West Berkshire Council

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

West Berkshire Libraries continue with a limited service during national restrictions

2020 - West Berkshire Libraries sign

Issued on 7 January 2021

West Berkshire Libraries will continue to offer a limited service during the national lockdown restrictions in place from 5 January 2021.

Library buildings will be open for book collections only, and public use of computers in libraries has been suspended.

Although library members will not be allowed to visit a library to choose books, they will still be able to reserve them via the online library catalogue.

Libraries will also continue to offer the popular Order & Collect service, whereby members who are not sure which books they would like to read can request that library staff select up to five books for them, possibly introducing them to new authors. Library members can telephone 01635 519813 or contact their local library to let staff know what sort of books they enjoy, or visit the library catalogue online to place their order: https://westberks.spydus.co.uk.

When the books are ready for collection, customers can pick them up from any West Berkshire library, including the Mobile Library.

Library members are advised to please check library opening times before making a trip to collect the books they have ordered. Details of all current library opening hours, together with the Mobile Library timetable, can be found on the website: www.westberks.gov.uk/libraries

Members can return books at any time of day or night via the bookdrops/letterboxes outside each library. For those members who are not able to return their books at the moment, there is a West Berkshire Libraries fines amnesty in place until the end of January 2021, which will be regularly reviewed.

The 'At Home' service will still continue to deliver books and audiobooks to people who are self-isolating or unable to collect books from the library because of age, disability or other special circumstance. To find out more about this service, members can call 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk.

Library members can also enjoy choosing from the extensive collection of free e-books, e-magazines and e-newspapers. There are plenty of e-audiobooks to listen to as well.

The easiest way to borrow titles is via the apps, BorrowBox and Libby, which can be downloaded from the Apple app store and Google Play store. Customers who have a Kindle tablet (such as Kindle Fire) can download the apps from Amazon. Anyone who has these apps can then search for West Berkshire Libraries and login using their library card number and PIN. Customers who need help with this can drop an email to the library, where staff will be happy to help: library@westberks.gov.uk.

Customers who are not already members of the library can join online to get free, instant access to the e-library by visiting www.westberks.gov.uk/libraries to register.

Library members can reset their library PIN on the website: https://westberks.spydus.co.uk/pin.

Residents are encouraged to check out the extensive programme of activities for children and adults, which will continue online. Just follow the library Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages for more information @WBerksLibraries.