Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phased reopening of libraries

Page updated 6 August 2020

We are working hard to reintroduce services in a safe way for our customers and staff.

In the first phase we introduced Select and Collect at Central, Plymstock, St Budeaux and Southway libraries. In addition to this six public access PCs are now available to pre-book at Central Library.

All other libraries remain closed until further notice. This includes the Pop-Up Libraries at Tothill Community Centre and Four Greens at Whitleigh.

From Monday 10 August, we are delighted to welcome customers back into Central Library to browse and borrow library stock. We are also pleased to relaunch our Request Service.

Browsing at Central Library

Central Library is open between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Booking is not needed, but spaces are limited to 12 customers inside the library at any one time.

The following measures have been introduced for your safety:

  • anyone entering the library must wear a face covering
  • on entry to the library you must use the hand sanitiser provided
  • social distancing must be observed
  • a one way system is in place
  • you must follow directional signs and staff instructions
  • a maximum of 12 people are allowed inside the library at any one time
  • all items handled and not borrowed should be placed in quarantine containers positioned throughout the library
  • items must be borrowed using the self-service machines. Please remember your library card
  • public toilets will not be available.

Request Service

You can reserve items online by logging into the online library catalogue or using the Plymouth Library app with your library card number and PIN. Browse the catalogue and make your reservation, choosing from Central, Plymstock, St Budeaux or Southway Library as your collection point.

Once your items are ready for you to collect, library staff will contact you by phone or email.

We are currently unable to take requests for items not listed on the catalogue.

Public PCs at Central Library

PCs must be booked in advance. Call the Central Library on 01752 305901 or email lendlib@plymouth.gov.uk between 9am and 4pm to make a booking.

When you call or email us please let us know your library card number.

PCs are available to book between 10am and 4pm (last session 3pm to 3.45pm). Sessions are for a maximum of 45 minutes.

The following measures have been introduced for your safety:

  • anyone entering the library must wear a face covering
  • at the entrance, you must use the hand sanitiser provided
  • social distancing is observed
  • perspex panels have been positioned to separate work stations
  • you must follow directional signs and staff instructions
  • workstations are cleaned between appointments
  • printing is available. Payments by card only. We are unable to accept cash payments. Pay either straight away or the charge can be added to your account, up to a maximum of £7.50, to pay at a later date
  • we will not be able to offer one to one support at this time
  • if you need to bring someone to help you use a PC please let us know in advance
  • public toilets will not be available

Select and Collect

A Select and Collect service is in operation at the following libraries:

  • Central 
  • Plymstock
  • St Budeaux
  • Southway

Let us know what kind of books you enjoy. We’ll select up to three books for you to come and collect from the library. 

We aim to find books you will enjoy. We may not always get it right but we hope to introduce you to new books and authors.

How to request books

You can select up to 3 books

Contact the library you wish to collect your book(s) from:

Central Library: Phone  01752 305901 Email lendlib@plymouth.gov.uk

Plymstock Library: Phone 01752 306606 Email plymslib@plymouth.gov.uk

St Budeaux Library: Phone 01752 306237 Email stbudlib@plymouth.gov.uk

Southway Library: Phone 01752 305636  Email southlib@plymouth.gov.uk

When you contact us with your selection, we need: 

  • your name
  • your library card number
  • your phone number or your email address
  • your preferred format: Fiction / Non-fiction / Large print / Audiobook
  • your preferred age category: Children / Young adult / Adult
  • your preferred genre (fiction) or subject (non-fiction)

Have a look at our video to see how Select and Collect works.

Collecting Select and Collect orders

Once your order is ready to collect, library staff will contact you by phone or email.

Orders can be collected between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

At Plymstock, St Budeaux and Southway libraries your order will be ready at the library entrance and you will not be able to access the library building. At Central Library please enter the building to collect your order. Please observe social distancing if others are waiting and take notice of any signs.

If you can’t come to the library yourself you can ask friends or family members to collect your order for you.

Returning books

You are welcome to return any books that you have on loan to Central, Plymstock, St Budeaux or Southway libraries. We will ask you to place all returned items in a box at the entrance. All returns will be quarantined for 72 hours.

Loans 

You can renew items on the Library app, the Online Library Catalogue or email your library card number to library@plymouth.gov.uk. Items are renewed for 14 weeks.

Fines 

No overdue charges will accrue on any loan or renewal from Friday 20 March, until further notice.

Reservations and requests 

All reservations and requests via our website and the Plymouth Library app are currently suspended. You can view your current reservations on our website when you sign in with your library card number and PIN.

Join the library 

You can join the library online. Once you have registered, we'll be in touch to confirm a few details and will then email your library card number to you.

Library Online 

You can download free eBooks, audiobooks and magazines with your library card as well as digital comics and newspapers. Visit our Library Online page

Events and activities 

Regular activities and events that are held in libraries have been temporarily suspended but we do have some regular activities hosted on our Facebook page.

Storytimes – Every Monday and Friday at 10am

Rhymetimes – Every Wednesday at 10am

Lego Challenge – a new challenge announced every Tuesday

Summer Reading Challenge

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is online. To participate and join in the fun with the ‘Silly Squad’ please visit the Summer Reading Challenge page to sign up.

Schools Library Service

We welcome any topic requests for September 2020 onwards.  To contact us about our other SLS services please email sls@plymouth.gov.uk