Libraries across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to open in phased approach

Posted on Friday 26 June 2020

Four of the area’s largest libraries across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will reopen from 6 July following the government’s latest announcement on 23 June.

Poole and Christchurch libraries will reopen on Monday 6 July and Bournemouth and Kinson libraries will open on Tuesday 7 July 2020, with new socially distanced layout and services in line with public health guidance.

Visitors to the libraries will notice that services have temporarily changed to maintain public and staff safety, and there may be queues at busy times. The libraries will have one way systems and protective screens at the staff desks.  As new guidance is introduced usual library services will be expanded when it is safe to do so.

The four largest libraries will initially provide:

  • Book loans and quick choice browsing. All stock will go into 72 hours quarantine on return.
  • ‘Order & Collect’ new service where public can email or phone in requests for favourite genres or authors and staff will pick and pack a selection for pick up from the library.
  • Book Bundles to borrow.
  • Enquiry service mainly by email and phone.
  • PCs with social distancing and cleaning between each use.
  • The online services and the Home Library Service will continue to operate across the area.

Councillor Lewis Allison, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Communities, said: “I’m pleased that we are able to start reopening our library buildings for local residents to use. We’ve carefully considered how we will ensure the safety of visitors and staff and that is why we are taking a cautious approach and will open the larger libraries first followed by further sites so that local people can access services as close to them as possible. The range of services, library layout, and opening times have been temporarily revised to comply with public health guidance; but we will be taking a flexible and phased approach to bring all libraries and services back to full operation as soon as it is safe and manageable to do so. In the meantime I would encourage those residents who can, to continue to use the libraries online facilities or home library services.”

During the period of temporary closure BCP Council's library service has expanded the online digital service providing e-books, e-audio, online newspapers, magazines and comics, and free online information resources; as well as cultural and family activities on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The Home Library Service is now a doorstep delivery service and is available to new clients.

There are plans for four further libraries at Boscombe, Broadstone, Castlepoint and Canford Heath to reopen in July followed by all others during August subject to review and government guidance. Further details will be made available nearer the time.

Opening hours will change temporarily to allow staff to safely restock and to manage the order and collect service. Further information can be found at: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/libraries