Coronavirus: Libraries

(updated 11 January 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 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. 

Browse and borrow

Under national lockdown regulations browse and borrow visits will be suspended.

Fines and charges

Overdue, reservation, printing and photocopying charges will be waived until further notice to reduce the number of interactions our staff have with customers.

Six of the best order and collection

This service allows you to arrange a collection time for a bag of up to six books which our library staff will select for you. Complete the request form or phone 0300 123 6703, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, to arrange a collection. We'll pick up to six books for you to collect safely from the library. We can't guarantee that you will get books you like or haven't previously read but we will try our best. Books will be in a paper bag, issued to you, ready for you to take away. We are sorry, but you cannot ask to exchange or swap any and have to take the selection you are given.

Reservations

Reservation charges are not being re-introduced until further notice. To make collection of reservations quick and safe, all items are being pre-issued so will appear on your online account.

Public computers

Our public computers are available for essential use but maintaining social distancing and keeping Covid safe means we don't have as many available at the moment. You can book a 45-minute session by emailing us, phoning 0300 123 6703 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or visiting a library. One booking per day is allowed and bookings may be made up to one week in advance. Computer sessions start on the hour when the library is open. All computers are cleaned between sessions.

If no-one else is waiting to use a public computer we may be able to extend your 45 minute session by an extra 15 minutes if you ask us.

We would appreciate your cooperation with our staff so that this can work fairly for everyone.

As part of the NHS Test and Trace service we will be keeping a temporary record of your name and contact details for 21 days. We will ask you to provide details before you enter the library. You will be able to download the NHS COVID-19 app and scan a QR code when visiting.

We would appreciate your cooperation with our staff so that this can work fairly for everyone. 

Study space 

Under national lockdown regulations the use of study space will be suspended.

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:

  • Clitheroe Friday 15 January all day
  • Morecambe Tuesday 19 January in the afternoon
  • Lancaster Thursday 21 January all day
  • Lancaster Friday 22 January all day
  • Leyland Monday 25 January all day
  • Ormskirk Wednesday 27 January in the morning
  • Chorley Thursday 28 January all day
  • Chorley Friday 29 January all day

Padiham library will be closed during January and February 2021 for ongoing building work.

Thornton library will be closed until mid-February for repairs.

Guidance for visiting a library:

  • Please read the guidelines carefully before visiting a library.  
  • Do not visit a library if you are self-isolating or showing any symptoms of COVID 19
  • No unaccompanied children are allowed under the age of 12.
  • You should collect a six of the best selection alone.
  • You should attend to use a public computer alone
  • When you return books please maintain social distancing, wait in the queue and follow instructions from staff.
  • Everyone coming to use a public computer must wear a face covering. Exemptions to wearing a face covering.

 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.

Further information

As part of the NHS Test and Trace service we will be keeping a temporary record of your name and contact details for 21 days. We will ask you to provide details before you enter the library.

You will be able to download the NHS COVID-19 app and scan a QR code when visiting. The app allows people to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check into venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals that may have coronavirus.

If you cannot, or choose not, to download the app our staff will take your details.

This service allows you to arrange a collection time for a bag of up to six books which our library staff will select for you.

Complete the request form with details of the type of book you like to read and the number you would like to collect or phone 0300 123 6703, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, to arrange a collection. We aim to find you books that you will really enjoy reading, and maybe to introduce you to some new authors. (If this does not appeal and you only want a specific title please log into your account and place a reservation for collection at one of the open libraries, and we will do our best to supply).

We can't guarantee you won't have read any of them previously. We aim to let you know within five working days when your books will be ready to collect.

You may request Six of the best selections for up to four people.

Please don't make an unnecessary visit to the library to return books as we are renewing all items to 1 April 2021. All fines will be waived until further notice. You can return books at any time during our revised opening hours. You may have to queue and will need to maintain social distancing. Staff will direct you on how to return your books. All books will be quarantined for 72 hours before going back on the shelves.

We are not currently lending DVDs or CDs. We hope to offer this service soon.

Please be kind to our library staff. Lancashire County Council operates a zero tolerance policy for aggressive, abusive or threatening behaviour. Action will be taken against anyone who is abusive or aggressive which may include permanent exclusion from all of our libraries. 

We are processing reservations and you will be notified when you can collect them. You may also receive an automated notification from Library Elf.

All reserved items are being pre-issued to 1 April 2021 to make collection quicker and safer. You will see them in your current loans in your online account. Any uncollected items will be removed from your account.

Reservation charges will be waived until further notice.

Overdue, reservation, printing and photocopying charges will be waived until further notice to reduce the number of interactions our staff have with customers.

We are following guidance from Public Health England. We are quarantining returned books for 72 hours, staff will be washing their hands regularly and making sure they do this before handling books.

Our libraries are designated as Covid secure and we are following national guidance on safety and cleanliness. Hand sanitiser will be available. Please follow the instructions of the staff to ensure we all stay safe.

Our public computers are available for essential use but maintaining social distancing and keeping Covid safe means we don't have as many available at the moment. You can book a 45-minute session by emailing us, phoning 0300 123 6703 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or visiting a library. One booking per day is allowed and bookings may be made up to one week in advance. Computer sessions start on the hour when the library is open. All computers are cleaned between sessions.

If no-one else is waiting to use a public computer we may be able to extend your 45 minute session by an extra 15 minutes if you ask us.

We would appreciate your cooperation with our staff so that this can work fairly for everyone.

Under national lockdown regulations the use of study space will be suspended.

 

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.

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 

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

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.

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