News and Events

Shetland Library Coronavirus updates

UPDATE 9 August 2021

We are pleased to say the library is open for book browsing and computer use.  We are continuing with an extensive home delivery service.  Opening hours will remain restricted.  This is because we are still managing extra services and Covid safety, as well as getting ready to move into our new building.  We are also doing some children's events in the mornings. 

Covid-safe rules if entering the Library or Learning Centre

  • Do not enter if you, or anyone in your household, has Covid-19 symptoms, or if you are isolating because of NHS contact tracing.
  • Wear a face covering at all times - these are still mandatory unless you are under 5 or exempt.
  • Keep 2 metres distance from other customers and staff.
  • Wash or sanitise your hands frequently, including on entry and when leaving.

Test and Protect

To assist with NHS contact tracing, the library collects contact details from customers who spend time inside the premises.  This is your name and phone number.  You can also check in with the Check In Scotland App.  Further details here:

The full Scottish Government guidance on Test and Protect can be accessed at the following link: Scottish Government guidance on Test and Protect

The Council's Privacy Statement relating to Track and Trace information can be found on the Council's website COVID-19 Track and Trace - SIC Premises (general).

Connect and Collect

Phone or email if you would like staff to make up a selection of items to collect.  This can be books, DVDs or CDs (please note all DVDs are now FREE to borrow).  Let us know your preferences e.g. format, genre, and ages if for children.  Each member can take up to 20 items.  Staff will let you know when your order is ready to be picked up.

Staff follow careful hand hygiene when making up orders.  However, you should not assume materials are virus free and should follow the same level of precautions as you would when e.g. collecting your grocery shopping.


Reservations can be placed as normal on our online system.

Home deliveries

We are delivering bags of books on a monthly rota covering the mainland, Yell, Unst, Whalsay and Bressay.  Please get in touch if you need this service - we are only using the mobile library for some fixed stops just now, so are happy to deliver to any household that cannot easily come to the library. 

Staff follow careful hand hygiene when making up and delivering orders.  However, you should not assume materials are virus free and should follow the same level of precautions as you would with e.g. deliveries of shopping or mail.

School Libraries

School libraries are all open.  Please don't hesitate to contact your school library staff for assistance.  The best way to contact them if they are working from home is by email or via GLOW.  Email addresses for each school library are on our website here:  School Libraries

Also try our virtual school library here: Virtual School Library


Books can be returned at any time via the returns point outside the public library in Lerwick.  If you get home deliveries please have your bag of returns ready to be picked up when you get your delivery.  If school libraries are shut, you can return books to the public library, or contact your school librarian if this is not possible.


Borrowing periods are back to normal now.  Please return your books on time as there are often queues for popular items.  Overdue notifications are sent by email and the third will be sent by letter if you have not responded to the first two.  You can renew your books online or by phone if nobody else is waiting for them.

Using computers

As well as spot cleaning between customers and standard Covid safety precautions, keyboards and mice are swapped over and quarantined at the end of each day.

Book online here or by phone.  Booking is recommended as we have fewer computers in use, to ensure distancing.

There is free wifi 24 hours a day in the library grounds, so feel free to bring your own device and use it outside.

We can do printing, scanning and photocopying for you if you get in touch.

Borrowing computers

Tablet computers are available for loan - just ask staff.

Mobile Libraries

The mobile is not going out yet as there is so much demand for home deliveries, but we hope to have it back on the road later this year.

Bookbug and events

Keep an eye on our website and social media as we are holding small group events, especially outdoors.

eBooks, video, and online study

Just browse this website to find out more about our huge selection of online books, magazines, audiobooks, comics and newspapers.  You will also find study resources including local history for young people and excellent online books.  Check our YouTube channel for Bookbug videos and other Library films.  We increased our online offer a lot during the pandemic - remember everything is free for members and if you are not yet a member you can also join online