Reopening dates confirmed for Plymouth’s libraries

All of Plymouth’s libraries will be open to customers again in the coming weeks.

From this Monday (14 September) people will be able to browse the shelves and book PCs again at Plymstock, Southway and St Budeaux libraries, which are currently only open for ‘Select and Collect’ pick-ups.

Estover and Plympton libraries will also be reopening their doors next week, followed by Devonport and Efford libraries during the week beginning 28 September. The remaining libraries (Crownhill, North Prospect and Peverell) will reopen during the week beginning 12 October.

Central Library will also be open on Saturdays from tomorrow (12 September).

Deputy Council Leader Pete Smith said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming customers back into all of our libraries again – we know how valued our libraries are and how much they have been missed. It’s been great to see how well our online library services have been used, both during lockdown and afterwards.

“Last week we issued 178 per cent more eBooks and audiobooks compared to the same week in 2019 – and the number of eMagazines and eComics went up by a whopping 301 per cent. Our schools library service also issued far more eBooks and audiobooks this summer holiday than last year.

“And social media activities led by our staff have been hugely popular – these have included online book reviews, online Rhymetimes and Storytimes, ‘what I’m reading’ and ‘how to’ videos and much more.

“Since the Government announced that libraries could reopen we have been working hard to reintroduce services in a safe way for our customers and staff, using the national guidance in place. It’s important we do this is in a planned, controlled way so that we can quickly respond to any issues and keep everyone safe.

“In the first phase we introduced a Select and Collect service at Central, Plymstock, St Budeaux and Southway libraries, where people could reserve items online by or using our app and pick them up from the library. We then opened Central Library for browsing and pre-booked PC use.

“The next phase will see all of the city’s libraries reopen their doors – albeit with some restrictions and reduced opening hours. We’ve had to make these changes to ensure the safety of our staff and customers and be able to implement the additional measures we need to be COVID secure.

“We’re really pleased that, here in Plymouth, every library will soon be open for public browsing and we’re grateful to customers for bearing with us while we’ve been working to put these arrangements in place.”

Extra measures will be in place at all libraries to keep customers safe, including limits on the number of people allowed in at any one time, social distancing, one-way systems and self-service machines for checking items out. Customers will be asked to wear a face covering inside the library (unless exempt) and use the hand sanitiser provided.

Additional cleansing will be carried out and returned books will be put into quarantine for 72 hours before they are restocked and reissued.

Revised opening hours will apply at all libraries – full details are as follows:

Week beginning 14 September

  • Plympton Library will reopen on Mondays and Wednesdays, 10am to 4pm
  • Estover Library will reopen on Tuesdays, 10am to 4pm
  • Central Library will be open from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm

Week beginning 28 September

  • Devonport Library will reopen Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am to 4pm
  • Efford Library will reopen on Mondays, 10am to 4pm
  • St Budeaux Library will be open on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays only, 10am to 4pm
  • Plymstock Library will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays only, 10am to 5pm
  • Southway Library will be open on Mondays and Thursdays only, 10am to 5pm

Week beginning 12 October

  • Crownhill Library will reopen on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am to 4pm
  • North Prospect Library will reopen on Thursdays, 10am to 4pm
  • Peverell Library will reopen on Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am to 4pm