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Padgate and Penketh Libraries to reopen later this month as LiveWire moves into Phase 3 of reopening library sites

Padgate and Penketh Libraries to reopen later this month as LiveWire moves into Phase 3 of reopening library sites

 Penketh and Padgate Libraries will reopen their doors later this month as part of Phase 3 of LiveWire’s plans to reopen libraries following the closures enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

LiveWire, the Community Interest Company that manages library services in Warrington on behalf of Warrington Borough Council, say the procedures put in place to safeguard the safety of customers and staff have been successful since eight of its libraries reopened since July.

Padgate Library will reopen on Monday 21st September with Penketh Library reopening the following day on Tuesday 22nd September.

The new opening hours will be as follows:

Padgate Library

– Monday: 10am to 5pm (Closed 1pm-2pm) 
– Wednesday: 2pm to 5pm

– Saturday 9.30am to 1pm

Penketh Library
– Tuesday: 10am to 6pm (Closed 1pm-2pm) 
– Thursday: 10am to 6pm (Closed 1pm-2pm) 
– Saturday: 9.30am to 1pm

These new reduced opening hours are in line with guidance and designed to help ensure the safety of customers and staff at the site. The times are not permanent and will continue to be monitored.

The remaining two closed libraries – Birchwood and Westbrook – are provisionally scheduled to reopen in late October.

The reopening of libraries centres on the safety of customers and staff, and are aimed at giving customers the confidence to borrow books in a friendly, safe and hygienic manner.

 Health and safety measures put in place included social distancing for customers and staff, one-way systems around parts of the buildings, hand sanitiser at entrances and exits and the quarantining of books for 72 hours after they are returned.

The library service has seen a huge increase in the number of e-books borrowed during the closure period, and the focus on the digital offer will continue. Also being expanded is the Library at Home offer for vulnerable customers, and a new Order and Collect service.

Other key points to the reopening of libraries are:

  • There will be no charges for overdue books and other items issued from 1st March.
  • Items on loan have now had their loan period extended until 5th December.
  • Social distancing in all areas of the library to keep both customer and staff safe.
  • Restrictions on the number of people accessing the library at any one time and the duration of visits will be limited.
  • A contactless returns and issue process.
  • New one-way systems around parts of library buildings will be in operation, with floor markings and directional signs.
  • All returned books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being returned to the shelves for people to loan.
  • ‘Order and Collect’ and Libraries At Home services for customers who are vulnerable

Emma Hutchinson, Managing Director of LiveWire, said: “I’m thrilled we are in the position of being able to reopen two more libraries this month, and that the safety measures we have put in place at the reopened libraries are working so well. I’d like to thank all our library users for their co-operation in following the procedures designed to keep them and our staff safe, and hope they are enjoying borrowing books and visiting our libraries again. A reminder that we do offer a number of services for people unable or reluctant to return to libraries and I’d encourage people to make use of these. Thank you to Warrington Borough Council and our partners and Friends groups for all their support during the past few months.”

Councillor Tony Higgins, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: “The safe re-opening of Warrington’s libraries continues to progress well and I’m extremely grateful to everyone involved – from staff and managers to volunteers – for their work, not only to get our libraries open once more, but to ensure they remain safe, welcoming environments for visitors.

“It’s fantastic news that we are now entering phase 3 of our libraries reopening programme, as we prepare to open the doors of two more of our buildings. It’s great news for the Padgate and Penketh communities.”

For more information on the reopening of libraries, plus a list of FAQs for customers, visit

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