.

Please be aware our main book supplier, Gardners, who have done an incredible job over the last few weeks, have taken the hard decision to close today, so will not be processing more home delivery items. You can still place orders and we will send them as soon as safe working practices allow.

Unfortunately we’ve had to end free delivery as a few buyers discovered a way to exploit it and leave us losing money on each order. We continue to ship magazines - new titles arriving weekly! - from our home base. and can order any book you might require direct from our suppliers.

Events
Earlier this month we paused progress on a number of events we were hoping to host in Kommune, as speakers naturally were cancelling tours and dates. We hope to pick some of these up in the autumn, and have a schedule of events during Off The Shelf. We will also be signposting to the numerous digital events that authors, publishers and storytellers are hosting online

La Biblioteka is small, and proudly independent, but we are part of a much bigger family of other small, independent businesses: shops & kiosks, publishers, distributors and customers. This small shop, the magazine and book publishers we sell and everyone in the industry is threatened by a drop in sales as the pandemic sees more people off city streets working from home and observing self-isolation advice.

But mainly we'll still be here for you and will continue to serve our community with as much passion and pride for as long as we're able, with your support. Let's look after each other and support each other over what is going to be an extremely tough time. We remain comitted to supporting our fellow local independent businesses as much as possible and the wider book and magazine communities, and are always open to creative ideas on how to collaborate.

Love,
Alex & team LB