Lord Louis Library

Libraries COVID-19 Advice

Service Update - COVID-19

From April 12 2021, in line with the Government's roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions, Isle of Wight Libraries are open again for public browsing and borrowing.

Prior to your library visit:

  • There is no need to book your visit in advance (unless you want to use a computer), but please check current library opening hours (see below) since these may be subject to change

  • Please have your library card with you to keep transaction time at a minimum.

  • If you want to use a public computer, please book your session in advance by phoning your local library.

  • You must wear a face mask / face covering inside library buildings, unless exempt.

  • Do not visit the library if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

All current loans have been extended to 1 May 2021, and no fines are being charged.

Library services are available online, including access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, newspapers, music, comics and graphic novels. You can access these services from the Library Service website will be posted on the Library Service Facebook page. We will be posting book links, Rhyme Times, story sessions and many other activities.

Reopening Libraries

From April 12 2021, in line with the Government's roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions, Council-run libraries are open for customers to come in and choose their own books. Not all services are available, and opening hours are reduced, so please read the information below.

What to expect

Libraries are offering limited services and the layout of the library may be noticeably different to allow safer access to our books and enable appropriate social distancing. Some libraries are using separate entrances and exits and this is signposted clearly outside the buildings. We are limiting the number of customers allowed in the library at any time and this differs for each library according to the size and layout of the building.  If you need to queue, we are clearly marking where you can queue safely while you wait your turn.

All people entering the library will be asked for contact details for Test & Trace purposes and everyone must wear a face mask or covering (exemptions apply.) Additionally, all libraries have QR codes allowing you to check in to the venue using the Test & Trace app. Hand sanitizer is provided from wall-mounted dispensers and all people entering the library are required to use this as they enter the building.

At busy times, you are encouraged to limit your time to the library to around 15 minutes, in order to allow more people to use the library.

Library opening hours

Library   Morning  Afternoon  Days
 Cowes 10am - 12.30pm  2pm - 4.30pm  Mon, Tues, Fri and Sat
 Freshwater 10am - 12.30pm  2pm - 4.30pm  Tues, Weds, Fri and Sat morning
 Lord Louis(Newport) 10am - 12.30pm  2pm - 4.30pm  Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri and Sat
 Ryde 9.30am - 12 noon  2pm - 4.30pm  Every day except Thurs and Sun
 Sandown 10am - 12.30pm  2pm - 4.30pm  Tues, Thurs, Fri and Sat
 Ventnor 9.30am - 12 noon  1.30pm - 4pm  Tues, Thurs, Fri and Sat


If you have books to return, a member of staff will indicate a designated area where you can leave these, as all returned books will be subject to 72 hours quarantine.

The library layout may be different to usual so please ask a member of staff if you cannot find what you are looking for. When borrowing books we will be encouraging you to use the self-service kiosks wherever possible but if this is not something you are comfortable with there will be a member of staff at the desk as usual who will be happy to help.

Initially, there will be no fines in operation. We do want your books back but please don’t worry if you cannot make it to the library in time. All books borrowed prior to lockdown are currently extended to 1 May 2021.


Public computers are available for customers to use. Due to social distancing, a limited number of computers are available, so in order to guarantee availability, computers should be pre-booked by contacting the library. Computer use will be limited to 30 minutes per day per customer, although this can be extended if there are no other bookings. Unfortunately staff will not be able to provide the one-to-one assistance they usually offer due to social distancing regulations. All computers will be cleaned by a staff member between users.

Free WiFi will be available but you will be asked to sit in a particular area of the library and WiFi time will be limited to 30 minutes.

Families and junior libraries

Because we understand it is more difficult for children to keep to social distancing rules, we are restricting our children’s libraries to limited numbers of family groups at a time. This is different for each library but in smaller branches the space is limited to one family group at a time. No unaccompanied children aged under 12 are allowed into our libraries. Please contact your local library to find out more.

Regular groups and activities – an online alternative

We are following Government advice regarding group activities and for the time being are not running any of our regular library groups. Wherever possible we are providing online alternatives to these and further information can be found on the Library Service website or Library Service Facebook page.

Mobile Library

The Mobile Library is not currently running due to the impossible task of carrying out the necessary social distancing in such a small vehicle. Regular Mobile Library customers have been contacted with those unable to travel to any other library being offered the chance to temporarily transfer to the Home Library Service and receive doorstep deliveries.

Community Libraries

The information on this web page only applies to the council-run libraries, but most of the community libraries are now offering some form of Order and Collect and/or Home Delivery schemes. You will need to contact community libraries directly to find out their reopening plans. Find out more about community run libraries