Safely reopening Central Library

Calderdale Council is pleased to be able to offer access to selected services at Halifax Central Library and Archives from Tuesday 11 August 2020.

All Calderdale libraries closed in March 2020 in accordance with Government requirements to help keep people safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Since then, the Council has been working hard to adapt buildings to make sure customers can be welcomed back safely. As such, a number of measures have been introduced at Halifax Central Library and Archives.

Numbers in the building will be controlled, a one way system will be in place and staff will be behind safety screens. In line with the latest COVID guidance, face coverings are also mandatory, as in all public libraries.

Hand sanitiser will be supplied on entry and exit. All returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours in line with national guidance and enhanced cleaning will also take place throughout the day.

Further plans are in place to reopen the Council’s other Hub libraries in Todmorden, Brighouse, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge and King Cross over the next month. This will be subject to risk assessments and lessons learned from Central Library, as well as in line with any additional national guidance.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said:

“I’m pleased we’re now able to reopen Halifax Central Library. Whilst our digital options and home library service have proved incredibly popular over lockdown, we’ve been keen to provide a face-to-face point of contact as soon as possible.

“As we’ve recently seen a rise in COVID-19 cases in Calderdale, we’re continuing to be cautious and have planned a phased reopening for our libraries. This means that available services will initially be limited and we ask for everyone’s cooperation with COVID safety measures, particularly around social distancing and hygiene.

“We know our library service is incredibly valued, providing residents with access to important facilities. However our priority is still people’s safety and we need to be confident that services can safely resume, protecting visitors and our staff.”

From Tuesday 11 August, Halifax Central Library and Archives will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am-4pm. During the initial opening phase visitors will be able to return items, collect pre-ordered items and request items held at the library. All items already on loan have been renewed until the end of September and all fines are still on hold, so there’s no need to worry about returning items immediately.

Unfortunately there will initially be no access to public computers, printers or photocopiers and customers will be unable to browse stock. This will be reviewed following the initial opening phase.

Public toilets are also initially unavailable and there will be no access to study or meeting space or use of newspapers or magazines.

Customers may pre-order items by phone, with more information about the services available at

Digital library resources are also available. There are over 4600 eBooks, 3300 audiobooks and over 3000 digital magazines available. To have a browse and register, visit link)

 The Home Library service is also operating on a strict no-contact delivery basis. Sign up online at

As COVID-19 is still within our community, we should all continue to keep at least two metres away from people outside our households wherever possible, wash our hands(external link) with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching our face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it(external link)’ guidance to help keep ourselves and others safe. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home and book a test(external link) as soon as possible, within five days of the symptoms starting. Please wear a face covering when travelling on public transport or in a taxi. It is also recommended that people wear face coverings whenever they are indoors with people who are not part of their household or bubble.

For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as: link) link)

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