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Table with library books on.
Community library at Sainsbury's

Published: Friday, 29th May 2020

While libraries across the borough are closed, we have been working with businesses to set up community libraries to give local residents access to a selection of books.

The volunteer-run community libraries are located in stores across Abbey Wood and Plumstead and each stock between 12-20 books. Volunteers attend the libraries each week to rotate and maintain stock, providing a good mix of adult and children’s books in a variety of genres.

Cllr Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities, said: “We’ve been carefully considering how we can safely continue to provide a library service for residents, particularly those without access to online facilities, in the current situation. Using surplus book from Greenwich Libraries run by Better, and volunteers from our Community Hub, we’ve been able to launch the community library initiative.

“The safety of our residents is extremely important, and all books in the community library have been cleaned and quarantined prior to being displayed. If you live local to Abbey Wood or Plumstead, head along to one of our community libraries and see what literary treats you can find.”

Each community library has a secure returns box where residents can return books they’ve borrowed from the community library and donate books they no longer want. All library-issued books on loan from Greenwich Libraries have been renewed until 1 August and fines have been suspended. These can be returned when libraries reopen. 

All returned or donated books are cleaned and quarantined for 72 hours before being placed into the community library. Residents should only touch the books in the community library if they intend to borrow the book. 

The Royal Greenwich community libraries are located at:

  • Co-op – McLeod Road, Abbey Wood
  • Sainsbury's – Harrow Manorway, Abbey Wood
  • Co-op – Herbert Road, Plumstead

We are actively looking to increase the number of community libraries and expand into other areas of the borough. New community libraries will be added to this webpage as they launch, so do check back regularly.