Our libraries are open
We’re sure you can’t wait to visit our libraries again, and as part of our Safer, Better, Stronger commitment, we will continue to take steps to ensure our customers and colleagues are safe.
From 19 July 2021, we will focus on four key areas designed to continue to keep everyone in our community healthy and safe:
- Hygeine and cleanliness - sanitise stations will be available for customers to clean their hands
- Face coverings - staff may wear face coverings if they wish to do so and you will be encouraged to wear face coverings but it will not be mandatory
- Play your part - please do not enter the library if you have Coronavirus symptoms
- Respect others' space - public library spaces will be well ventilated and we encourage you to use self-service and not crowd together in areas of the library
We suggest familiarising yourself with the new measures, but don’t worry – when you arrive at a Better library, there will be plenty of signage and helpful staff on hand to guide you.
Which libraries are open?
Choose your local library below to find out more information, including which libraries are open and their available services:
What library services are now available?
From 19 July 2021, many of our libraries will return to their normal opening hours and you will be able to:
- Browse and borrow books, DVDs and other resources.
- Book a computer
- Use the printer and photocopier
- Access the many activities and programmes available at your local library without the need to book
- Study in the library
- Access all People's Network PCs
How are we keeping you and our staff safe?
Our staff are doing everything they can to keep our libraries as clean and safe as possible. You'll find:
- Extra cleaning throughout the day
- Hand sanitisation stations to use as you enter and exit
- Screens will remain on counters and you may have to book a space to study
- Staff may wear masks if they wish to do so
- Customers will be encouraged to wear masks but it will not be mandatory
- We will continue to encourage customers to use self service
- We will remain cashless
Online library services
Some libraries will be dishing up a Library Takeaway. What will you order? A bag of thrillers? Cookery books? Documentary DVDs? The process is simple:
Call or email your local library with your interests or to reserve items from our catalogue. Phone numbers can be found on your local library's page. Choose a local library below to search their catalogue:
We will handpick and issue your quarantined items and pack them ready for collection.
Your order will be available for collection from your library at a designated time
Home library service
The home library service is for residents of Bromley, Dudley, Greenwich, Lincolnshire and Wandsworth who are unable to get to the library and who do not have anyone to go to the local library for them. They also provide a service to people in residential homes and day centres. For more information on the home library service, choose from one of the locations below:
Social media programme
Our librarians are running an online programme of activities for children and adults – so follow your local library on social media for bed time stories, baby rhyme time and more:
There are a wide range of online resources which cater for all age-groups and tastes. You can download great eBooks, eAudiobooks, eNewspapers and eMagazines and even eComics – all from your phone, tablet or desktop device.
Frequently asked questions
Can't find what you're looking for? See the answers to the most frequently asked questions below.
My books were due back while you were closed – will I be fined for late return?
All overdue charges are currently suspended, so there is no urgency and all late return fees will be waived.
Can I return items if my local library is closed?
If you can visit a library locally that is open, then you can return and borrow items from there.
Are book drops open?
Yes, if you have returns, you can drop these through a book drop at any library.
Which libraries are open?
Please check your local library for more information about re-opening dates and opening hours.
Are toilets available?
Yes, public toilets are available to use.
When will the library return to normal services and hours?
Please check your local library for more information about opening hours.
I am not a library member. Can I join?
Sure! You can sign up to our libraries here.
Can I book time to use a computer?
Yes, please contact your local library to do so.
Library safety measures
What measures have you taken / put in place to minimise risks of virus transmission?
- Thorough cleaning by both professional cleaners and staff
- No shared equipment unless disinfected between uses
- Hand sanitiser stations at entrances, exits and enquiry counters
- Screens at enquiry counters
- Cashless payment options
- Changes to library layouts where possible as well as introducing clear floor markings and more signage to help customers and staff maintain social distancing
What is my responsibility regarding social distancing in the library?
Social distancing will be optional as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions in England but we ask you to please respect the personal space of others as part of our our Safer, Better, Stronger commitment.
What do I need to know before coming to the library?
- Please do not visit the library if you feel unwell
- Use the hand sanitiser provided when entering and exiting the library
- Let a member of staff know if you or anyone in your household develops Covid-19 symptoms
- Please be patient and polite with staff and observe all signage
Will you be temperature testing staff or members in the library?
How are you protecting your staff?
- The safety of our customers and staff is our number one priority. We have put an extensive range of protective measures in place. These include (but not limited to); increased cleaning specifications, hand sanitiser stations, adhering to social distancing guidelines and the closure of non-essential areas.
- In addition, our staff will be washing their hands frequently and have been issued with cleaning materials and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks and disposable gloves. Screens have also been installed at enquiry counters.
Do I need to wear a face covering in the library?
Safety measures such as face coverings will be encouraged as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions in England.
Will the new safety rules be in place forever?
The situation is evolving and we ask customers to continue to continue to return to our website for the latest updates and guidance.
Library loans and reservations
How will I be notified about my reservations?
When your reservation is ready to collect, we’ll contact you by phone or email to let you know.
I had a reserved item ready to be picked up before the libraries closed – what happened to it?
We’ll contact you to see if you’d still like it and arrange a time for you to come down and collect it.