Doors To Open For Three County Down Libraries

Libraries NI Announces Further Reopening of Local Libraries


Libraries NI Announces Further Reopening of Local Libraries

As Libraries tries to move to the new normal, it will be opening up its doors for three libraries in CountyDown and more across Northern Ireland.

An NI spokesperson said: “NI is pleased to announce that, following the recent reopening of Bangor Carnegie, Belfast Central, Lisburn City, Derry Central, and Omagh libraries as part of a pilot scheme, a further 12 libraries will reopen from the beginning of August.

“Downpatrick, Newry, and Portaferry libraries are scheduled to re-open in Down to offer customers access to the library for book browsing and limited access to IT. 

“These libraries are part of the second phase of the larger pilot to test our new approach to service delivery which will aim to keep customers and staff safe whilst also learning lessons to facilitate the smooth reopening of other local libraries as soon as possible.”

Customer Charter Developed

A customer charter has been developed to help everyone understand the new operational measures that will be in place for their safety.

In order to maintain social distancing, there will be controls on the number of people allowed in libraries at any one time and customers may be asked to limit themselves to 30 minutes browsing and/or 30 minutes’ computer use initially.

Toilet facilities will be closed during the pilot phase and printing or photocopying will also be unavailable. As public health guidance changes, this preliminary service offering will be reviewed.

In a similar approach to safety, as customers will see elsewhere, staff will be equipped with relevant PPE, screens will be installed at customer desks, hand sanitiser will be available for all customers entering the library and a high level of cleaning will take place throughout each of the libraries. Returned books will also be stored for a period in each library before being returned to the shelves.

Libraries NI are asking customers to work with them to make the reopening a success and to follow the guidance, maintain social distancing while inside each library, and to stay at home if you have any coronavirus-like symptoms.

The Book and Collect service, where library members can phone their local library to request a selection of books and arrange contactless collection, will continue to operate in all other libraries not included in the first or second phase and will remain in place until such time as the library reopens.

Revised, temporary hours for each of the libraries reopening and operational hours for the Book and Collect service are detailed on our website:

Facts about NI Libraries:

  • Libraries NI is the public library service for Northern Ireland.
  • All libraries and library services closed on Friday 20th March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The first phase of the pilot scheme saw the reopening of Lisburn City and Omagh libraries on Tuesday 21 July and Belfast Central, Bangor Carnegie and Derry Central on Thursday 23 July. 
  • Lurgan Library remains closed to the public due to undergoing refurbishment.
  • Library services are free and are delivered through a network of 96 branch libraries, two heritage libraries, 16 mobile libraries and 10 home call vehicles across Northern Ireland.