Coronavirus

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Havering's libraries set for Covid-secure reopening from 17 July

Published: Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Havering's libraries, which were closed on 23 March as part of the national lockdown, will begin to reopen from Friday 17 July as the borough's coronavirus recovery plan continues.

The service will re-open as a full ‘browse and borrow’ service starting with Harold Hill, Upminster, Hornchurch, Rainham, Central Library on 17 July with the other five libraries in the borough opening on Wednesday 22 July.

Libraries will have revised opening hours as some library staff will not be able to return to work due to health conditions or caring responsibilities.

Returning safely to libraries will mean some changes in how libraries operate.

That will mean libraries look a little different with the measures we have put in place for the safety of staff and customers, following Government guidance.

Social distancing will be in place and library staff have been provided with personal protective equipment to ensure their safety.

Library users will be asked for their contact details to support NHS Test and Trace and will need to try to keep 2m apart for social distancing, follow the one-way systems in place, to use hand sanitisers which are in every library.

Library users are also asked to wear face coverings in line with government advice.

Because a large number of books were borrowed in the run-up to libraries closing, residents are asked to be patient and be prepared to queue as the service may become busy if many people return all their books at once and libraries will be operating on reduced capacities.

Residents are asked to use the library closest to their home rather than travel further to a library that may be open earlier.

Books that are returned will be quarantined before being returned to shelves.

No study space will be available in libraries until we can be sure it is safe to do so.

Orange recycling sacks will be available to pick up in all libraries.

Fines for late return of books remain suspended and no cash will be taken at libraries which means printing and photocopying services will remain suspended.

There will be reduced access to public computers with limited time and staff support.

Unfortunately library activities such as knit and natter and baby bounce will not be able to take place in libraries until further notice.

Library meeting space will be out of use and no bookings will be taken.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“I know how important libraries are for our borough and I am proud that we can re-open a safe service in Covid-secure buildings as Havering’s recovery from this dreadful pandemic continues. Although opening hours will be limited at first, we will open for longer when we can and this administration has invested to provide for a six-day a week library service right across the borough as soon as we can safely do so.”

Councillor Viddy Persaud, Cabinet Member with responsibility for libraries, said:

“Library staff have been doing tremendous work during the lockdown and in particular I thank staff who have volunteered to make thousands of calls to our most vulnerable “shielded” residents.”

“As libraries re-open, it’s up to all of us to keep libraries Covid-secure by staying alert, following the guidance and above all being kind and considerate to each-other. If we all do our bit, the chances of spreading the virus are reduced and we can all be Havering Heroes.”

Revised library opening hours

None of our libraries are opening on a Sunday.

Branch Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday 
Romford And Collier Row bubble            
Romford (from 17 July) 2pm-7pm 10am-3pm Closed Closed 10am-3pm 10am-3pm
Collier Row (from 22 July) Closed Closed 10am - 3pm 2pm - 7pm Closed Closed
Hornchurch and Elm Park bubble            
Hornchurch (from 17 July) 2pm - 7pm 10am - 3pm Closed Closed 10am - 3pm 10am - 3pm
Elm Park (from 22 July) Closed Closed 10am - 3pm 2pm - 7pm Closed Closed
Rainham and South Hornchurch bubble            
Rainham (from 17 July) 2pm - 7pm 10am - 3pm Closed Closed 10am - 3pm 10am - 3pm
South Hornchurch (from 22 July) Closed Closed 10am - 3pm 2pm - 7pm Closed Closed
Harold Hill and Harold Wood bubble            
Harold Hill (from 17 July) 2pm - 7pm 10am - 3pm Closed Closed 10am - 3pm 10am - 3pm
Harold Wood (from 22 July) Closed Closed 10am - 3pm 2pm - 7pm Closed Closed
Upminster and Gidea Park bubble            
Upminster (from 17 July) 2pm - 7pm 10am - 3pm Closed Closed 10am - 3pm 10am - 3pm
Gidea Park (from 22 July) Closed Closed 10am - 3pm 2pm - 7pm Closed Closed