From Monday 7 September, Wimbledon, Morden and Mitcham Libraries will reopen for browsing.  The Click-and-Collect service, and use of some computers, will still be provided at all seven of Merton’s libraries, including West Barnes.  (Of course, please don't visit any libraries if you have any of the Covid-19 symptoms.)  We hope West Barnes and the other Merton branch libraries will also reopen for browsing in a few weeks' time, and will let you know as soon as a date is announced.

The branches which reopen for browsing may look and feel a little different and there will be signs providing guidance for library users during their visit.  Hand sanitiser will be available at library entrances and in public computer areas. As with most public places you will need to wear a face covering whilst in the library.  There will be a counter where users can ask for assistance and library staff are also available via e-mail and phone.  There will be a limit on the numbers of people allowed in each library at any one time, so everyone can maintain social distancing.  Visits will be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes to minimise queues. And some services cannot be offered yet, including study spaces, activities, events and hard copies of newspapers.  Any payments should be made with credit/debit cards or other contactless methods, rather than cash.

Safety measures at the other Merton libraries, including West Barnes, include:

  • Limited Service Offer - Click-and-Collect and PC bookings (see below for details)

  • Perspex screens at customer counters

  • All returned items will be sanitised and quarantined for 72 hours

  • Social distancing queue systems -- separate queues for Click-and-Collect and for PC bookings

  • Book return options outside the library entrance

  • Special signs to guide you at this time

  • Revised opening hours

  • Strict Social distancing measure including in PC areas

  • Increased cleaning of all library facilities including cleaning of computers after every customer use


You'll need to show you library card when collecting books or accessing a public PC.  If you need a new library card you should tell the library before your visit, and bring appropriate identification.


Revised library opening hours:

Opening hours for West Barnes are from 10.00am until 6.00pm (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays), or 4.00pm (Saturdays).

Like many organisations, the Friends has had to postpone events -- and our Annual General Meeting.  A new AGM date will be set once the Library reopens and events can be organised that are consistent with social-distancing rules.  In the meantime, the Friends have a new e-mail address:, but our website remains at



Sadly we have to postpone our online event with Elly Griffiths and Lesley Thomson due to unforeseen circumstances but we do hope to have them join us at some point.

Our next -- virtual -- authors' talk will be at 7.30pm on Monday 28 September and will  feature Elly Griffiths and Lesley Thomson.  It will be streamed live on YouTube (we will provide details, in the next Newsletter, about how to access this).

Elly Griffiths is perhaps best known for a series of 13 books (so far!) featuring archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway -- and which have attracted both West Barnes Library's Book Clubs; but she has also written several stand-alone books (the latest of which is The Postscript Murders) and a series set in Brighton featuring DI Edgar Stephens.  For more information, see her website,

Lesley Thomson is the author of ten books, the most recent being Death of a Mermaid, published in May; six of them being in The Detective's Daughter series.  For more information, see her website,

from us online: 

New members can join online and will be given immediate access to our online resources by visiting Merton Libraries website and clicking on ‘Join the Library’.

You can keep up to date via Merton libraries' website:, or by social media -- Twitter: @mertonlibraries, and Facebook: mertonlibraries.  There is a 24-hour telephone renewal line: 0333 370 4700.

News from Merton


12 – 27 September marks the return of Wandle Fortnight a two week cultural extravaganza focussed on the River Wandle and its surroundings. Organised by the Wandle Valley Forum, the celebration will feature events and activities staged by local museums, historical societies, community, cultural and environmental groups. The programme will combine guided walks, talks and exhibitions, with cycling, orienteering, gardening and environmental activities.


For more details of the 2020 programme visit:    You can also find the latest updates on the Wandle Valley Forum Facebook and Twitter pages – see: and



Two major events are linked to the Wandle Fortnight programme. This launches on Saturday 12 September with the annual Mitcham Heritage Day. Based on and around Cricket Green, this annual celebration highlights historic architecture, people, places and events associated with Mitcham. Organised by Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage, the event runs from 10am to 4.30pm and brings together local museums, societies, schools, sports and community groups.


Amongst the 2020 highlights will be a guided walk around the Cricket Green conservation area, children’s activities at Cricket Green School, displays about the Canons project, a series of talks at Wandle Industrial Museum and Merton Heritage Centre displays at the parish church.


For more details of the day’s activities visit:  or find the latest updates on Twitter :




Normally the largest event in the Merton Heritage Calendar, the annual Discovery Day is a showcase for the borough’s rich and colourful past. Last year’s event featured 30 different organisations and attracted well over 2000 people in four hours. This year’s event has to adopt a slightly different format but heritage staff are determined to raise awareness of Merton’s diverse heritage and the amazing work of local museums, historical societies, community and environmental groups.


Between 10am and 4.40pm on Saturday 26 September Merton Heritage Service and a range of local heritage organisations will be staging a varied programme of outdoor and online activities and displays.

Staff from Wandle Industrial Museum will be leading a guided walk from Lower Mitcham to Morden Hall Park, highlighting historic buildings, river scenery and structures linked to the borough’s industrial past ( 10.30 – 12.30 ). Colleagues from Merton Priory Trust will be running tours and film screenings at the Merton Priory chapter house at 11am and 3pm. Summerstown 182 have kindly provided downloadable heritage trails covering everything from Arts and Crafts, to AFC Wimbledon.


Mitcham Camera Club will be hosting a free photographic display on the second floor of Morden Library from 10am to 4pm ( No booking required ).


There will also be a photographic heritage trail laid out at key points around the Merton Park conservation area.


Between 12 noon and 4.40pm, Merton Heritage Service has also organised a series of short local history talks, hosted on ZOOM. These will include an A-z of Merton ( South Wimbledon ); the fascinating history of Capability Brown’s Wimbledon Park; the ground-breaking work of the Salvation Army ( Wimbledon ); Art and Literature of the Wandle; and Old Mitcham – Images from the unique Tom Francis photographic collection.


In addition to these activities, the Heritage Service will also be launching a special Discovery Day page on the Merton Memories website ( ) - this will feature online displays, archive film, useful websites, research tips, spotter guides, puzzles and child friendly heritage resources linked to all the districts of Merton.


Full details of the Discovery Day programme will be available from Friday 11 September –  or

For more information or to book places on the guided walks, tours or zoom talks, contact Merton Heritage Service . Tel. 020 8545 3239  or email:


Please note: Due to Covid Safety requirements, numbers may be limited, so please book in advance.All bookings must be confirmed prior to the event.


Friends of West Barnes Library

Opening times

Monday 10am to 6.00pm

Tuesday 10am to 6.00pm

Wednesday Closed

Thursday 10am to 6.00pm

Friday 10am to 6.00pm

Saturday 10am to 4.00pm

Sunday Closed


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