Library Service Message - March 31st

Gloucestershire Library services are currently operating under national restriction guidelines.  To see which services you can access from home please click here.  Libraries remain open to provide essential PC access to residents who cannot get online at home and we continue to offer request and collection services.    We look forward to extending our services from the 12th April when libraries will re-open for public browsing and computer access. To check your local library opening hours, and services on offer from the 12th, please check Library Locations and Opening Hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please find frequently asked questions and answers below. 

If you have a question that is not listed, please contact us.


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.




Can I visit the library?

From Monday 12th April library buildings will begin to reopen.  Here is a short video showing what you can expect.   Please remember to check your own local library’s opening hours before setting out.


When will the library be open?

Library opening times are listed on each individual library's page.  For a full list of libraries, click on Library Locations and opening hours then select the name of library you wish to use.


I am unable to visit the library.  What services can I use from home?

We have a range of online services including e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines, online reference resources and enquiry services.  For more information please see Accessing library services from home


 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.

Join the library


Are there customer toilets available in libraries?

Where Libraries have public toilets they would be available for the public to use unless the following conditions were met.

  • They are broken or soiled
  • Having them open compromises covid safety procedures, due to their location in the building.
  • Other safety considerations.

Please check with individual libraries to see what facilities are available.

Library Locations and Opening Hours




If you have forgotten your PIN and have an email address registered on your account you can re-set your PIN online.

Click here to reset your Library PIN  

If you do not have an email address registered on your account or have any queries please Contact the Library or ask for it to be re-set next time you visit a library.


What will happen when I come to collect my items?

For Council run libraries:

When the item you requested is available for collection you will receive an email notification.  You can make an appointment to visit the library and collect your items during advertised collection slots.  The email contains a link to the booking service.

At a Collection services session 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.

Request services

From the 12th April all council run Libraries will offer public browsing. You will be able to collect requested items from the Reservation shelf at each site without booking a specific collection slot following notification that the items are ready to collect. A small number of sites will continue to offer collection slots that customers can book in advance. For those sites not offering pre booked collection slots, if you do not wish to enter the building please ask the staff member at the entrance during open hours, and a member of the team will bring the items to you. Please have your library card number available.

For Community Libraries please contact individual libraries:

Berkeley Community Library

Bream Community Library

Brockworth Community Library

Lechlade Community Library

Minchinhampton Community Library

Mitcheldean Community Library

Newnham Community Library

Painswick Community Library

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.  Most libraries (apart from Gloucester, Up Hatherley, Hesters Way, Bourton on the Water and Winchcombe) have drop boxes to return items can be returned when the library is closed.

Returning and renewing


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:


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.

Join the Library


Resources that can only be accessed from Cheltenham and Gloucester Libraries:

Which? Online - can only be accessed from the Cheltenham and Gloucester Libraries.   

If you cannot get to Cheltenham or Gloucester Libraries to access these resources, please contact our Ask Us Reference and Enquiry Service. Our Ask Us team will be happy to help with your enquiry. 


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) (

01452 426265


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?

All groups are suspended.

Browsing will resume from 12th April.

Computer buddy volunteers are suspended.

IT support from Library staff will be limited due to social distancing.


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