Re-opening Glasgow Women’s Library: The Countdown Begins…

Due to our phased re-opening process, please note that this information is now out of date as of November 2020. You can find up-to-date information about Autumn 2020 at GWL, including safety procedures and FAQS here. 

Glasgow Women’s Library re-opens its doors to the public on Tuesday 1st September, and we are so excited – we’ve missed you all!

The safety and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our top priority and we have worked hard to implement the necessary changes to be able to welcome you back.

Before you visit, please read our specific Covid-19 related Frequently Asked Questions (below) and watch our short film. These will hopefully answer all your questions, and give you reassurance as you return to our beautiful building.

We are taking a phased approach to re-opening. Our opening hours throughout September and October 2020* will be:

Tuesday: 11am-4pm
Wednesday: 11am-4pm
Thursday: 2pm-7pm
Friday: 11am-4pm
Closed: Saturday, Sunday and Monday

We’re delighted to be able to start lending books again with our new ‘Select and Collect’ service, which will start on Wednesday 2nd September.

We will continue to run digital events for the rest of this year, and will launch a new Autumn programme in September. Visit our events calendar to see what’s coming up.

Please do keep in touch with us via our website and social media – you can find us on Facebook, Twitter (@womenslibrary) and Instagram (@womenslibrary).

You can also join our mailing list for monthly updates, or email us at with any questions, comments or concerns.

As always, we thank you all for your continued patience and support during these times.

Frequently Asked Questions about GWL’s Re-opening

We are really looking forward to welcoming you to Glasgow Women’s Library, whether you are a first time or a regular visitor.

Below are some answers to questions you might have about visiting GWL while Covid-19 is still a prevalent threat, and you can also view a short film:

When does Glasgow Women’s Library re-open to the public?

We are taking a phased approach to re-opening GWL. We will re-open at 11am on Tuesday 1st September 2020.

We’re delighted to be able to start lending books again with our new ‘Select and Collect’ service, which will start on 2nd September.

Our opening hours throughout September and October 2020* will be:

Tuesday: 11am-4pm
Wednesday: 11am-4pm
Thursday: 2pm-7pm
Friday: 11am-4pm
Closed: Saturday, Sunday and Monday

We will review these hours in October and ensure that any planned changes from 1st November are communicated in the Library, on our website and via our Social Media platforms.

Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up?

There is no need to book a visit in advance, but if you want to borrow books, you will need to use our ‘Select and Collect’ book borrowing service – it will not be possible to browse the book shelves and handle any books except for those that you are either returning to us, or that we have prepared for you to borrow under ‘Select and Collect’.

In this first phase of re-opening, only the main library space and the ground floor Events Space will be accessible to visitors. There will be a newly launched exhibition in the main Events Space that you are welcome to visit.

Is it safe to borrow books?

Yes, we will be following the latest advice provided by library professional bodies and will set aside (quarantine) books for 72 hours after they are returned, and we have our wider hygiene systems in place.

Will I have to queue?

You may be asked to queue for a short period before entering the building. Our staff will be on hand to help everyone to follow social distancing guidelines while in the queue.

Will I need to wear a face covering?

Yes, unless you are exempt. We have produced our own design of GWL face masks so we can provide you with one free of charge if you forget to bring your own.

Will staff be wearing face coverings or PPE?

Yes, staff and volunteers will wear face masks while walking around the Library, and the staff on Front of House / Reception will be wearing clear visors. Staff working in non-public offices will not be required to wear face masks but will be observing social distancing.

Will hand sanitiser be available?

Yes, hand sanitiser is in place when you come in, and at plenty of clearly signed locations around the Library.

What extra safety measures will be taken to ensure visitors and staff are protected?

Our priority is the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors and so we have made several changes to ensure that everyone is protected.

In addition to the new safety and hygiene measures mentioned above, we have installed clear screens at Front of House points, and in line with public health and government guidance we will ask you for your contact details for the Test and Protect scheme, so that you can be contacted if anyone who has visited the Library tests positive for Covid-19. Your contact details and all information will be dealt with and held securely in line with GDPR regulations.

