Some important changes to Reading Room access at Gladstone's Library, Hawarden

Some important changes to Reading Room access

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Some important changes to Reading Room access 

We’re very much looking forward to seeing you all back and working hard in the Reading Rooms! As you know we’ve made some changes while we’ve been closed, including retiring ReaderPLUS. We’re very pleased to say that this means Readers and Residents can use the Reading Rooms from 9am-10pm, every day. 

However, when you come back we’ll need to issue all Readers with a new card. This is because we’ve changed the way you enter the Reading Rooms. Instead of physically signing in at the desk, we have invested in a new automatic entry system; Readers will simply tap their card for entry. This is safer and works in line with the Library’s covid-cautious policies for 2021. It also helps us safeguard the collections in a way that many other historic libraries already use. 

If you can make a £5 donation to cover the cost of this new card, we would appreciate it very much – they are a more expensive option than our previous cards. However, after much consultation we think it’s worth it, as: 

  • You will no longer have to renew your card (though you will have to confirm we have the right details every three years). This is better for the environment and for you
  • The system automatically collects usage data, which helps the Library make better decisions about how we manage our spaces
  • It means Reading Room staff can move about our spaces more easily, helping Readers and working on projects which benefit us all
  • It helps provide more accurate occupation levels in the event of an emergency, helping to keep us all safe

We take any change to the Reading Rooms very seriously, and we have mulled over this decision for a long time. Becoming a Reader has always been free and we’re very proud of that; it’s an important part of Gladstone’s legacy and everything that we do here is based on widening access. Readership remains free – after the £5 donation for the card there’s no further fee and there won’t be. We hope that you agree that it’s worth it. 

There’s one further thing, which is that we ask you to think if you really need a Reader card. If you’re not a regular visitor you might find that one of our new Researcher passes works just as well – it’s a daily card that we lend you, and you can use it as many times as you like. Just email us in advance to apply and we’ll sort it out! Better for you, better for the environment, and safer all round. 

As always if you have any queries or comments we want to hear them, so drop us a line at