Four more public libraries set to reopen after covid lockdown

At least a month later than most local authorities managed, Croydon is to begin “a phased reopening for all library buildings”, after the easing of covid-19 precautions.

Back in business: Sanderstead Library

Four of the borough’s 13 public libraries – at Broad Green, Sanderstead, Shirley and Bradmore Green in Old Coulsdon – remain closed, while seven others have been open for just three days a week, or less.

All of Croydon’s open libraries are operating much-reduced services and hours.

According to an announcement from the council’s propaganda bunker issued last night (and way too late to make the deadlines for any local newspapers for at least a week), from next Monday, “Bradmore Green, Sanderstead and Shirley libraries will be opening their doors to allow browsing, computer access and study spaces two days a week.” Broad Green Library remains unavailable for its intended purpose while it continues to operate a lateral flow test centre, which the council says will be until the end of August.

As the public libraries open, all visitors will be asked to continue to scan the QR code for the NHS app to check-in on entry and to wear a face-covering while inside to help keep everyone as safe as possible.

Free family activities such as Rhymetimes and Storytimes will also be making a return as they are gradually reintroduced over the summer, the council says.

Summer camps: libraries are trialling paid-for activities

The libraries are piloting paid-for summer holiday camps for children aged from five to 11, with sessions based around the books of Roald Dahl, theatre musical Annie, painting and art work.

“The camps provide the opportunity for budding performers to learn from professional West End artists, discovering new skills, techniques and building confidence as they learn about singing, acting and movement,” the council says.

At Thornton Heath Library, places are free for children who receive free school meals.

The libraries’ opening hours will continue to vary from branch to branch. Full details will be updated on the council’s website.

Read more: Lewis launches reading challenge – when 11 libraries are shut
Read more: Libraries are our long-term investment. Don’t squander it
Read more: South Norwood library needs £900,000 more to be fit to open


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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