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  • Keeping everyone safe

    Exterior of the British Library with a 'Good to go' logo

    We’re back and we can’t wait to see you again

    We’re reopening our galleries to pre-booked visitors from Thursday 3 December and you can pre-book your exhibition tickets now. Our Reading Rooms will reopen from Tuesday 8 December and tickets will be available from 11.00 on Thursday 3 December.

    Plan your visit

    As we gradually reopen, our opening times have changed. Please check before you visit.

    You need to pre-book online for whatever you would like to see at the Library. You can pre-book:

    Reading Room, Reader Registration and Public Desk tickets will be released from 11.00 on Thursday 3 December for visits from Tuesday 8 December – Saturday 9 January. The next ticket release will be on Thursday 7 January 2021. 

    Keeping everyone safe

    We’re limiting the numbers in our galleries and Reading Rooms, and have implemented a one-way system throughout the Library to help you keep a safe distance. This may take a little longer but it’s keeping everyone safe so please follow the signs.

    You must wear a face covering at all timesPlease let a member of staff know if you're exempt, or we may ask you to leave.

    Our toilets are open with regular, enhanced cleaning. We’ll be frequently cleaning all our spaces, especially high touch points. Please ensure you wash your hands frequently and use our hand sanitisers where available.

    We’ll be removing a few interactive elements in our exhibitions to reduce contact. Don’t worry, there will still be plenty to see. Please don’t touch the display cases.

    Please don’t come to the Library if you feel unwell. In the event of future closures or if you need to cancel your visit due to COVID-19, we’ll offer you alternative dates if available, or a full refund. If you can no longer attend please cancel your booking so we can offer the tickets to other visitors. If you feel unwell, or anyone in your household is showing symptoms of COVID-19, please don’t come to the Library, and reschedule your visit by emailing boxoffice@bl.uk.

    On the day

    If you’re returning to visit our Reading Rooms, find out more about what to expect.

    Visiting our galleries? Read on.

    • Entry to the Library is at Gate 2 on Ossulston Street. You’ll need to show your ticket here. This can be printed or shown on your phone. Please arrive 15 minutes before the time on your ticket to make sure you’re ready for your booked timeslot
    • You’ll need to pass through security, who may need to check your bag but will do so with minimal contact
    • You can take small bags into the galleries or our Cloakroom and Lockers will be open if you need to use them. We don’t have space for big bags or luggage, so please don’t bring these
    • Eat, drink, shop. The King’s Library Café on Floor 1 will be serving hot and cold drinks and hot and cold food. We’ve switched off the water fountains for hygiene reasons, but you can bring a filled bottle of water with you or drinks will be available to purchase from the King’s Library Café. Our main shop and bookshop will be open on the Ground Floor as you exit, so you can pick up your next favourite novel
    • Breastfeeding is welcome in any part of the building, but if you would prefer a private space please let a member of staff know.

    If you have a disability or access requirements

    • Please let us know before you visit by emailing accessibility@bl.uk
    • When you arrive, make yourself known to Security staff at Gate 2 who will arrange assistance 
    • If you will be accompanied by an assistant or carer, they will also need to have a ticket to enter the buildings
    • Find out more about accessibility at the Library

    Need help?

    Our Customer Services team can be reached by email at customer-services@bl.uk or 01937 546546.

    Data Protection and Track and Trace

    In addition to collecting contact details as part of our normal booking process, we will also be recording the times that users enter and leave our premises in order to reduce the risk of a local outbreak of coronavirus.

    In line with guidance issued by the Department for Health and Social Care, we will keep these details for 21 days. We will share your contact details with Test and Trace personnel, if asked, in the event of a fellow user or staff member testing positive for coronavirus.

    Your data will be kept secure and handled in line with ethical standards and the Data Protection Act at every stage of the process – from its collection and storage by us to its transfer and use by NHS Test and Trace. NHS Test and Trace will handle all data according to the highest ethical and security standards and it will be used only for NHS care, management, evaluation and research.

    The Library’s Privacy Policy can be found on our website.