Libraries: Latest updates

We are welcoming back customers with heightened hygiene including an onsite cleaner throughout the day; sanitising high touch point communal areas such as computer keyboards. We also have social distancing measures in place to ensure everyone can safely enjoy all that our libraries and Local studies and archives have to offer.

Note: Kensal Library is still closed.

Our libraries are open to provide:

  • Browsing
  • Answering enquiries
  • Study spaces
  • Access to computers, which can now be booked in advance.

Click on the drop downs below to find more information about libraries in Kensington and Chelsea.

Opening hours


Book renewals and returns


During library opening hours, you will be able to return books at returns boxes located near the entrance to the library. There is no need to join a queue to return books. You can also return books through the out-of-hours slots available at Kensington Central, and North Kensington libraries. Return dates for loan items have been extended and overdue fees have been suspended so you do not need to renew.

Library items on loan will continue to be automatically renewed, there will be no overdue charges during this period and any account which has been suspended will be temporarily reinstated to ensure everyone can access the library items they need.

Computer use


All computer usage will be monitored by staff to ensure these rules are adhered to:


  • Essential computer use is available at our five open libraries
  • Advanced bookings have been reinstated, you can book a computer online
  • Computer numbers in our libraries are limited to ensure social distancing can be observed
  • Customers will be limited to an hour a day and extra time is not available to allow fair access to the computers
  • Computers are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each use and are cleaned at the end of each day
  • A two-metre distance will be kept between all staff and visitors and computer desks are spaced at least two metres apart
  • If the library is at capacity, customers must wait in the designated area with enough space to ensure social distancing measures
  • Please remember to bring your library card and PIN to book a computer using our self-service machines or book a computer online.
Online resources and virtual library


Our libraries service offers many free online resources which are available 24/7. Visit the online resources page to find out how you can study, learn, and engage with everything your library has to offer without leaving the house.

You can also access our virtual library through our social media channels for book recommendations, online events and much more.

Home Library Service


Our Home Library Service delivers books and other reading materials to vulnerable residents. Do get in touch to see if you or someone you know can benefit from this service. Visit our Home Library Service page for further details.

​Local Studies


Local studies and archives is now open on a limited appointment only basis to facilitate safe access to the collections. For more information view the Local Studies page.

Study spaces


To ensure social distancing can be observed we have a limited number of study spaces available at our libraries.

You will:

  • Only be able to use a study space once you have been issued with a wristband from a member of library staff
  • Wristbands will only be issued 10 minutes before each available session
  • Need to leave the study space promptly at the end of your session to allow our cleaners time to sanitise surfaces in between use
  • Note: study spaces cannot be booked in advance

Study spaces are available at Brompton, Chelsea, Kensington Central and North Kensington libraries at the following times:

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
  • 9.30am to 11am
  • 11.15am to 12.45pm
  • 1pm to 2.30pm
  • 2.45pm to 4.15pm
  • 4.30pm to 6pm
  • 6.15pm to 7.45pm
  • 10am to 11.30am
  • 11.45 to 1.15pm
  • 1.30pm to 3pm
  • 3.15pm to 4.45pm
Friday and Saturday
  • 9.30am to 11am
  • 11.15am to 12.45pm
  • 1pm to 2.30pm
  • 2.45pm to 4.15pm
Sunday (Chelsea Library only)
  • 1pm to 2.45pm
  • 3pm to 4.45pm

Study spaces are available at Notting Hill Gate Library at the following times:

  • 1pm to 2.30pm
  • 2.45pm to 4.15pm
  • 4.30pm to 6pm
  • 6.15pm to 7.45pm
  • 1pm to 2.30pm
  • 2.45pm to 4.15pm
  • 4.30pm to 6pm
  • 6.15pm to 6.45pm
  • 9.30am to 11am
  • 11.15am to 12.45pm
Friday and Saturday
  • 9.30am to 11am
  • 11.15am to 12.45pm
  • 2pm to 3.30pm
  • 3.45pm to 4.45pm
What safety measures will be in place?

Visitors to the libraries will be asked to observe the guidance on face coverings and social distancing, keeping two metres apart wherever possible and a minimum of one metre apart when further distancing isn’t possible.
•    Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance and in computer areas
•    We have perspex screens at enquiry desks.

We are participating in the NHS Test and Trace.

Contact us

  • Call the library phone line on 020 7361 3993 which is open Monday to Friday, 9am and 6pm to speak with our library staff about books, events or technical support.

  • For general enquiries, call 020 7361 3010, or email

  • Local studies and archives will only be offering a remote enquiry service until further notice. For more information, please email 

Last updated: 4 October 2021