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Southampton Library News

During the new national COVID-19 restrictions, between Friday 6 November 2020 and Wednesday 2 December 2020, Southampton City Libraries will be offering limited library services.

Services available at your local library

Central, Bitterne, Lordshill, Shirley, Portswood and Woolston libraries will be offering a Select and Collect service, returns and pre-booked public computer access for essential purposes. YMCA Weston Community, Millbrook Community and Thornhill Community libraries remain closed.

Full details of opening hours are listed online.

Returning items

No overdue fees will be charged until further notice and all loans have been extended beyond Tuesday 17 December 2020.

Return bins remain available at the entrances of libraries for those wishing to just return items quickly. All returned books are quarantined for 72 hours and borrower accounts may not show returned items for 5 working days.

Loaning items

With Select and Collect, customers can reserve items online or via telephone on 023 8083 3007 (option 1, then 3), Monday to Friday - 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm. Items will then be prepared for collection. Library browsing will be unavailable before Wednesday 2 December 2020.

Computer access

Computer access must be pre-booked and is restricted to essential purposes only. To book a public computer contact us via telephone on 023 8083 3007 (option 1, then 3), Monday to Friday - 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm. Printing from computers will be available but you will need correct coins as no change will be given. Photocopying services will be unavailable.  

Library from home

With physical newspapers and magazines currently unavailable, many can be read online via the Digital Library. Our Digital Library also includes e-books and e-audiobooks as well as many other useful resources.

Many of the events and group activities that would normally take place physically in our libraries will continue to be offered online including rhyme and story times, author talks and craft activities. To ensure you don’t miss out, follow us on social media, @SouthamptonCityLibraries on Facebook and @SotonLibraries on Twitter.

Local Studies and Maritime Library

Local Studies and Maritime Library is closed but can be contacted via email, local.studies@southampton.gov.uk and via telephone on 023 8083 3007 (option 1, then 3), Monday to Friday - 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm.


Measures advised by Public Health England will be in place to ensure staff and public stay safe. You can expect the following at our libraries:

  • Customers are required to wear face coverings unless an exemption applies.

  • You will be asked to scan a Test and Trace QR Code or leave your details when visiting a library.

  • Staff will be here to welcome you but may be behind perspex screens and will be wearing face coverings in public areas.

  • Hand sanitising stations and additional cleaning measures.

  • Public toilets are unavailable.

  • In order to assist the NHS’s Test and Trace service, the Council is maintaining a temporary record of our visitors. This information will be shared with the NHS if needed, in order to help contain clusters and outbreaks during the coronavirus pandemic. For more information check our data and privacy policies.

Contact us

If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact us online or via telephone on 023 8083 3007 (option 1, then 3), Monday to Friday - 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm.

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