Rules change for Kent Libraries and Services in second lockdown

Contributed by editor on Nov 07, 2020 - 11:30 AM


KCC has issued information about the impact of the new national Covid lockdown on its Libraries, Registration and Archives services and has announced that the following will all be available.

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A “Select and Collect” book service is available, together with the use of PCs and WiFi for essential use, at these 13 Covid-secure libraries:

Ashford Gateway, Broadstairs, Dartford, Deal, Folkestone, Gravesend, Herne Bay, Kent History and Library Centre (Maidstone), Sandgate, Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope, Sittingbourne, Southborough and Tonbridge.

Customers can in advance select specific books from each library or ask staff to select some books which the customer can collect later. PC use can be booked and customers can use the computers for one hour.

Over next week the “select and collect” and PC/Wi-fi services will be extended to open at a further 14 libraries across the county.

These libraries will be open from Wednesday:

Allington, Canterbury (within The Beaney), Cranbrook, Dover (within the Discovery Centre), Faversham, Hythe and Swanley (part of Swanley Link).

From Thursday:

Coldharbour (Gravesham), Fleetdown (Dartford), Larkfield, Sandwich, Sheerness (within Sheerness Gateway) and Showfields (Tunbridge Wells).

From Friday:


Books due to be returned during the November lockdown period will be renewed for December so customers need not be concerned about overdue fees for the lockdown period. However, if customers do want to return books, they can take them to any open library listed above.

The Home Library Service will continue with doorstep delivery. The befriending phone calls will be reinstated for those who do not want a delivery, and the mobile library service will continue on a “select and collect” basis.

The Postal Loan service will continue for the blind and partially sighted, as will the Ask a Kent Librarian remote enquiry service.

These services complement the various digital library offers currently available online at - including free online joining, e-books, e-audio books, e-magazines, and e-newspapers.


Death registrations will continue to be delivered over the phone

The Certificate Centre at the Mansion House Register Office in Tunbridge Wells, where all birth, death and marriage certificates are held, will remain open and customers can make contact via phone/email to obtain relevant copies for a fee.

Register Offices remain open and will continue to deliver face-to-face notice of marriage appointments in a COVID secure way. However, the only marriage or civil partnership ceremonies that are allowed will be emergency appointments due to end-of-life situations. The service will contact all couples affected by this lockdown directly.

Birth registrations will continue to be facilitated face-to-face in libraries in a COVID-secure way; this will help ensure there is no backlog similar to that which built up at the start of the last lockdown.

Citizenship ceremonies can take place and customers will be contacted about the relevant arrangements.


The Archive Search Room at the Kent History and Library Centre is closed and all bookings for November have been cancelled

All the virtual forms of the service offers will be promoted. Some of the Archives collections are available online and staff will also be answering enquiries and working on the collections during this period.

Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “Once again, our staff will be working hard to provide the best possible service for customers, while implementing the government’s new guidance on the lockdown.

“We know how important our services are to the entire community and the government recognises this by specifically mentioning libraries in its list of lockdown exemptions.

“We appreciate all our customers’ patience and support, and we look forward to welcoming them back when the situation changes.”

The latest information on all KCC services can be found here:

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