Library service update - April 2021

From Monday 12 April 2021 we will be following Government guidance on opening COVID-safe services under Step 2 of the Government plan. This can be subject to change so please check back here regularly for updated information.

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

We are following government advice on social distancing of staff and safe working practices, so it may take a little longer than usual to get your library items to you.

Opening hours

The libraries listed below and the Richmond Information and Reference Library are currently open from:

  • Monday to Friday, from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 4.30pm
  • Saturdays, from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 4pm
  • Sundays, from 1 to 5pm. This applies to Richmond Lending Library and East Sheen Library

Browsing and Click and Collect

Limited 15-minute browsing and borrowing periods are available in selected libraries. Please ask at the library entrance on arrival, and be aware that social distancing measures will be in place at the library, and you may have to queue outside the library so numbers inside can be managed safely.

The Click and Collect service for reserved books is available from selected 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.

Following official advice, all returned books are being quarantined for 72 hours before being put back on shelves.

Libraries that are available for this service:

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.

Teddington Library is closed until early May 2021 for essential repairs to the heritage glass roof.

Libraries are open Monday to Saturday except for Ham Library and Castelnau Library, which are closed on Thursdays.

Richmond Lending Library and East Sheen Library are open on Sundays from 1 to 5pm. East Sheen is Click and Collect only.

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

Public computers

There are a number of bookable public computers available for the use of library members at:

How to book

The computers are available during library opening hours for pre-booked 45 minute sessions. Customers can book either a single session of 45 minutes or a double session of 1hr 45 mins per day. You will need to call 020 8734 3308 during opening hours to book a computer slot in advance before you wish to visit the library and use a computer.

If you have difficulties booking a computer by telephone, please contact or ask library staff for help. Please do not be late for your time slot when you visit the library.

Local studies

The Local Studies Library and Archive is open to visitors by appointment only.

From Monday 12 April, the Local Studies Library and Archive will be open by appointment, with appointments available on Tuesdays to Fridays and alternate Saturdays. To make an appointment, or for any other queries, please contact Local Studies by email at or telephone 020 8734 3309.

Other services

Photocopying is available at all libraries open for computer bookings.

WEEE bins (for recycling small electrical items) are available at all libraries open for Click and Collect or browsing.

Garden waste sacks are available to purchase at all libraries open for Click and Collect or browsing.

There are no study spaces currently available during Step 2.

Current loans

Library resources that had their loan periods extended to 12 April through the recent lockdown have been extended for the last time to 4 May. This will be the final extension as libraries now reopen for browsing. Please return or renew your items in the usual way going forwards.

Staff will be quarantining returned books so please be aware it may take a few days for book drop returns to be checked in and removed from your account. Books in quarantine will not incur any late penalties.

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

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


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

For computer bookings call 020 8734 3308 during opening hours Monday to Saturday.

If you have any problems accessing our many eServices, email

For any other queries about library services, email

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 April 2021