SELECTED libraries across St Helens will reopen to the public from Monday as part of a phased return, with measures in place to keep visitors and staff safe.

Library buildings closed at the end of March amid the coronavirus lockdown

St Helens Borough Council says it has been working with Libraries Connected, the national umbrella organisation for Library Services, to help produce guidance on their safe reopening.

Libraries that have the space to reconfigure layouts in the interest of social distancing, have been identified to reopen first.

Other libraries will remain closed for the time being, although the council says these will be under continual review over the next few weeks.

The first libraries due to open on Monday, July 27 are Parr, Chester Lane and Eccleston.

Newton-le-Willows library is currently undergoing maintenance work and will open on Thursday, August 6.

St Helens Archive is also reopening from Monday, July 27 and bookings for the search room can be made on Monday to Wednesday between10am and 2pm.

In a statement the council said that following the relaxation of lockdown guidelines, work is back underway on the long-awaited new St Helens town centre library, which is expected to open at the World of Glass, once the development is completed.

'Libraries provide company and will play a key role in recovery'

St Helens Borough Council’s cabinet member for libraries, Councillor Anthony Burns, said: “It is recognised nationally the key role library services will play in the recovery from this pandemic due to the company and support they offer so many – so I’m delighted that a number of our libraries will be reopening their doors in a phased return as we adapt to the ‘new normal'.

“Speaking of adaptation, our library service staff have been sensational throughout this pandemic, continuing to provide a quality service which has seen nearly 13,000 e-material loans since the start of lockdown; a large increase of users signed up to the Home Delivery Library Service which has proved to be a godsend to those that are housebound or shielding – while hundreds of families have still been able to enjoy the much-loved Read and Rhyme Time sessions which have moved to social media.

“The amount of positive feedback we have had from members of the public about staff going above and beyond is fantastic, and library members are certainly in safe hands when visiting our libraries, which is largely down to the genuinely caring team we have in place.”

Opening Hours

The opening hours for Chester Lane and Eccleston Libraries are:

Monday: 10am – 7pm

Tuesday: 10am – 5pm

Wednesday: CLOSED

Thursday: 10am – 5pm

Friday: 10am – 5pm

Saturday: 10am – 1pm

Parr Library opening times are:

Monday: 10am - 7pm

Tuesday: 10am - 1pm

Wednesday: CLOSED

Thursday: 1pm - 5pm

Friday: 10am - 5pm

Saturday: 10am - 1pm

Safety measures due to coronavirus

The council says that to ensure users continue to encounter a safe experience on their library visit, a series of measures have been introduced such as screens on

counters, the repositioning of furniture, and hand sanitising stations at each entrance.

A council spokesperson said: "On entering a library, visitors will need to produce personal details through their membership card as part of the track and trace process.

"Returning and borrowing books and other items will be possible, however, computer access, printing, photocopying, newspapers and magazines will be out of service for a temporary period.

What else do you need to know

Library fines have now been removed and members will no longer have to pay

a fee to reserve books.

"The Library Service will be launching its new Click and Collect Service, giving the option to reserve up to six books for free

and users will be able to collect from the libraries that have re-opened –"

Visitors who collect their benefit payments from a St Helens library will be unable to do so during the first few weeks of reopening.

For Home Delivery Library Service enquiries, call 01744 677898 or email

Library customers can also access 24/7 digital services, including e-books, e-audiobooks, e-magazines and e-comics, using their library card. For more information, visit

Archive tours can be booked by emailing or by calling 01744 671748.