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Beddow library, which was closed on Tuesday 17 March as part of the national lockdown, will re-open from Monday 21 September as the city’s coronavirus recovery plan continues.

The opening hours will be 9:30 – 17:00 Monday to Friday and Saturday 10:00 – 15:30.

The re-opening of Beddow library will provide access to services for residents on the eastern side of the city and a good spread of library access across the city.

The re-opening of Beddow library follows after the successful re-opening of Central, Southsea, North End and Cosham libraries in July and August.

From Saturday 26 September, Southsea, North End and Cosham libraries will also extend their opening hours to Saturdays 10:00 – 15:30.

Residents will be able to return, browse and borrow items and use computers and enquiry services. They can also buy visitor parking permits at all open library branches.

Returning safely to libraries will mean some changes in how libraries operate.

This means that Beddow library will look a little different with the measures put in place for the safety of staff and customers, following Government guidance.

Cllr Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development & Deputy Leader, said:

I am thrilled that we can safely re-open another library to provide a good spread of library services across Portsmouth. I know how important libraries are for our city and I am proud of Portsmouth’s recovery from this pandemic.

With many returning to work, college and school, it’s fantastic to be able to give residents access to libraries on a Saturday.

Library staff and volunteers have been doing truly tremendous work during these challenging times. Not only have they maintained our community spirit, they have also supported those most vulnerable in our community.

As libraries re-open, it’s up to all of us to keep libraries Covid-secure by staying alert, following the guidance and above all, being kind and considerate to each other.

Social distancing will be in place and visitors will be required to wear a face covering while in the library.

Library users will be asked for their contact details to support NHS Test and Trace and will need to try to keep 2m apart for social distancing, follow the one-way systems in place, and using hand sanitisers which are provided in every library.

Books that are returned will be quarantined before being returned to shelves.

Loan periods for books and other items have been extended and Portsmouth Libraries do not charge fines for the late return of items. Any payments for parking permits, printing and photocopying will be by card only.

Customer reservations are being reinstated so that library members can request items held in any of the open libraries for free and pick them up at their local open branch.

There will be reduced access to public computers with limited time and staff support.

Unfortunately, library events such as Rhymetimes and children’s holiday activities will not be able to take place in libraries until further notice. In the meantime, look out for events and activities posted on the Official Portsmouth Libraries Facebook page:

Library meeting space will be out of use at all branches and no bookings will be taken.

Residents can email and find out information they need for study, research or casual enquiry.

Online library services are available to residents at home, by using a computer, tablet or smartphone. Residents can download books, comics and newspapers and listen to music – all for free. There’s more information at

The home-delivery library service, aimed at helping vulnerable people during the pandemic, is still operating, too. The service, run with HIVE Portsmouth, can deliver books, DVDs, and games for adults and children. The number to call is 023 9261 6709.

For more information on library services, residents can email or call 023 9281 9311. More information is also available on our website and residents can receive the latest information by signing up to our Coronavirus bulletin.