Libraries Visiting Central Library during lockdown

How will visiting work?

All visitors will be asked to complete a form with your contact details to help with the NHS Test and Trace programme. Please place the forms in the secure box by the entrance.  The information will be stored securely for 21 days then confidentially destroyed.
We've also introduced a number of safety measures and changes to how you access some services which you can find below.

What have you done to make the libraries safe?

To make it safe for customers and staff, just like supermarkets and other public places, we have had to make many changes to the way you use the library.

Changes include:

  • We will ensure that we control the number of customers in the library at any one time to allow social distancing.
  • We will be asking you to use the hand sanitisers that we have provided at the entrance doors and on each floor during your visit.
  • We will be cleaning surfaces, toilets, computers, and workstations on a regular basis.
  • We will be quarantining returned library books for 72 hours before returning them to shelves.
  • Signage and guidance for use of our facilities have been placed throughout the building.
  • We request that only one person or one family group or “bubble” uses the lift at one time and that you keep left when using the stairs.
  • We ask that children under 12 be accompanied by a responsible adult.

To ensure that you enjoy our facilities safely, please:

  • Be smart, stay apart and observe safe social distancing.
  • Please be patient and respectful of others at all times. At times we may need to request you to queue outside 2 metres apart if the building has reached its capacity for safety requirements.
  • Please use the hand sanitizers provided and please wash hands regularly.
  • Please use the self-service machines.
  • Please do not bring food or drinks into the building.

Do I need to wear a face covering?

The government has made it mandatory to wear face coverings in libraries, and we strongly encourage visitors to wear one, if possible, to protect others and reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

What can I do in the library?

  • You will be able to visit and use the Archives, Business and Information and Henry Watson Music libraries.
  • You will be able to study in the Henry Wolfson Reading Room - however to ensure social distancing the numbers allowed in the Reading Room will be capped at 60.
  • You will be able to choose and borrow books. 
  • Computers, printing, scanning and photocopying will be available but we have changed the way you can use these facilities. 
  • Public Health England (PHE) has advised against display and use of hard copy newspapers, magazines, leaflets and flyers, which when shared could spread the virus, but please remember that you can access newspapers and magazines electronically instead via the library website.

Can I use the computers?

Yes, however to ensure the required safe social distancing we have reduced the number of computers that are available with a time limit of one hour per person.

Can I use the WiFi?

Yes, you will be able to use your own device. Please note however that the only area with seats and study tables will be the Reading Room

Will I have to pay fines?

No, we’re not charging fines on any items that will be overdue as a result of the current situation with Covid-19.

I have a reservation to collect - how do I do this?

If you have reserved items to be collected from Central Library you can request these when you visit.

How do I return items?

You can also return items by placing them in the dump bins at the library entrance but please note they will not be discharged from your borrower record until a 72 hour quarantine period has passed.

Will the self-service machines be available?

Yes, Archives are available but by appointment only.  Book an appointment in the archives 

Can I organise an event?

The Performance Space will be available to book for events, with a maximum of 21 attendees. You will need to provide a plan and risk assessment before your booking can be confirmed. Email Dorothee Devouge for further details and to discuss your plans.

Will the cafe be open?

Yes the cafe will be open, serving hot and cold drinks and a range of refreshments.

Will the Visitor Information Centre be open?

The Visitor Information Centre on the ground floor will be open during the times Central Library is open.



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