Barbican Library will reopen to the public today following its temporary closure due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
The library, which is situated at the heart of the Barbican’s complex, houses the Barbican Music Library and Barbican Children’s Library, and loans a wide range of books, spoken word recordings, DVDs, CDs and scores to all visitors who have joined its free membership scheme.
A raft of safety measures will be in place at this very popular City of London Corporation-owned library, in order to ensure a safe return for users and a COVID-secure working environment for staff. These include all visitors complying with NHS Test and Trace, wearing face masks and observing social distancing. Numbers will also be capped to help reduce overcrowding.
Moreover, the reservation system which has been suspended for more than a year is being reinstated. However, after 2 June 2021 (i.e. the date on which all current loans are due for return), if a book is reserved for another customer, it will not be able to be renewed and will have to be returned.
The library’s revised opening hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11:00am to 3.30pm, and Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 to 6:00pm.
Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said: “Over the last twelve months, I have been hugely impressed by how our library colleagues have worked so tirelessly to provide a range of services, essentially, a library without walls, during the lockdowns, and I know that they are looking forward to reopening the doors next week.
“Everything will be in place to ensure that the libraries are safe to visit, so I hope that everyone will enjoy returning to the Barbican, whether they want to borrow a handful of books, a music score, or just one DVD.”
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Children’s and Community Services Committee, Randall Anderson, said: “We know that the libraries, albeit, very necessary, closures over the last few months were felt keenly by many users, because these are very popular and relied-upon spaces.
“It will be a very welcome sight indeed to see people back at the Barbican Library from next week, whether they are book worms, music lovers, or young parents or children looking for inspiration.”