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Libraries closed but offer reduced services

In line with National Lockdown: Stay at home restrictions, all library branches in Portsmouth and the mobile library are now closed for usual statutory use until further notice. From Friday 8 January we will continue to offer a reduced service to residents, following government guidelines including click and collect and access to public computers.

Portsmouth History Centre is also closed to visitors. Staff will continue to respond to research enquiries remotely at portsmouthhistorycentre@portsmouthcc.gov.uk  or 023 9268 8046.

General information

All items on loan have been renewed to 1 March 2021 if not already overdue. There are no overdue fines on books.

The main entrance doors will be closed and manned by staff who will open the doors for click and collect and those with a booking to use the public computer.

Toilet facilities will not be available in any of the library branches.

Libraries will not be selling residents parking cards during the closure. These can be obtained from RingGo.

For more information on library services, residents can email askalibrarian@portsmouthcc.gov.uk call 023 9281 9311. You can also check the Official Portsmouth Libraries Facebook page for latest information.

Click and collect services

From Friday 8 January, the click and collect service will be available at:

  • Alderman Lacey – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9.30am – 5pm
  • Beddow – Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm, Saturday, 10am –30pm
  • Carnegie – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 9.30am – 5pm
  • Central – Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 5pm
  • Paulsgrove – Monday, Wednesday to Friday, 9.30am – 5pm
  • North End – Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 5pm, Saturday, 10am – 3.30pm
  • Southsea – Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 5pm, Saturday, 10am – 3.30pm

Cosham library is closed for refurbishment.

Customers may telephone their library or email askalibrarian@portsmouthcc.gov.uk to request a collection of books and/or DVDs from their nearest library. Please see contact numbers for library branches.

When making a reservation:

  • Please ask for general genres/subjects rather than specific titles, e.g. ’10 x crime novels’
  • Reservations on the public catalogue are still permitted
  • Reading groups may collect reading group sets from any of the open libraries. These need to be booked in advance by emailinggroups@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Public computers

From Friday 8 January, public computers are available for essential use at:

  • Alderman Lacey – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9.30am – 5pm
  • Beddow – Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm, Saturday, 10am – 3.30pm
  • Carnegie – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 9.30am – 5pm
  • Central – Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 5pm
  • Paulsgrove – Monday, Wednesday to Friday, 9.30am – 5pm
  • North End – Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 5pm, Saturday, 10am – 3.30pm
  • Southsea – Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 5pm, Saturday, 10am – 3.30pm

Customers should book in advance by calling the library they wish to use the computer at. Check government guidance if you feel unwell and only go to the library if it is safe for you to do so.

Wearing of face coverings is essential.

Printing will be available.

Test and Trace

In line with government guidelines, libraries will ask visitors using the public computers to provide Test and Trace information. This is to help contain clusters of outbreaks and minimise the onward spread of COVID-19.

We will record name, contact telephone number, date and time of visit. We will share this information with NHS Test and Trace if requested, to help identify people who may have been exposed to the virus.

We will destroy all records after 21 days. We thank you in advance for your support.

For more information on Test and Trace at the library, please visit the government website.

Online library service

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

Library delivery service available through HIVE Portsmouth

The library service is working with HIVE Portsmouth to offer a delivery service.

If you are staying home they can bring books, DVDs, and games to your door to help keep you entertained.

Simply call the HIVE community helpline on 023 9261 6709 to arrange a delivery and tell us what you would like.

You can choose from the following:

  • Types of books: adults, children; large print; audio books; theme; fiction, non-fiction; thriller / romance / adventure; favourite authors;
  • Other items:  jigsaws, games, children’s DVDs, crafts, colouring sheets etc.

A volunteer will pick a selection of books and other items for you from the library and drop them off at your address – following social distancing guidelines.

Your books and other items will be picked up again after 4 weeks and a new selection delivered if you want to swap.

If you’re a fast reader or would like a collection earlier than 4 weeks – you can call the Hive community helpline back on 023 9261 6709 to arrange an earlier pick up and swap.

Unfortunately we can’t take request for specific books but our library staff can consider favourite authors and themes and provide a selection around what you are interested in.

Blind and visually-impaired residents will be put in touch with a member of library staff who will be able to advise on the many resources available for them.

All books, games, DVDs etc. will be sanitised in line with Public Health England guidance before they are delivered and when they are returned.

Social distancing measures are in place at libraries to ensure the safety of volunteers and library staff.

Libraries also have a huge online range of free resources, accessed with a library card and password, including eBooks; eAudiobooks; comics; magazines; newspapers (including The Portsmouth News) and music downloads. Visit our Free Fun page to find out more.

You can find out more about HIVE Portsmouth at on the HIVE website.

Virtual reading club

Portsmouth City Council is starting a virtual reading group for adults.

If you’re interested in joining, please email libraries@portsmouthcc.gov.uk. The reading group will meet monthly via Zoom and be limited in numbers so don’t delay getting in touch to join.

As soon as the group is confirmed, a book will be selected that all in the group will read at the same time to discuss at the monthly meeting. Readers can download the chosen book from ebook app Borrowbox. Book lovers looking to join the club will need to know how to use Borrowbox and Zoom to participate.

A library staff member will support the group for the first three months until it is self-sufficient.

Library contact details

Alderman Lacey (Baffins) library: 023 9282 3991

Beddow (Milton) library: 023 9273 1848

Carnegie (Fratton) library: 023 9282 2581

Central library: 023 9268 8057

North End library: 023 9266 2651

Paulsgrove library: 023 9268 2750

Southsea library: 023 9268 8999