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Bedford Central Library- Coronavirus update reopening for select and collect on Thursday 20th August

Select and Collect

Borrow books with our new service

Bedford Borough Council are beginning the phased reopening of libraries from Thursday 20 August, with the launch of Select and Collect at Bedford Central and Kempston Libraries.

Select and Collect is a new service where library staff choose books for you based on guidance you give them, either using our online form, or by phoning and talking to a member of staff. The books are issued to you, and you are notified when they are ready for you to collect them from our library entrances during Select and Collect opening hours. Please remember that you must wear a face covering when visiting a library, unless you have a legitimate reason not to.

You will also be able to request books using our request service, where you choose specific titles through Arena, our online catalogue, or the Bedford Borough Libraries app, and then pick them up from Bedford Central or Kempston Library. This is perfect if you know the exact title you’re after and would like to request it yourself.

When books are returned to us, they are quarantined for 72 hours. We have new procedures for when we select, issue and pack books for you too. As an extra precaution, you may choose to leave them in their paper bag for three days once you get home.

Learn more about how the service will work by visiting the Virtual Library or by calling the Select and Collect Line on 01234 718178, which is open Monday to Saturday from 11.00am to 4.00pm.

You can also return your books to Bedford Central and Kempston Libraries from the 20th August. Just drop them into the Returns Box at the library entrance during Select and Collect opening hours.

Select and Collect Opening Hours:


Bedford Central Library

Monday to Friday:        11.00am – 1.00pm

Saturday:                     10.00am – 1.00pm 


Kempston Library

Tuesday & Thursday:  10.00am – 12.30pm

Saturday:                     9.30am – 12.30pm  

Please be aware that this is the first phase of the reopening of libraries and that Select and Collect, requests and the Home Library Service (below) are currently the only services available. We are keeping things under continual review and will reintroduce other services when it is possible to do so safely for both customers and staff. Please check the Virtual Library and our Facebook page for further updates.


Online FREE services 

Now is a good time to discover our amazing range of online services giving you access to thousands of e-books, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers - all you need is your library card number and PIN. Don't have a PIN? Request one here!

  • RB Digital - downloadable e-books, audiobooks and magazines all in one place
  • PressReader - Thousands of national and international newspapers and magazines to be read online or downloaded
  • Freegal - Millions of tracks to be streamed for up to 5 hours a day or download 5 tracks a day to keep

Not a member of the library service? Join online today!


  • Automatic Doors
  • Disabled Toilets . access with a RADAR key only
  • Escalator
  • Lift
  • Meeting Room (with hearing loop)
  • Public Parking Nearby
  • Toilets


  • Access to software
  • Computer prints
  • Free WiFi
  • Internet access
  • Microfilm and fiche prints
  • Photocopier
  • Public fax service
  • RFID

Regular Events

Lego Club

Saturdays from 11.00 to 12.00

Sunday is Fun Day

Sunday from 11.30 to 1.30

Baby Rhymetime for 0 - 18 months (Term Time Only)

Monday from 11.30 to 12.00

Rhymetime (Term Time Only)

Tuesday from 2:00 to 2:30


Thursday from 11.30 to 12.00

Who to contact


Where to go

Bedford Central Library
Harpur Street
MK40 1PG
Get directions

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Ordering books service is open 11am to 4pm or visit he Virtual Library. Collection Monday to Friday: 11.00am – 1.00pm Saturday: 10.00am – 1.00pm
Time of day

Other Details


Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
Age Bands
11-14 years old
18-25 years old
Parents and carers
15-17 years old
0-4 years old
5-10 years old