Coronavirus: library information

Coronavirus: library information

Information on what Bristol libraries are doing in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Most Bristol libraries are temporarily closed to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

In line with government guidance, we’re working hard to reopen libraries and make sure that staff and citizens stay safe.

We’ll update this page and our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages as we reopen our services. 

Central Library

From Monday 7 September, you can use our Call and Collect service and visit to:

  • browse and borrow books
  • return borrowed items
  • use a computer (you'll need to book ahead by phone)
  • print

See the changes to our library services.

Central Library will be open for the services above from Monday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm. 

Contact the library:

Both of these phone lines are answered 11am to 4pm Monday to Saturday

Some services will not be available.

You will not be able to access the:

  • study space
  • café
  • reference library, including microfilm, newspapers and periodicals
  • toilets

Henbury, Fishponds and Stockwood libraries

From Monday 10 August, you can visit Henbury, Fishponds and Stockwood libraries to:

  • return your books
  • browse and borrow books
  • use computers and print

If you want to use a computer, you must phone the library first to book your session.

Stockwood Library will be open from 1pm to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.

Contact Stockwood library: 

Henbury Library will be open from 11am to 4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Contact Henbury library:

Fishponds Library will be open from 11am to 4pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Contact Fishponds library:

Closed libraries

All other Bristol libraries are closed until further notice. The extended access service at Stockwood, Westbury and St George libraries is also not available. 

Online services are available. Find out about eBooks, eAudio services and other eResources.

If you're not already a member, you can join the library online.

Changes to our library services

We’re following social distancing guidelines, and limiting the number of people allowed in each library at any one time. 

Our staff will be using masks, disposable gloves and hand sanitiser. We've installed Perspex screens at some staff desks.

We’ll provide hand sanitiser for you to use when you visit.

You must wear a face covering unless you're exempt.

You won’t be able to browse all of our books because of social distancing guidelines. You can phone the library before you visit and staff will help you find the book you want.

Test and trace support

If you visit the library, staff will ask for your contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace. These details will be kept securely, and destroyed after 21 days.

If you're visiting a library to use a PC, we will ask for your details when you book. For more information on visit NHS Test and Trace how it works (GOV.UK).


Computer sessions will be shorter and must be booked in advance. Phone the library to book. 

We’ll clean computer screens and keyboards with alcohol wipes between each session.

We won't be able to help you when you're using the computers.

Unavailable services

Some services won't be available: 

  • enquiry, reference, and reservation services
  • events and room booking services
  • photocopiers
  • WiFi
  • toilets 
  • children's areas 

Phone the library before your visit, to check if the service you want is available.

When not to visit a library

Don't visit a library if:

  • you've had coronavirus symptoms in the past 7 days
  • a member of your household has had coronavirus symptoms in the past 14 days
  • you've been in contact with someone who's had coronavirus symptoms in the past 14 days

Call and Collect service

This is a new service, available at Central Library only.

We can only provide items that are in stock and on the shelf in Central Library.

How it works:

  1. Call Central Library during opening hours on 0117 903 7250 to tell us what you like to read or watch, and we’ll suggest some items. You can have up to 5 adult items, and up to 8 items for children or young people. If you have a specific item in mind, it must be in stock and on the shelf in Central Library. You'll need to tell us your membership number.
  2. We’ll find the items and put them in a washable, reusable bag.
  3. When your items are ready to collect, we’ll call you.
  4. You can leave any items you don’t want to take home.
  5. When you’ve finished with your items, return them in the same bag.

Online services for families, children and young people

We’re running groups and events online, including: 

  • this year’s Summer Reading Challenge
  • storytime and live baby bounce and rhyme sessions
  • a weekly children’s book quiz
  • a weekly Lego Club challenge to build at home
  • eComics for all ages
  • learning resources

Find out more on our Facebook page.

Online services for adults

We’re running online book groups, talks and events, including:  

  • crime reading group
  • eAudiobook reading group
  • poetry group
  • World Cup Of Books 2020
  • our podcast Shelf Life

Check our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages for updates.