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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Visiting the library

Our order and collect service is available at all Dorset Council libraries. 

In line with Government guidance, we are re-opening for browsing and computer use from Wednesday 2 December (if this is a usual opening day for your local library).  We are also opening for some afternoons at selected libraries.  Opening details for Dorset Council libraries and community managed libraries.

Find your local library

Dorset Libraries re-opening video - welcome back!
Dorset Libraries re-opening video - welcome back!

Library services will look and feel quite different as some processes temporarily change and some services will be unavailable.

  • we are limiting the number of people allowed in at the same time
  • face coverings are to be worn when using the library
  • social distancing measures are in place and customers will be expected to meet these and other safety measures such as using the hand sanitiser provided
  • opening times are limited.
  • toilet facilities are not in use
  • seating in most areas has been removed or is unavailable
  • staff are unable to accept donations of books from customers until further notice

Available services:

  • order and collect
  • browsing and issuing books and other items - suggested maximum browsing time of 15 minutes
  • returning books and other items
  • public computer use - internet access and computers will be available but you will need to pre-book a session (maximum of 45 minutes) in advance by contacting your local library. There will be no staff support available
  • the reservation service will be available and you can reserve up to 10 books at any one time
  • printing and photocopying is available
  • Tourist Information Centres (at Dorchester and Wareham)

Services not available at the moment:

Returning items, charges and overdue items

  • all items issued will be subject to the normal loan period  (21 days for books and talking books, 7 days for DVDs/music CDs)
  • items can be returned to any open library and you can use your membership card to borrow from any open library
  • overdue and reservation charges (where relevant) will be applied
  • hire charges for DVDs and talking books will apply for all items issued 
  • returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours on return before we put them back on the shelf. As a result, any items you return may still show as being on loan to you for at least 72 hours but please don't worry as we will ensure that any overdue charges that may have accrued are waived. 

If you are unable to visit a library

We have a range of free digital resources that you can access from home with your library membership card. If you are eligible you can apply to use our home library service or if you are shielding have a delivery arranged through the order and collect service

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