Coronavirus: Libraries, archives and museums

Libraries

(updated 23 February 2021)

Lancashire is currently under national lockdown restrictions. Find out more on the GOV.UK website.

Our libraries will be open with reduced opening hours and limited services. Unfortunately you will not be able to come into a library to choose your own book or browse the shelves. If you only want to return books, you can drop them into a returned books container during the revised library opening hours, without an appointment or entering the library building. Our libraries will also be open for essential computer use, photocopying, printing, at the door collection of pre-issued reservations and Six of the Best selections, with measures in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Please check library opening hours before you visit.

In order to mitigate the risk of both contracting and spreading Covid-19, we have developed a robust system of managing risk inside of our library buildings. This means that we are constantly reviewing and updating our service offers, risk assessments and ways of working to keep pace with the changes in government and public health issued guidance.

All charges have been suspended until further notice.

Unfortunately we have not been able to open Savick Library as there is ongoing work being carried out by the owners of the building, and Lancashire County Council. This work will continue and we will keep you updated on progress.

You can order a Six of the Best collection:

You can book a computer session:

  • By asking staff during opening hours
  • By phoning 0300 123 6703 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Please help us by renewing online or using the automated phone line 0300 123 6704.

Where possible, your items are being renewed to 1 April 2021. Overdue charges will be waived. If you are unable to renew any items please email library@lancashire.gov.uk or phone 0300 123 6703. 

Find out more before you visit.

Temporary library closures for essential work

Some of our libraries need to have essential work carried out to support their computers. Unfortunately, a few will need to close temporarily for this work to be carried out. Returns and collection of reservations and pre-ordered Six of the Best books will be available.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Please be aware that these arrangements may change at short notice due to circumstances beyond our control:

  • Adlington Friday 26 February
  • Kirkham Monday 1 March
  • Longton Wednesday 3 March
  • Ribbleton Thursday 4 March
  • Rawtenstall Friday 5 and Saturday 6 March

Padiham library will be closed until Wednesday 7 April for ongoing building work.

Burnley library will be closed from Monday 1 February for essential maintenance works and  a full boiler replacement. We hope the library will re-open on Monday 1 March.

Online services

We've got lots of great things for you in Your library at home.

Download free eBooks, eAudio, newspapers, magazines and comics using BorrowBox, RBdigital and PressReader.

Use our online reference resources including information, facts and figures, family and local history, newspapers old and new, school homework and study, music and literature.

Home library service

(updated 5 January 2021)

Delivery by volunteers and library delivery drivers is continuing under national lockdown regulations.

Over 300 of our home library service customers across the county continue to receive new bags of books chosen by staff and delivered by volunteers or our library service drivers on a regular basis.  The customers are delighted. 86 year old Terence Warburton said: "The home library service makes a massive difference to my life. It's marvellous. I really missed it when everything was closed down."

88 year old June Dearden explained: "Unfortunately, I can't get to the library myself now, and it isn't always possible for someone to take me, so I really value this service."

A third of our home library service users are also using Lancashire Volunteer Partnership's telephone befriending service. This means that a volunteer rings them on a regular basis to have a friendly chat and make sure they are well.

This service is still available to all people in Lancashire who may feel lonely, isolated, vulnerable or in need of support. If you know someone who you feel would benefit from a welfare call why not refer them but please ask their permission first. You can find the referral form on the volunteer partnership's website

Reading groups

(updated 5 January 2021)

We are suspending the loan of sets of books to reading groups under national lockdown restrictions.

If you have sets to return you can now do so via your nearest open library 

Mobile library service

(updated 5 January 2021)

The mobiles based at Clayton Green, Garstang, Heysham and Ormskirk are all operational

With the introduction of national lockdown restrictions, from Tuesday 5 January the service from will shift from one person or household on the van at a time, to no public access on the van. Instead, a bag of pre-selected books will be delivered to a stopping point on request.   

Customers will be asked to wear a face covering. Exemptions to wearing a face covering.

A timetable of the mobile routes will be available here once we have fully tested the timing of our new routes.

Music and drama collections

(updated 5 January 2021)

We are suspending the loan of sets from our music and drama collections under national lockdown restrictions.  

If you have sets to return you can now do so via your nearest open library 

EU Settlement support

We are unable to provide the We are Digital assisted digital support at the moment. Find out how to get help with your Home Office application.

Archives

(updated 5 January 2021)

Lancashire is currently under national lockdown restrictions. Find out more on the GOV.UK website.

No public visits will be allowed to Lancashire Archives.

Our copying and enquiry service is still available and our catalogues can be searched online.

We will email you our monthly News from the Archives if you contact archives@lancashire.gov.uk

(8 May 2020)

We're creating a new Covid-19 pandemic archive collection so that future generations can understand the effect of Covid-19 on everyday life in Lancashire. Contributions are welcome from all ages including children.

Museums

(updated 5 January 2021)

Lancashire is currently under national lockdown restrictions. Find out more on the GOV.UK website.

Museums are unable to open under national lockdown restrictions. Lancaster Castle's courtyard tours have been suspended.

Lancaster Castle guided tours

Due to major refurbishment works taking place in the Shire Hall Complex, we have suspended our guided tours at Lancaster Castle until Spring 2021. 

Queen Street Mill Museum

Queen Street Mill Museum will be closed until Easter 2021.

Read our new blog Stories from Lancashire Museums or look at our collections online.

Volunteers and Friends' groups

Our volunteers from the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership and the libraries and museum friends' groups were put on hold at the start of the pandemic.

They are all vital to our services and we will be welcoming them back as we reopen our libraries, museums and the archive service. Our volunteers at Gawthorpe Hall, Helmshore Mills Textile Museum and Judges’ Lodges are supporting us.