Libraries preparing to open more fully when Covid restrictions ease

Our libraries are preparing for opening hours to return closer to normal and more library stock and facilities made available from 21 June – subject to the national Covid restrictions easing as planned. 

To help make sure we can open more services safely, we’ll be closing Jubilee Library for the week beginning 14 June so we can move stock, furniture and equipment, ready for reopening on Monday 21 June. 

We’ll be opening Hove Library for six days that week so that library members have an alternative central library to use during this week.  

Our community libraries will remain open with a mixture of staffed days and Libraries Extra access for the week beginning 14 June.

Visit our ‘Library services available during Covid’ webpage for full details.

Library services from 21 June

From 21 June, Jubilee Library will be open seven days a week, and Hove Library six days a week. 

We’ll be reopening the upper floors at Jubilee and Hove Libraries, and making more tables and chairs available for visitors. Tables and chairs will no longer require booking.  

Community libraries will also be changing back closer to pre-Covid opening days.  

All our libraries be closing at 5pm until further notice. We will keep that under review and revert to later opening hours as soon as we’re able.

Other planned service changes include:

  • The return of reservations, interlibrary loan services and requests for loans from the SELMS consortium of libraries, with the usual fees applying.  
  • Books and other items will return to normal loan periods – three weeks for books and one week for DVDs. The longer loan periods will remain for anyone receiving Home Delivery Services.
  • Conferencing and exhibition and room hire in all libraries will return.
  • Our ‘Order and Collect’ service, set up to help library members access books through Covid, will stop from Friday 11 June.

Newspapers and magazines won’t be available initially due to the limited space available. We will keep this under review.

We will update our library services Covid webpage with more details in the week beginning 14 June, in line with the latest government announcements on Covid restrictions.

We’ve planned the changes to be flexible, so if restrictions do remain in place, we’ll be able to alter them as necessary! 

Welcome return

Councillor Steph Powell, co-chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture committee, said: 

“While we have to speak with a slight note of caution around the further easing of restrictions, we’re very keen to see a return of most library services.

“It has been a huge challenge to chop and change our library services over the last year to keep people safe while offering as much support as we can.

“Our libraries are a valuable resource for our residents. The response from our library staff and volunteers to redesigning services to keep as many as possible available has been incredible!”

Still time to have your say on our libraries

The consultation on our library services is open until Sunday 4 July, so there’s still time to have your say, if you haven’t already!

We’re after views on everything from our stock, activities and digital services, as well as your experience of using libraries in Brighton & Hove, both before and during the Covid pandemic.

Your views to inform our new Libraries Strategy and our Libraries Stock Policy for the next few years.

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