Southwark is starting to gradually open libraries, the council has announced.  

The council is now offering a reduced service from Canada Water and Nunhead libraries. Others across the borough will be re-opening soon. 

To begin with, libraries will be offering an ‘order and collect’ service, so users must pre-order their books ahead of visiting the buildings for collection.  

However public toilets, printing, computers and WiFi, study space, book browsing, and any cafes will not be available to the public.  

Customers will be asked to wear face masks and encouraged to use hand sanitiser. 

All returned books will be cleaned and quarantined for 72 hours.  

Cllr Rebecca Lury, Cabinet Member for culture, leisure, equalities and communities, said: “We are delighted to announce the gradual reopening of our library buildings and the careful rollout of services that are dear to the communities they serve. 

“Safety for all remains a priority, so we have introduced Perspex screens at service counters, hand sanitiser and floor markings.  

“We are also cleaning and quarantining books and ask that visitors please order their books ahead of their visit, observe social distancing guidelines and follow any advice offered by signs and staff in our libraries. 

 “While our online library events have been hugely popular, helping many families through the lockdown, we are happy to be inviting people back, in person.” 

Opening hours will be revised during the re-opening phase – Canada Water Library will be open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 5pm on Saturday, while Nunhead Library will be open from 2pm to 6pm Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 10am to 3pm Wednesday and Friday, and 10am to 5pm on Saturday. Both will be closed on Sunday.