FAQs During Library Closures (Coronavirus)
Our online library service has continued to support residents this year, and downloads have increased significantly. We're pleased to announce that we are expanding this offer and have re-opened five of our buildings to the public.
The following libraries are OPEN with reduced hours to allow for enhanced preparation and cleaning to be carried out daily.
- Bletchley Library
- Kingston Library
- Newport Pagnell Library (From 22 September - temporarily closed)
- Westcroft Library
- Wolverton Library
These libraries will be open 5 days a week: 10am-4pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am-12noon on Saturday.
Central Milton Keynes, Olney, Stony Stratford and Woburn Sands Libraries remain CLOSED.
VISIT THE RE-OPENING LIBRARIES PAGE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHANGES TO YOUR LIBRARIES.
- Which libraries are closed?
- How long will libraries be closed?
- Are any activities taking place?
- Will the Mobile Library be visiting?
- What about Libraries Xtra?
- How do I contact you?
- When can I contact you?
- Can I donate books to the library?
- Can I join and use your eResources?
- Can I return my books?
- How can I renew my books?
- What happens about overdue fines?
- What about reservation charges?
- Can I make a new reservation?
- Why can't I find the book I'm looking for?
- Will the Home Library Service still operate?
- Where can I find information about the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Where can I find information to support health and wellbeing?
- Where can I find information about Coronavirus and business?
- Which online services can I use from home?
- Where can I find useful websites offering information and educational resources?
- How can I watch your online Storytimes?
Central Milton Keynes, Olney, Stony Stratford and Woburn Sands Libraries remain closed.
We are carefully reviewing all face to face services and library buildings to ensure that we re-open at the right time while prioritising the community's safety.
See the latest news about our re-opening plans on the Re-Opening Libraries web page.
In the meantime, we look forward to staying connected to our audiences online. As the situation changes, we will post updates and information on this page and on our social media pages - Facebook (MiltonKeynesLibraries), Twitter (@MKLibraries) and Instagram (MKLibraries).
There are no activities currently being held at any of the open libraries - including Storytimes, Children's Hours or clubs.
Visits by the Mobile Library have been suspended from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until further notice.
Libraries Xtra services operate at Kingston Library and Westcroft Library. The Libraries Xtra service at both libraries is unavailable in line with the library closures and has been suspended from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until further notice.
You can email us at Central Library and we will respond as soon as possible. Messages and comments through social media continue to be monitored although the best way to contact us is by email.
You can also phone us on 01908 254050 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and we'll be happy to help.
Emails and phones will be monitored during these Central Library working hours:
- Monday ~ 9-5
- Tuesday ~ 9-5
- Wednesday ~ 9-5
- Thursday ~ 9-5
- Friday ~ 9-5
- Saturday ~ CLOSED
- Sunday ~ CLOSED
We are happy to receive donations of any books that were published in 2020 and are in good condition. This is a great opportunity to share your love of reading. Drop your donations at any of the open libraries. Thank you!
While some Milton Keynes Libraries are closed, we have made it easier for local residents to be able to join and use our eResources.
We have arranged for customers who join online to be able to use our some of our eResources during the closures.
To join the library online you need to complete the online form. You'll be given a temporary borrower number that will let you create an RBdigital account and access eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines.
You will need to register with RBdigital to access these resources. Visit the Digital Books web page for full information.
It is free to borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines and we have a selection of both children's and adult titles. Books are issued for 21 days and can be renewed.
During the library closures members can borrow up to 2 titles each for eBooks and eAudiobooks. When normal service is resumed, this will increase to 5 titles again. You can borrow an unlimited number of eMagazines.
With your temporary borrower number you will also be able to access PressReader which offers over 7000 popular publications from the UK and all around the world in 60 languages.
Your online membership will be valid for 6 months.
All books borrowed before the lockdown have now been extended to 1 October 2020.
Library books can be returned to any of the open libraries. To view revised opening times and instructions for visiting libraries, please visit the Re-Opening Libraries web page.
