Library Services are reopening


Sunderland Libraries Services are looking forward to welcoming customers back from 13 July, though the government guidance was to open Libraries from 4 July, it has taken us a little while longer to open as we closed quickly and the library team have been working hard during lockdown supporting critical services and ensuring that when customers return to the library they feel confident that everything has been put in place to ensure their safety.

All of our books are quarantined for 72hrs and cleaned before they are loaned to another customer, you can be satisfied that your library is a safe place to borrow books from.

A phased, part time approach will be introduced at City Library, Washington Town Centre Library and Houghton Library in the first instance, this will include a ‘Click & Collect’ service, where customers make their own selection from a library of their choice from the online catalogue and contact the library to agree a collection date and time. Opening times will be Monday to Friday 10am – 3pm for the three libraries.

You will see some changes, we are following government guidance, there will be no daily newspapers available going forward, soft furnishings and fabric furniture has been removed. Staff will meet and greet customers and guide them around the new layout, entry and exit points. You will be encouraged to sanitise your hands on entry and exit. We will encourage you to sign up online and staff will demonstrate how to do this so that you have even more choice and you can access the digital service at a time that suits you.

We look forward to seeing people come back through our doors and invite new customers to access the library confidently. For more information go to


Libraries Services have seen a massive increase in lending of both adult and children’s eBooks and audio during lockdown as well as the free popular online magazines, lots of new book titles were added to stock to meet the demand.

The Books at Home service resumed in June, people can still register to have this personal service delivered direct to their house. Anyone who would like the service or who is interested in volunteering should contact the library or go online for more details.

The Schools Library Service has also been supporting schools during lockdown and is preparing for the new school term.

Limited Public Access ICT will be available  for 45 minutes each day and must be booked in advance.

The Local History Library @ETR has some maintenance issues and needs a premises  risk assessment, it is proposed to open this service from 7 September, customers can continue to access Find MY Past remotely.


Please note the service will continue to monitor and review its offer in line with government guidance


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Did you know?

Sunderland marks the easterly end of the 140-mile C2C (Coast to Coast) route. The C2C cycle trail from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Sunderland is Britain's most popular long distance route, with up to 15,000 cyclists completing it every year.


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