Oxfordshire libraries set to reopen in April

Residents in Oxfordshire are to be given a warm welcome back to libraries from Monday 12 April onwards.

Oxfordshire County Council is planning a phased approach to the re-opening of libraries and will be maintaining safety measures including track and trace, use of face coverings and social distancing.

Lesli Good, Interim Assistant Director for Cultural Services, said: “Our libraries and registration staff have missed serving the Oxfordshire public in person and being the heartbeat of their communities. It’s a moment we have been anticipating hugely for many weeks and now it is very close.

“Our excitement is being blended with a safety-first approach. Each building is different and they are all being fully assessed to make sure they are as safe as they can be.

“We will keep everyone up to date on our website and through social media whenever a new re-opening is due and also on the safety arrangements that have been put in place.”

As a result of the safety precautions required, library opening hours are also temporarily limited. Visitors are advised to check times on the library pages of the county council’s website.

Since the November lockdown, all loans have been extended on a rolling basis. This will end on 10 May, at which point all loans will be due for return or renewal. You can safely return items by dropping them off in the returns boxes at the doors of any library during opening hours.

No library customers will be penalised as a result of having to self-isolate or being unable to travel to return library loans. If there are exceptional circumstances that prevent you from returning or renewing your loans, please contact your nearest open library.

In addition, the Oxfordshire History Centre will be re-opening to visitors on 13 April. All visits must be booked online in advance via Eventbrite. The centre has also now re-started its remote enquiry service.

Dates for libraries

The following libraries will reopen on the week beginning 12 April:

  • Oxfordshire County Library
  • Abingdon
  • Banbury
  • Berinsfield
  • Bicester
  • Blackbird Leys
  • Botley
  • Carterton
  • Charlbury
  • Chinnor
  • Chipping Norton
  • Cowley
  • Didcot
  • Eynsham
  • Faringdon
  • Goring
  • Headington
  • Henley
  • Kennington
  • Kidlington
  • Sonning Common
  • Summertown
  • Thame
  • Wallingford
  • Wantage
  • Watlington
  • Wheatley
  • Witney
  • Woodcote
  • Wychwood

The following libraries will reopen on the week beginning 19 April:

  • Adderbury
  • Benson
  • Deddington
  • Grove
  • Littlemore
  • North Leigh
  • Stonesfield

Old Marston and Burford will reopen with a click and collect service only due to the difficulties of social distancing in small spaces.

The following libraries are closed until further notice:

  • Bampton and Hook Norton – closed pending ongoing building work
  • Barton – closed pending the reopening of the Neighbourhood Centre
  • Woodgreen - closed pending reopening of the leisure centre
  • Woodstock – closed pending reopening of the Oxfordshire Museum

Click and collect will continue to operate at our larger libraries, in addition to Burford and Old Marston.

For further details of library opening hours, re-openings and safety measures for visitors, please visit the county council’s libraries’ webpage.