There is also a drop box at Central Library where you can return your books between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
Books can be renewed online or by using the automatic renewal system.
You need to log in to My Library using your library card number and your library PIN.
If you don’t know your PIN and we have an email address on record, use the Forgot Your PIN option on the login screen. Type in your library card number and surname and we’ll email your PIN to you.
If we don't have your email address, phone us on 01908 254050 during working hours. You’ll need your library card number. When we confirm your identity, we will tell you your PIN.
You will need to have your library card number and PIN to renew items by phone.
To use the 24 hour Automated Telephone Renewal Service dial 0303 123 0035 and select option 4 for Milton Keynes Libraries (not option 2 for Buckinghamshire).
Calls to this number are charged at local rate.
- When entering your library card number only enter the numbers (not any letters - ignore the B at the beginning and, if applicable, the X at the end).
- If you wish to renew an individual item you will need to enter the barcode number from the inside cover of the book.
- When renewing a chargeable item, any hire charges will be added to your card.
No charges will be incurred during the closure period. All existing loans have now been extended to 1 October 2020.
Until now, we have waived charges for reserving books. From 8 October 2020 the fees for making a reservation will be reinstated. All reservations made from that date are subject to the normal charge of £1 per item (children's and teen books are free to reserve). From 8 October we will also remove the 6 item limit for reservations and revert to the original 15 reservations.
Books that have already been reserved will be kept for you until the libraries open or we contact you.
Now that some libraries are open, the online reservation service has been reinstated and customers can reserve up to 6 items at any time. You will be contacted when your reservation is ready for collection. From 8 October we will also remove the 6 item limit for reservations and revert to the original 15 reservations.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are unable to purchase further stock at this time. You may find what you're looking for in eBook or eAudiobook format, as new eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines continue to be added to our digital catalogue.
We will continue to offer Home Library Service to existing customers. Books may be delivered by staff rather than volunteers. Our existing Home Library customers have already been contacted about their requirements.
You may find the following links helpful during the Coronavirus disruption:
- Official Government Information about COVID-19
- Public Health England
- NHS 111 Online and Coronavirus
- NHS Guidance
- Coronavirus and claiming benefits (Universal Credit)
- LAW & RIGHTS - Home Page articles about COVID-19
- NHS Health Education England
- Digital Unite (guides on relevant issues)
- MIND - mental health support during the Coronavirus outbreak
- Every Mind Matters - NHS advice
- Victims First - emotional and practical support for any victim or witness of crime or abuse
- KOOTH - free, safe and anonymous online support for young people
- Alzheimer's Society - Dementia Connect - supporting people with dementia and their carers
If you, or anyone you know, is at risk from issues such as self-neglect, domestic violence, or other harm visit the MK Council safeguarding pages for advice. In an emergency call 999.
If you are struggling with bereavement, there are organisations who can help and support you.
- Milton Keynes Bereavement Service - offers confidential support after death of someone close to you.
- Cruse Bereavement Care - offers support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.
- Bereavement Advice Centre - supports and advises people on practical issues to manage after a death.
- Independent Age - has information on the practical things that need to be done when someone dies and advice on coping when you’ve been bereaved.
- Child Bereavement UK - help for children and young people (up to age 25), parents, and families, to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or dies.
- Winston's Wish - Charity for bereaved children offering support and information after the death of a parent.
During the Coronavirus disruption COBRA, the online small business information database, is offering remote access to library members.
Click here to visit the COBRA website and use your library card number to log in (including the initial B) where it asks for your ticket number. If you then type "coronavirus" into the search box, you will see guides about some industry specific information, government support and information about the business interruption loans. This information is being updated constantly.
USEFUL BUSINESS INFORMATION
- Government support for businesses
- LAW & BUSINESS - Home Page articles about COVID-19
- MK Council grants to business
- Online Centres Network - Good Things Foundation UK grants database and support for bids (aimed at registered charities and online centres)
Your library card number will give you access to many online services. For a full list and details of our regular online resources, visit the eLibrary web page.
