Libraries Reopening Plan

From Monday 13 July we will be reopening five libraries in East Sussex. Battle, Hastings, Eastbourne, Newhaven and Crowborough libraries have been chosen based on their size and layout, staffing availability and to ensure there is one open in each district and borough area.

We are not able to offer a full library service due to the need for social distancing. We will be encouraging people to continue to use our eLibrary where they can so that we can manage customer numbers safely.

If you have any questions regarding the reopening of libraries or available services, please contact us via our eform or on the enquiries phone line 0345 60 80 196.

What Services Are Available?

There will be limited browsing, essential computer sessions and a Select + Collect service (you can order books online or via phone and pick up at the library). 20 items can be borrowed and you can keep them initially until the end of September.

Select + Collect: How does it work?

  • From Monday 13 July, you’ll be able to order books via our new Select + Collect system. The reservation service is not available at present.
  • Choose to have books picked by library staff from the type of book/author you like or use the online catalogue to see what books are available at open libraries. At this time, we are unable to provide specific titles so please let us know the genres or subjects you would like, for example crime or cookery.
  • Complete the eform on our website or phone our enquiries line to order a selection of books for collection at one of our open libraries.
  • We’ll put guides on the Library website from the 13 July to help you, however we cannot guarantee specific titles will always be available.
  • Your books will be ready for collection after 5 calendar days and we’ll notify you when they’re ready to collect from your chosen library.
  • Pop along to the library you selected as your pick-up location to collect your books. In order to ensure that customers can visit safely we will ask you to queue outside while we manage numbers within the libraries.
  • Please let the staff on the door know that you are there to pick up your books and show your library card for identification. The books will already be issued to your account and, unless otherwise required, you won’t need to go into the library to collect your books.
  • Books can be returned via the bookdrops outside the library you collected them from.

Public computers

Reduced 45-minute computer sessions will be available at each of the five libraries. Each terminal will be cleaned between uses to ensure they are safe for the next user. The number of computers available at each location has been reduced so please book where possible and end sessions when no longer in use. Bookings can be made via either the website or by a member of staff at the entrance.

Support for customers using our public computers will be limited due to social distancing. We are working to restore a safe method of 1–1 support for customers but in the meantime if you have Internet access, a phone at home and need help we may be able to support you through our IT4U at home scheme. For more information call our enquiries line.

Amended services

Browsing will be very limited, and DVDs, newspapers and periodicals will be removed. Anything borrowed can be kept until 30 September without any fines.

Parking permits

From Monday 13 July we will be able to offer a click and collect service for visitor and hotel parking permits at Eastbourne and Hastings Libraries. Once your permit is approved and paid for online it will be available to collect after two working days. At this current time we are unable to accept cash payments.

We are working to restore a safe method of 1–1 support for customers, but in the meantime if you require any assistance, please contact the Parking Information Team at or by telephone on 01273 335500.

What are we doing to keep visitors safe?

We will limit the number of customers in each library at any one time, social distancing will be in place, and there will be no seating, study spaces, meeting rooms, toilets or events.

Visitors should expect to queue and follow signs and instructions from staff. We will increase cleaning, distance furniture and computers, add hygiene screens and quarantine books between uses.

In line with Government guidance, we are asking all customers to a wear a face covering and will ask you for your name and phone number at the time you go into the library. As set out in the Privacy Notice, we will keep this information securely and it will only be shared with the NHS Test and Trace programme if we are asked for it.

Libraries will close 30–60 minutes earlier than usual each day to allow staff to restock. New opening times from 13 July at Battle, Hastings, Eastbourne, Newhaven and Crowborough can be found below.

We have put things in place to keep people safe, and visitors should follow signs and directions. Hand sanitizer will be on the door, and we have rearranged the rooms, added screens at counters and increased cleaning. Books will be quarantined between use and you’ll be using self-serve machines where possible.

What’s Next?

We understand that people will be disappointed that their local library is not open, but there are many reasons why we’ve chosen the ones we have. We had to choose buildings that had space to ensure social distancing. We will also need more staff in each library. We are opening up one library in each district and borough area. We hope to open more libraries later in the summer and during the autumn, where and when it is safe to do so. We will keep you updated when we make decisions about this.

Opening Times

Monday: closed
Tuesday: 10am to 3pm
Wednesday: 10am to 12.30pm
Thursday: 11am to 5pm
Friday: 10am to 4pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm

Monday: 12.30pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday: 10am to 4pm
Wednesday: 10am to 1.30pm
Thursday: 11am to 5pm
Friday: 10am to 4pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm

Monday: 10am to 4pm
Tuesday: 10am to 4pm
Wednesday: 10am to 12.30pm
Thursday: 10am to 5pm
Friday: 10am to 4pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm

Monday: 10am to 4pm
Tuesday: 10am to 4pm
Wednesday: 10am to 12.30pm
Thursday: 10am to 5pm
Friday: 10am to 4pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm

Monday: 10am to 12.30pm
Tuesday: 10am to 3.30pm
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: 10am to 3.30pm
Friday: 1pm to 4pm
Saturday: 10am to 3.30pm