Covid restrictions

National library re-opens reading rooms

The national Library of Luxembourg is easing the rules for visitors of the reading rooms  Photo: Matic Zorman / Maison Moderne

The national Library of Luxembourg is easing the rules for visitors of the reading rooms  Photo: Matic Zorman / Maison Moderne

If you’ve missed wandering through the shelves and finding rare and unusual books to leaf through, you will be pleased to hear this: on 19 October, the national library in Kirchberg will once again give full access to its bookshelves and study spaces.

Easing the rules

After more than a year of restrictions, the national library of Luxembourg (BnL), which was moved to a new site in Kirchberg just a few months before the start of the pandemic-induced lockdown, has announced that it will fully reopen its reading rooms to visitors. A small catch: as the BnL has chosen not to place the building under CovidCheck, users will have to wear their mask throughout their visit. For the same reasons, the maximum capacity will be capped at 300 people at any given time.

Visitors will now be allowed to circulate freely between the three floors of the reading area, states the official press release. Another change will be the direct access to any book or document on display on the shelves; prior to this, a request had to be made to reserve a title, and access to the shelves had been prohibited to avoid any contamination. Study spaces can be used freely too, though audio-rooms, meeting rooms and the music room will still need to be booked on the BnL’s online booking system.

Visitors who are still hesitant to freely meander through the bookshelves can check the availability of titles here. Reservations on freely accessible books will, however, not be possible anymore. 

Changing habits

The way visitors spend their time in the library has completely changed, Christine Kremer of the BnL told Delano. “People used to stay the whole day before the pandemic,” she said. During the pandemic, when only 100 of the 400 places were still available and had to be booked in advance, people couldn’t afford to be spontaneous. With the mandatory mask rule, BnL hopes to offer people more flexibility and independence in their visits to the library.

The reopening could not have come at a better time, what with the cold weather that is slowly but surely making itself at home in Luxembourg.