Rediscover your local library this Autumn

All of Hounslow’s eleven libraries are open to the public once again and are available for residents to enjoy this Autumn.

Published: Thursday, 9th September 2021

Library opening

The COVID-19 pandemic meant libraries had to be closed for some of the time in line with government guidelines, with some services and facilities in the borough having to be phased back in gradually after libraries were allowed to re-open. 

Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, a number of initiatives and developments were still able to take place over the summer including the ‘Wild World Heroes’ reading challenge for children and the grand re-opening of Brentford Library following a major investment programme to improve the facilities to this historic building. During September, residents can enjoy a free exhibition about the history of Brentford Library, including photographs taken throughout the redevelopment. As part of the transformation at Brentford Library, an Adult Education programme is also planned over the next couple of months including drawing classes, maths and English classes and CV writing, with employment advisors on hand to help with career guidance. 

Cllr Curran and Cllr Chaudhary at the opening of Brentford Library

Cllr Curran and Cllr Chaudhary at the opening of Brentford Library

There’s lots more to look forward to over the coming weeks, too. For example, through the Creative People and Places (CPP) network, the Council is developing regular arts-based activities/event in libraries. The first one will run at Bedfont Library on 25 September between 11.00am – 1.00pm and is about animal stories and the use of animation. The plan is to roll out regular monthly activities in more libraries based on the Council’s exhibition programme. CPP Visual Arts Exhibitions are running in Beavers, Hanworth, Feltham, Bedfont and Cranford Libraries.See https://hounslowvisualarts.org.uk/exhibitions/ for more information. 

Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, said: “Libraries play such an important role in our local communities and I’m delighted they are all open once again for both adults and children to enjoy safely. There’s no doubt that it’s been a very challenging time, but thanks to the dedication and hard work of our library staff we have been able to continue innovating to bring even better services and facilities to residents. We’ve rolled out 150 new computers across the borough and all the libraries are now registered as online centres as part of the ‘Good Things Foundation’ which also gives access to digital skills courses to our residents. I really would encourage everyone to rediscover their local library this Autumn.”

In line with current guidelines, some previous COVID-19 measures are being scaled back at Hounslow’s libraries such as one-way systems. However, to help keep one another safe mask wearing, social distancing and hand sanitisation are still recommended for library users. 

Brentford Library

Inside Brentford Library

Heston Library and Bedfont Library are also continuing to operate as testing sites for those without COVID-19 symptoms to access free and regular rapid testing, as well as being open as libraries. 

  • Heston Library (New Heston Road, Hounslow TW5 0LW) is available for rapid testing between 8.00am-4.00pm Monday-Sunday. 
  • Bedfont Library (Staines Road, Bedfont TW14 8DB) is available for rapid testing between 8.00am-4.00pm, Monday-Friday. 

Free rapid testing is also available from Mobile Testing Units which tour a variety of locations across the borough each week, including at weekends. Visit: www.hounslow.gov.uk/coronavirus for more details. 

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