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Southampton library service - update

Southampton City Libraries are pleased to be able to extend services as we move to the next phase of reopening libraries.


Bitterne, Woolston, Lordshill and Portswood libraries will be offering library browsing, photocopying services, select and collect and returns.


Central Library will be offering pre-booked public computer access and study space. To book either of these contact us via telephone on 023 8083 3007 (option 3), Monday to Friday - 10am to 4pm or visit us in branch. Photocopying services will be available alongside select and collect and returns.


Return bins remain available at the entrances of libraries for those wishing to just return items quickly.


Customers are encouraged to check opening hours online ahead of visiting. We are working to further extend hours and services by the end of July.


Libraries operated by our community partners are being fully supported by the city council and are working to reopen as soon as possible.


You can expect the following at our libraries:

  • Staff will be here to welcome you but may be behind perspex screens

  • Hand sanitising stations, staff in personal protective equipment, and additional cleaning measures

  • Fewer people in the library at one time to allow for social distancing

  • Different layouts and reduced furniture

  • Queue management

  • Self service

Please note that:

  • Browsing will be limited to a 30-minute stay to make sure as many people as possible can access the service

  • We ask that any books you may have handled whilst browsing are placed on tables or areas labelled for this purpose and not returned to shelves

  • Computer access should be pre-booked and restricted to 1 hour

  • Where possible, you will need to bring your library card

  • Please bring correct change for copying or printing as no change is available

  • Physical newspapers and magazines are currently unavailable, but many can be read online via the Digital Library

  • Customers can reserve items online or via telephone on 023 8083 3007 (option 3), Monday to Friday - 10am to 4pm. Items will be prepared for collection and made available on dedicated shelves

  • Public toilets and other supplementary services will be temporarily unavailable, but this will be reviewed frequently so that they can be offered again as soon as it is safe to do so

  • We also ask that children under 12 are accompanied by an adult

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

  • No overdue fees will be charged until 6 September 2020

  • 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. More information can be found online

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