Central, Southsea, North End, Cosham and Beddow libraries are now open. The Portsmouth History Centre, at Central Library, is also open. You can also call 023 9268 8046 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or enquiries.
Central library: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5pm
Southsea, North End, Cosham and Beddow libraries: Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5pm, Saturday 10am – 3:30pm
Plan your trip
- Check government guidance if you feel unwell and only go to shops if it is safe for you to do so.
- Plan the best way to travel – if possible walk or cycle. Check our guidance for more information.
- Check the Official Portsmouth Libraries Facebook page for latest information before visiting to avoid disappointment.
- Consider the time of day when you go shopping and avoid peak times.
- Give yourself plenty of time as you may need to queue
- Take a face covering with you as you will be asked to wear one in line with government guidelines before entering the library.
To meet coronavirus safety standards, cleaning stations will be provided and staff and public will be expected to follow social-distancing guidelines.
Visitor numbers will be limited the library and will be asked to adhere to social distancing. Staff will manage the foyer area and any queues and will ask you what you would like to access during your visit so they can help you get what you need as quickly as possible.
Test and Trace at the library
In line with government guidelines, libraries will ask visitors 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 and 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.
Changes to library services
There will be a ‘returns’ box for you to place your returned books and items.
You will be able to browse books and borrow them. There will be a browsed books trolley for any books you look at but decide not to borrow.
Customer reservations are being reinstated so that you can request items held in any of the open libraries for free and pick them up at your local open branch.
Computer facilities are available, but there will be less computers in operation. Session times will be for a maximum of one hour. Printing will be available.
One family at a time will be able to access the children’s library
You can purchase residents parking permits – we can currently only accept card payments but have lowered our minimum card payment limit to £1.
Lily and Lime café will be open at Central Library.
Toilet facilities will be available in all three library branches.
Groups and activities cannot be accommodated in the library for the moment. However, events will continue on our social media platforms – Official Portsmouth Libraries Facebook page.
Ask a librarian
So fewer people need to handle reference books, a new email enquiry service will start on 6 July. Residents can email email@example.com and find out information they need for study, research or casual enquiry.
Online library services
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 023 9281 9311.