During the Coronavirus lockdown there are several resources which have either been added to our services or modified to give you access from home.
Home access to ANCESTRY LIBRARY EDITION has been temporarily extended to our library cardholders, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry.
Visit the library catalogue and account management system to link through to the Ancestry website and continue with your family history research. The Ancestry Library Edition is designed as a reference tool for public library use and does not have the functionality to build family trees or store information.
Once logged in to your library account using your library card number and PIN, go to the LIBRARY CATALOGUE HOME PAGE. You'll see a link on the page to click through to the Ancestry website.
During the Coronavirus disruption COBRA, the online small business information database, is offering remote access to library members.
COBRA is a continually expanding business encyclopaedia covering all aspects of starting and running a business. You can see factsheets, guides and trade information - including industry specific information and government support about business interruption loans.
Click here to visit the COBRA website and use your library card number to log in (including the initial B) where it asks for your ticket number.
Encyclopaedia Britannica delivers reliable information fast - with articles, images, videos and maps. Your library card number gives you access to three sites in one to cater for all levels - with Junior, Student and Adult versions. Temporary library card numbers (issued when joining online) can also be used.
To access Encyclopaedia Britannica from your home computer you will need to enter your Library Card Membership Number (including the B) when prompted for your library number (for example B761234567. Note that some numbers end with an X and you should include this too).
IELTS is the International English Language Testing System - the world’s proven English language test. Practise your written English communication skills and work on skills necessary for standardised English tests.
Access IELTS online by entering your Library Card Membership Number (including the B) when prompted for your library barcode (for example B123456789. Note that some numbers end with an X and you should include this too). Temporary library card numbers (issued when joining online) can also be used.
Access Issues Online, the UK's first comprehensive reference source with articles addressing contemporary social issues including rights and discrimination, drugs, crime and the environment. It has articles, facts, statistics, links, archives, research, news and views.
Access this service by entering your library card number (including the B) when asked for your library barcode (for example B123456789. Note that some numbers end with an X and you should include this too).
Naxos has a collection of over 130,000 tracks of music and not only provides music but also includes text resources like opera synopses, libretti and study guides.
Library members can access Naxos, the world's largest classical music listening service, by entering the number on your library card (the letter B followed by nine digits) in the login box to access the database (for example B123456789. Note that some numbers end with an X and you should include this too). Temporary library card numbers (issued when joining online) can also be used.
OUP have made many learning resources freely accessible for an extended period. Try some of the following links for specific topics:
- OUP’s full list of freely accessible materials
- Oxford Open Access Journals
- OED Teaching Resources (for students and teachers)
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biographies
- Oxford Research Encyclopedias:
- Free Oxford Dictionaries Site
- Oxford Owl for Home (resources for ages 3-11)
The Learn My Way website offers free online courses for beginners, helping you develop digital skills to make the most of the online world.
Barrington Stoke is a small, independent and award-winning children’s publisher who works to break down barriers to reading. They are currently offering a free digital pack of advice and resources to support dyslexic children/young people learning from home. Tips on home schooling, expert advice, access to activities & free resources and useful links for teachers and carers.
The Skills Toolkit is made up of free online courses, tools and resources to help you improve your digital and numeracy skills. The Department of Education has sourced a list of free, high quality digital and numeracy courses to suit a range of interests and skill levels.
The National Archives are making digital records available on their website free of charge for as long as the Kew site is closed to visitors.
Now you can access The Reading Agency at home with the Reading Agency Hub. You can access ideas, activities and challenges from across the programmes to entertain and educate yourself, your family or those you're teaching remotely. New activities every fortnight.
You can watch our storytimes on the Milton Keynes Libraries You Tube channel as often as you'd like! We also have Signed Storytimes for our younger viewers.
Last Updated: 24 September 2020