Select and Collect your books

We have opened 12 of our libraries for limited services only, as part of our phased approach to opening safely.

Services currently available

The services available from these 12 libraries (listed below) are:

Our 12 libraries are open 10am to 4pm.

When visiting the library to collect your items or to use the computer, you must adhere to the social distancing guidelines displayed.

Services not yet available

We are currently not allowing bookshelf browsing or use of of other facilities such as study spaces, printing or photocopying or our toilet facilities.

We have also suspended our service for processing evidence needed as part of the applications for bus passes and Blue Badges.

How Select and Collect works

You can select up to 6 books or audiobooks in advance and when they're ready you can collect them from one of the 12 open libraries. The loan period is for 6 weeks on all items issued through Select and Collect.

You can either tell us which specific books you want, or you can let us choose books for you based on your preferences.

Watch our video to show how to use the Select and Collect service.

Select your books

To select your books online:

  1. log in and check our online library catalogue to see the availability of our books. We can only provide books that are available at your chosen library
  2. note down the author and title the books
  3. complete our online form with your request.

Fill in your select and collect form

If you prefer, call us on 03000 41 31 31 to speak to a member of staff.

We will then contact you to arrange a collection date and time.

For more information about the select and collection service read our frequently asked questions (PDF, 108.9 KB).

Libraries open

To allow our customers to borrow our books, we have opened:

  • Ashford Gateway Plus
  • Broadstairs Library
  • Dartford Library
  • Deal Library
  • Folkestone Library
  • Gravesend Library
  • Herne Bay Library
  • Kent History & Library Centre, Maidstone
  • Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope
  • Sittingbourne Library
  • Southborough Library
  • Tonbridge Library.

These libraries are open from 10am to 4pm.

Reopening more libraries

We expect to open more libraries over the coming months and aim to reopen services and facilities such as book browsing and study spaces. We will publish details of these as soon as they are confirmed.

Social distancing at the library

Social distancing is a new way of living and working, so we are taking a careful approach to our reopening not just for many of our customers, but also for our staff.

When collecting or returning your items, you must adhere to the social distancing guidance as displayed at the library.

Our staff will be ensuring social distancing, regular cleaning of equipment, and hand hygiene is always maintained.

You will be asked to use our hand sanitizer station when you enter the library, and antibacterial cleaning materials will be available at computer and Wi Fi stations. Hand sanitizer stations will be available to use when you leave the library.

As of Friday 24 July we will be encouraging customers to wear face coverings in our libraries when using our computers or WiFi. This does not apply if you are collecting your books from the Select and Collect service.

Charges

Charges for overdue items will be applied to books taken out via the Select and Collect service. We are offering extended loan periods of 6 weeks for up 6 items from this service.

No charges will be applied to items taken out before the lockdown. These items will be automatically renewed until 31 December 2020.

Returning your books

Books requested via the Select and Collect service or before lockdown can be returned to any of the 12 open libraries drop boxes or return bins from 7 July.

Books that were taken out before lockdown will have extended loan periods for all customers until the end of 2020. If you already know you will need further extensions after December, please email libraries@kent.gov.uk. Some of these changes may take time to implement so please bear with us while we work through them.

Home library service and mobile library service

We have restarted our home library service deliveries, alongside our postal loan service. We expect to restart the mobile library service in late August.