Welcome back libraries!

Saturday 4 July saw the reopening of many public venues across the north west and it was smiles all round as eight of Manchester’s libraries opened their doors once more. There were cheers from the queue outside Didsbury Library when they reopened and across the eight sites on Saturday the teams had 600 visitors and issued 900 Library items! Here’s Mary and Liz at Newton Heath Library getting ready for opening.

library staff

More and more library services are announcing their plans (see Ian Antstice’s Public Library News for a national picture) with many starting out with click and collect type services. The phased reopenings means there are some changes to opening times and services to ensure the safety of staff and visitors so make sure to check your library service website for the latest news.

Of the 22 Time to Read network members Blackburn, Bolton, Bury, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Salford, Trafford and Warrington libraries have reopened and are welcoming back visitors this week.

Social distancing is in place in the reopened libraries to make sure there is a safe number of people inside the libraries at any one time, as well as plenty of hand sanitising stations and new processes for the quarantine and cleaning of returned items. Some of our Time to Read library services have produced helpful videos to show you what’s new and to explain all the COVID-19 precautions put in place.

Take a look at two videos made by Manchester and Halton Libraries to welcome back visitors and explain some of the new procedures.


It is fantastic to see libraries reopening and hear about what this means to so many local residents. During lockdown, library teams across the North West have been dedicated to keeping in touch with residents as much as possible and putting out loads of virtual content including story reading, crafts and advice on using digital technology. It’s good to be back. See you soon!