Are your toilets open?

Yes, our toilet facilities will be available and we have introduced additional cleaning systems. There are plenty of points for regular hand washing.

Will GWL be hosting any public events or activities in the building?

We’re not able to run our usual range of events and activities in the building for the rest of this year, but we have an exciting programme of online digital events for you to enjoy.

Will the Library be available for venue hire / room bookings?

Not during September. This will be reviewed for October, and we hope it will be possible to offer venue hire for smaller groups of fewer than 20, subject to government and public health guidance, and GWL’s capacity to undertake this service safely. We will update our website with information on this.

Will the Library be open as a study space?

No, not during September or October. Given the present advice on social distancing our tables will not be available to use in this way. We will review this situation for October, when it is hoped that researchers will be able to access the archive collection with prior contact and by appointment only, by emailing

Will tea and coffee be available?

Sadly, we can’t offer you tea or coffee at the moment but our welcome will still be warm, and any staff wearing a GWL badge will be happy to help you, or answer any questions or concerns you might have.

Will I be able to buy merchandise from the GWL shop?

Yes, but we can only accept payments by card and we ask that the items are not handled – please ask a staff member if you wish to buy an item. You can also buy online.

Will I be able to talk to GWL staff?

Yes. All of our staff have had special training to ensure they are fully aware of all of the guidance and will be available to safely support your visit to GWL.

Please feel free to talk to us at any point during your visit – we can be easily identified by our GWL badges.

What happens if a staff member who has been working in the Library becomes ill with Coronavirus?

If a member of staff is suspected of contracting Covid-19, team members who have come into contact with that colleague will self-isolate for 14 days and we will instigate our Test and Protect procedures to contact visitors to GWL that coincide with that colleague being on duty. We might have to pause our services, depending on our capacity, and updates will be provided on our website and Social Media platforms.

What if I have had Coronavirus symptoms?

You must not visit if you have had any symptoms of Coronavirus within the last 7 days.

This also applies if any member of your household has had symptoms within the past 14 days, or if you have had contact during that time with anybody who has subsequently developed symptoms of Coronavirus. In these cases, you should stay at home and self-isolate as per government guidelines.

Good To Go Scotland logo - the words 'We're good to go' in capital letters in a circle around a tick. The logo is green on a white background.

Do you comply with the Good To Go Charter?

Yes! We’re delighted to have been awarded the Visit Scotland’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry charter mark. This means we meet all the required health and safety processes in place to ensure our visitors have a safe and enjoyable visit.

How long will these measures be in place?

The current measures are in line with Scottish Government guidelines and legislation, and will enable us to accommodate and protect our staff, volunteers and visitors. We are reviewing our approach regularly, so these measures may change as advice from the Scottish Government is updated.

My question isn’t answered here, how can I find the answer to my question?

If you haven’t been able to find the answer to your question here, please email us at or call us during our opening hours on 0141 550 2267.

What if I have some feedback?

Implementing measures to keep us safe is new to all of us.

We are continually reviewing our approach and working practices, and appreciate your patience. We welcome all feedback. If you have any concerns or questions during your visit, please talk to a member of our team – they will be happy to help you. If you would like to make any comments following your visit, please e-mail:

How can I support GWL?

We really do appreciate the many ways that people support us. During the lock down period, all the revenue we generate in venue hire, through tickets for some events and in shop sales has all been affected. If you feel able to support us to remain open and sustainable we would value your contribution.

You can become a Friend of GWL or make an online donation, or you might want to support our work by buying our merchandise, as all profits go back into GWL.

*This post was edited on 5/10/2020 to reflect changes to our temporary opening hours


  • Posted 5th September, 2020 at 12:21 am | Permalink
    Rand Farhan

    Good evening sir/madam
    please i want to know is there any Esol classes in the library and what time ?

    • Posted 8th September, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink
      Emily Ilett

      Hi Rand, thanks for your message. We do have women-only ESOL classes that take place in the library but these are currently suspended due to Covid-19. Would you like me to put you on our ESOL waiting list and I can send you more information as we get updates?

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