Library buildings to close due to Covid 19

Published: Friday, 8 January 2021

With Covid 19 cases in the borough continuing to increase, Havering Council has announced that libraries will close at end of day Friday 8 January and will stay closed until at least mid-February.

Since November, libraries have been open for collection or return of books, or for pre-booked essential computer use, but this will cease due to the new closure.

Fines have been suspended since March 2020 so residents do not need to worry about late fees for books they still have at home.

The library service will continue to deliver to housebound residents during this lockdown.

If you know a resident who cannot leave the house but would appreciate a delivery, please get in touch with the service at alexis.wainwright@havering.gov.uk

The libraries catalogue website is still available, offering an online library of tens of thousands of e-books, audiobooks, and digital magazines to read.

If residents with spare e-readers would like to lend one to someone who is not online, please email alexis.wainwright@havering.gov.uk

Orange sacks will be available for use outside Harold Hill, Hornchurch, Rainham, Romford and Upminster libraries but please only take the sacks if absolutely essential.

The library service is putting on a range of online events to keep people connected during these difficult times. These sessions take place via Zoom and include:

  • a poetry group - first Wednesday of the month, 4.30 - 6pm
  • an evening Book Club - first Wednesday of the month, 7-8pm
  • a day time Book Club - third Wednesday of the month, 2-3pm
  • a Knit and Natter group - every Thursday, 10-11am
  • a Baby Bounce session - every Thursday, 2-3pm

For more details or to book a place email libraryevents@havering.gov.uk or visit the Havering Libraries Facebook page.

If you need to access a computer to apply for a job or benefits, please get in touch with your local Job Centre Plus.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:

"We have very sadly taken the decision to close all of our library buildings due to the increasing number of cases in the borough.

"We are determined to do everything we can to protect residents and staff from this awful virus.

“As important as I know libraries are to the cultural life of our borough, borrowing a book is not an essential journey.

"Our libraries still have an excellent online selection of ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines, and our popular library events are continuing online to help people stay connected through this difficult period.”