Libraries and Archives

12 branch libraries and 3 archive centres to reopen on 21 October

Keeping everyone safe and well during this difficult time is Cumbria County Council's priority and as such we recognise that Cumbria Libraries offer a vital service to many people and to their local communities.

With new and ever-changing national restrictions it is more important than ever to occupy our minds and have access to local support and services. Our libraries are key to this, particularly in some of our more rural and isolated areas, where branch libraries play a crucial role in the community.

Thanks to careful planning and investment by Cumbria County Council, a selection of our branch libraries will provide a COVID-safe environment where there really is 'something for everyone' - reopening to customers on or shortly after Wednesday 21 October.  

This follows the reopening of the county council's 6 main libraries (Carlisle, Penrith, Workington, Whitehaven, Kendal, Barrow) in August.

The following libraries will reopen with revised opening hours as follows:

•  Ambleside Library - 23 October
•  Appleby Library - 23 October
•  Brampton Library - 21 October
•  Cleator Moor Library - 23 October
•  Grange Library - 21 October
•  Longtown Library - 21 October
•  Maryport Library - 22 October
•  Millom Library - 22 October
•  Roose Library - 22 October
•  Ulverston Library - 22 October
•  Wigton Library - 23 October
•  Windermere Library - 22 October

The 3 archive centres reopen:

•  Carlisle Archive Centre - 21 October
•  Kendal Archive Centre - 4 November
•  Whitehaven Archive Centre - 21 October

To protect the health and safety of library staff and customers, new Covid-secure measures are in place at all our libraries that are open to staff and / or the public.

Key changes include:

•  Hand sanitiser stations are located at entrances and exits and customers are advised to use them
•  Signage and floor markings are in place to promote 2 metres social distancing and to help people find their way around safely
•  Customers need to wear face coverings unless an exemption applies and library staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment
•  Access to each library and its computers will be limited at first to allow library staff to safely manage the number of visitors
•  Toilets and baby-changing facilities are temporarily closed to the public
•  Fines incurred during our temporary closure will be waived until 31 December, so customers don't have to worry about returning overdue items immediately
•  Any returned books, including those borrowed before lockdown, will be quarantined for 72 hours before going back into circulation.

Barrow 

10am to 1pm Monday to Friday 

Prearranged Select and Collect sessions will be available 2pm to 4pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday

 

Carlisle  

9.30am to 1pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday

1pm to 4.30pm Tuesday and Thursday 

Prearranged Select and Collect sessions will be available Monday, Wednesday Friday 2pm to 4pm

 

Kendal 

9.30am to 1pm Monday to Friday 

Prearranged Select and Collect sessions will be available 2pm to 4pm, Tuesday and Thursday

 

Penrith 

9.30am to 1pm Monday to Friday 

Prearranged Select and Collect sessions will be available 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday

 

Whitehaven 

9.30am to 1pm Monday to Friday 

Prearranged Select and Collect sessions will be available 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday

 

Workington 

9am to 1pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday 

1pm to 5pm Tuesday and Thursday 

Prearranged Select and Collect sessions will be available Monday, Wednesday Friday 2pm to 4pm

We are pleased to announce that Carlisle and Whitehaven Archive Centres will re-open to the public on Wednesday 21 October 2020 and Kendal Archive Centre on Wednesday 4 November 2020. Our new temporary opening times are Wednesday to Friday from 9.30am to 1pm. 

Due to the Covid-19 situation you will need to book an appointment to visit the Archive Centres. We also ask that you pre-order your document requests. 

More information on these changes can be found on our booking a visit page.  

Barrow Archive Centre will remain closed due to building works at Barrow Library and will reopen later in 2020.


We are pleased to announce that our new Library Management System is now up and running.  

The library management system is used to issue and return books, manage requests and provides a catalogue of all our books and resources.  The new system will help us introduce some new and improved functionality for you, including: 

  • A more user-friendly system - offering a simple and clear way for you to perform common tasks such as searching for and reserving items
  • Easier searching - similar to searching on Google or Amazon, searches do not need to be 100% correct, the system will make intelligent guesses to help you find what you are looking for
  • Easier to use on mobile devices - the new system is more responsive to mobile devices, and allows you to share items you have found on the catalogue using your mobile device
  • Extended reading history - the new system will tell you everything you have borrowed over the last 3 years
  • Star ratings - you will be able to give books on our catalogue a star rating and submit a review of the title
  • Personal reading lists - you can create and save your own personal reading lists. 

To help us make sure that the system works as efficiently as possible, it is important that all of your details are up to date, including your date of birth, email address and current address. Please check your details are up to date on your online account and if anything needs to be updated please contact us at libraries@cumbria.gov.uk. To help us meet GDPR regulations, we will need to confirm your contact details with you every 12 months - library memberships may expire if your details are not up to date.  

Unfortunately because of the ongoing impact of COVID we have not been able to complete outstanding requests, and these will not transfer over to the new system. We are still working to relaunch this service in the future and will send out further communications at that time.

If you have any problems logging into your online account or into your Borrowbox account, please try these simple fixes: 

  • If you are having problems accessing your library account from the Cumbria County Council website, please check that you are not using a saved or bookmarked link. Clear your browser history and search for 'Cumbria Libraries' and follow the links to get to your online account. You can then save/bookmark the new link. 
  • If you are having issues with your account password you may also be having difficulties logging into Borrowbox.  First try typing in your existing password, but please note that passwords on our new system are case sensitive. If your password does not work, please follow the link "Forgot your password?" 

If, after following this advice, you are still having access or password issues please contact Cumbria Libraries at libraries@cumbria.gov.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

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