Hampshire libraries to close to browsing over the festive period

Following the Government announcement all districts within the Hampshire County Council area currently in Tier 2 (High alert) will move to Tier 4 - Stay at Home- (with the exception of the local authority area of the New Forest which will move to Tier 3 - Very High Hampshire County Council has taken the decision to close all libraries for browsing. This is in accordance with Government guidance However, libraries will remain open for contactless services and essential computer use

Dec 24 2020

Hampshire County Council Executive Member for Recreation, Heritage, Countryside and Rural Affairs, Councillor Edward Heron, said: “The health and wellbeing of our staff and customers is foremost in our minds. On Boxing Day all of the Hampshire County Council local authority area except for the New Forest will be placed under Tier 4 (Stay at Home) restrictions from 26 December, for which Government guidance advises library browsing should be suspended.  The New Forest will be placed in Tier 3.  Guidance for Tier 3 states that decisions on the services offered by libraries should be made in light of local circumstances.  We have therefore taken the proactive decision to also suspend browsing in libraries within the New Forest for the festive period.

“Customers will still be able to book access to public computers and collect reservations and Ready Reads selections in all public libraries in the county.

“This arrangement will continue in Tier 4 areas as long as Tier 4 restrictions are in place. For our libraries in the New Forest, while we are confident that our premises remain Covid-secure, we feel that it is in the best interests of staff and customers alike to restrict access to our buildings in Tier 3 areas for the time being. We are confident that, with the range of services still available, New Forest residents can continue to enjoy access to books and resources in other ways. We will closely monitor the situation and review our decision for libraries in Tier 3 after the festive period.”

All library customers can continue to:

  • Use the Ready Reads: We Select, You Collect service, where Library staff hand select handpick books for collection from your chosen library – you can access this service online or by calling 01962 454747
  • Reserve and renew physical items online
  • Reserve and renew library books on your smartphone using the Spydus Mobile app
  • Use the Home Library Service if you can’t get to the library due to ill-health, disability or caring responsibilities
  • Join virtual children’s activities such as Online Rhymetime and Online Storytime
  • If you are a library member, pre-book to use an in-branch computer for essential activity only free of charge – book by calling 01962 454747.

For more information about the Library Service, its digital resources and online activities, visit www.hants.gov.uk/library