Good news as libraries service increases with ‘browse and borrow’ slots

Release Date: 09 September 2020

As part of the phased reopening of libraries, opening hours have extended to 6pm on weekdays (7pm on Wednesdays) and 15-minute ‘browse and borrow’ sessions have started in eight of the open libraries.

Additionally, there are now bookable study spaces and more public computers available.

As of Monday (7 September) ten libraries will be opening from 10.30am to 12.30pm, and 1.30 to 6.00pm on weekdays (7pm Wednesdays) and 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 4.00pm on Saturdays, giving readers more time to choose and collect books.

Richmond Lending library will also be opening on Sundays 1 to 5pm from 13 September for Click and Collect, browsing slots and computers.

The following libraries are now offering Click and Collect, 15-minute browsing sessions and public computer access.

  • Castelnau (closed Thursdays)
  • Ham Library (closed Thursdays)
  • Hampton (closed Thursdays)
  • Hampton Hill Library (closed Tuesdays)
  • Richmond Lending Library
  • Teddington Library
  • Twickenham Library
  • Whitton Library

East Sheen Library is open for Click and Collect only (from the back door) and the Richmond Information and Reference Library is offering public computer access and bookable study slots. The computers in the selected libraries will be available to use during opening hours for one 45-minute session per day per customer (max three sessions a week). To book a computer or study slot please telephone 020 8734 3308.

Residents wishing to have a 15-minute browsing slot at one of the selected libraries should ask on arrival at the library entrance.

To use the Click and Collect service, residents can browse the library service’s online catalogue to choose what they would like to read. Books should be reserved online and residents will be notified when they are available for collection. Those without internet access can telephone 020 8734 3330 during opening hours and staff will place reservations.

Staff will quarantine returned books as recommended for 72 hours before passing them on to another reader, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. When residents arrive at the library to collect their books or have a 15-minute browse, a queuing system will be in place outside – ensuring social distancing and safe numbers inside the library.

Cllr John Coombs, Lead Member for Arts and Libraries, said:

"We are pleased that so many people have been using our Click and Collect service – but we know readers have missed the ability to browse and choose books themselves.

"The addition of 15 minute ‘browse and borrow’ slots mean that readers can safely choose their own books again. More new services are being added all the time, so please keep checking the library website to stay up to date with developments. We really appreciate your patience and understanding."

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Fenna Maynard on 020 8487 5182.

Reference: P355/20

Updated: 30 September 2020