Frequently Asked Questions: services during the new national restrictions
Please find frequently asked questions and answers below.
If you have a question that is not listed, please contact us.
COVID19 Safety Measures
What safety measures are in place in libraries?
- Social Distancing with signs, markers and staff to support this – please note there may be queues at some libraries
- Layout changes and one-way systems to support social distancing
- Restrictions on the numbers of people in a library building
- Staff hygiene and minimal handling of stock when selecting items
- Increased cleaning regimes for equipment used
- Installation of Perspex screens at library counters
- NHS “Track and Trace” recording
- Measures introduced to reduce cash handling
- Items of stock will be quarantined for 72 hours on their return. Because of this items will remain on your library account for at least an additional 3 days after you have returned them and you will not incur fines for this.
- Wearing face coverings will be mandatory in libraries for customers and staff (exemptions apply).
- All sites have been risk assessed and are Covid 19 secure.
Visiting the library
Can I visit the library?
In line with the Government announcement of the 31st October, introducing new national restrictions, County Council run libraries will be closed for general public access from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December 2020.
Regulations allow Libraries to continue to offer specific services to our members during this period and the following can be accessed from council run libraries:
Can I join and become a new member of the library?
Yes, it is easiest to join online if you can. Please verify your account by clicking the link in the email you receive to confirm your registration. You can use the online library without having to collect a membership card from a library.
What will happen when I come to collect my items?
You will have booked slot. A small number of other customers may have also chosen that slot so there may be a small queue to collect items but social distancing and queuing will be in place and clearly marked. A staff member will ask for your name and library membership number and you will be passed your items. Please bring a bag or container with you. The items you are given have been handled by staff but staff will regularly wash hands and handling of stock is kept to a minimum.
Will I incur fines?
No, we have applied a fine holiday for the period of restricted access.
Can I return books to any library or does it have to be the library I borrowed from?
You can return books to any Gloucestershire Library. All but 3 libraries (Gloucester, Up Hatherley & Hesters Way) have drop boxes to return items can be returned when the library is closed.
Can I use the Local Studies Library in Cheltenham?
The building where Local Studies is based is closed. However, we are offering an online service for any local history enquiries. Please email your enquiry to:
We also have lots of online resources on the Virtual Reference Library, including Ancestry, which you can access as part of your library membership. Some of these services you can access from home using your Library card number and pin. For more information please see the following web page:
Full information can be found on this webpage
Can I apply for a Concessionary Bus Pass?
This service is currently suspended in libraries. Please contact the Bus Pass unit for advice:
Bus Passes (ITU) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Can I donate some books to the library?
We are currently unable to accept any donations. With COVID measures in place we do not currently have the capacity to store, sort and catalogue donated items. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
Which other services are suspended?
Photocopying is not available.
All groups are suspended.
Computer buddy volunteers are suspended.