Phased reopening of St Helens Borough libraries from Monday 27 July

Phased reopening of St Helens Borough libraries from Monday 27 July

Selected libraries in St Helens Borough will reopen to the public on Monday 27 July as part of a phased return, with a number of measures in place to keep visitors and staff safe.


Selected libraries in St Helens Borough will reopen to the public on Monday 27 July as part of a phased return, with a number of measures in place to keep visitors and staff safe.

All library buildings closed on Tuesday 24 March in adherence with government guidelines to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

St Helens Borough Council has been at the forefront of the approach, working with Libraries Connected, the national umbrella organisation for Library Services, to help produce guidance on the safe reopening of libraries.

Libraries that have the space to reconfigure layouts in the interest of social distancing, have been identified to reopen first – with the other libraries remaining closed for the time being. These libraries will be under continual review over the next few weeks. 

Decisions on opening further libraries will be taken as and when it is safe to do so.

The first libraries set to open on Monday 27 July are Parr, Chester Lane, and Eccleston.

Newton-le-Willows library is currently undergoing maintenance work and will open on Thursday 6 August.

St Helens Archive is also reopening from Monday 27 July and bookings for the search room can be accommodated Monday to Wednesday between the hours of 10:00am-2:00pm.

The opening hours for Chester Lane and Eccleston Libraries are:

Monday: 10am – 7pm
Tuesday: 10am – 5pm
Wednesday: CLOSED
Thursday: 10am – 5pm
Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 1pm

Parr Library opening times are:

Monday: 10am – 7pm
Tuesday: 10am – 1pm
Wednesday: CLOSED
Thursday: 1pm – 5pm
Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 1pm

To ensure users continue to encounter a safe experience on their library visit, a series of measures have been introduced such as screens on counters, the repositioning of furniture, and hand sanitising stations at each entrance.

On entering a library, visitors will need to produce personal details through their membership card as part of the track and trace process.

Returning and borrowing books and other items will be possible, however, computer access, printing, photocopying, newspapers and magazines will be out of service for a temporary period.

Library fines have now been removed and members will no longer have to pay a fee to reserve books. The Library Service will be launching its new Click and Collect Service, giving the option to reserve up to six books for free and users will be able to collect from the libraries that have re-opened – http:.//

Libraries will be unable to accept benefit forms during the first few weeks of reopening.

Events and activities, such as the hugely popular Read and Rhyme Time sessions and tours of St Helens Archive, can continue to be enjoyed virtually through St Helens Library Service’s Facebook page for the foreseeable future.

You can keep up to date with whatever else St Helens Library Service has to offer – from quizzes, story time, and arts and crafts, and much more besides – by following their FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages.

St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure, Libraries, Arts and Heritage, Councillor Anthony Burns, said: “It is recognised nationally the key role library services will play in the recovery from this pandemic due to the company and support they offer so many – so I’m delighted that a number of our libraries will be reopening their doors in a phased return as we adapt to the ‘new normal.’

“Speaking of adaptation, our library service staff have been sensational throughout this pandemic, continuing to provide a quality service which has seen nearly 13,000 e-material loans since the start of lockdown; a large increase of users signed up to the Home Delivery Library Service which has proved to be a godsend to those that are housebound or shielding – while hundreds of families have still been able to enjoy the much-loved Read and Rhyme Time sessions which have moved to social media.

“The amount of positive feedback we have had from members of the public about staff going above and beyond is fantastic, and library members are certainly in safe hands when visiting our libraries, which is largely down to the genuinely caring team we have in place.”

Following the relaxation of lockdown guidelines, work is back underway on the new St Helens Town Centre Library which is expected to open once building work has completed.

For Home Delivery Library Service enquiries, call 01744 677898 or email

Library customers can also access 24/7 digital services, including e-books, e-audiobooks, e-magazines and e-comics, using their library card. For more information, visit

Enquires for the Archive Service can be emailed to or by phone 01744 671748.

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