Library service update

Details of library services available during the third national lockdown. Information applicable from Monday 11 January 2021.

Available services

For the duration of the lockdown from 11 January 2021, Richmond upon Thames Library Service will be running a click and collect reservation service from nine libraries across the borough.

The Home Library Service will continue to operate as normal for vulnerable members of the community.

WEEE bins (for small electrical item recycling) will remain available during click and collect hours at the nine click and collect libraries.

Garden waste sacks will be on sale during click and collect hours (cash only) at the nine click and collect libraries.

There is no study space available in any libraries during lockdown and it is not possible to browse items inside the library. There are limited public computers available for essential use only at Richmond Information and Reference Library.

In line with government guidance, it is mandatory for customers to wear a face covering when visiting libraries.

Click and collect reservation service

The click and collect service is open:

  • Monday to Friday, from 10.30am to 2.30pm (unless otherwise stated)
  • Saturdays, from 10.30am to 2.30pm
  • Sundays, from 1 to 4pm (Richmond Lending Library only)

It is available from the following libraries:

Libraries are open Monday to Saturday except for Ham Library, Hampton Library and Castelnau Library, which are closed on Thursdays, and Hampton Hill Library, which is closed on Tuesdays. Richmond Lending Library is open on Sundays from 1 to 5pm.

Unfortunately, Kew and Hampton Wick Library are unable to reopen at this time. Due to their size, the buildings cannot support social distancing and therefore are not COVID-19 safe. We will continue to review the situation, in line with government guidance.

How click and collect works

The click and collect service for reserved books is available from nine libraries. If you would like to use this service then please visit the online library catalogue to make your reservation(s) and then come to your selected pick up library when you are notified your reservation(s) is ready to collect. Please do not come to collect your books before you have been notified they are ready.

If you are unable to use the online reservation system, you can call the library service on 020 8734 3330 and staff will place your reservations for you. Lines are open during opening hours Monday to Saturday.

Please be aware that social distancing measures will be in place at the library and you may have to queue outside the library to collect your reservations. Following official advice, all returned books are being quarantined for 72 hours before being put back on shelves.

Public computers

In line with Government legislation, there are now limited public access computers available at the Information and Reference Library. These are for essential use only and must be pre-booked.

The computers are available Monday to Saturday, 10.30am to 2.30pm.

Customers are allowed one 45 minute session per day, and up to a maximum of three sessions per week.

The computers are for essential use only and will not be accessible without a booking.

Staff are not able to assist customers on the computers at this time.

Printing is available.

How to book

To book a computer slot call 020 8734 3308 the day before you wish to visit the library and use a computer.

Please do not be late for your time slot when you visit the library as this will reduce the time you are able to spend on the computer.

If you have difficulties booking a computer by telephone please contact us at information@richmond.gov.uk or ask library staff for help.

Local Studies

The Local Studies Library and Archive is closed to public visitors during the lockdown, but will be replying to enquiries by email.

Please contact Local Studies by email at localstudies@richmond.gov.uk.

Current loans

All library resources due for return during the lockdown will be automatically extended until 1 March 2021. Any extension of the lockdown beyond 1 March will also be reflected in a further loan extension.

You can return books at a library book drop during lockdown, but please be aware it may take a few days for bookdrop returns to be checked in and removed from your account as staff need to quarantine books for 72 hours. Books in quarantine will not incur any late penalties. The book drop at Hampton Wick Library will only be emptied weekly during lockdown, so again, please be patient.

There are book drops available to return items when the library is closed at the following libraries:

  • Castelnau
  • Hampton
  • Hampton Hill
  • Hampton Wick
  • Richmond
  • Teddington
  • Twickenham
  • Whitton

eLibraries

If you are unable to visit the library there is a full electronic library service available, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers from around the world. 

There is also the brand new Hopster app for children which is available free via the library service.

Contact us

If you have any problems accessing our many eServices, email elibrary@richmond.gov.uk.

For any other queries about library services, email libraries@richmond.gov.uk.

You can also call the library service on 020 8734 3330 and staff will be happy to help you. Lines are open during opening hours Monday to Saturday.​

Updated: 11 January 2021