St Ives Library and Information Service

St Ives Library and Information Service

UPDATED 9 April 2021: Our opening hours are Monday to Saturday 9.30-4.00

During this lockdown the library is open Mon-Sat 9.30-4.00 for ‘Click and Collect’ reservations and one computer is available to be booked – to avoid disappointment we advise you to book  at ‘Book a Computer’. Alternatively to order books or book a computer call 01736 796297.

Sadly, due to the Coronavirus, we will not be operating the service you are familiar with. The safety of the public and staff is our main priority. Below are the details of how we will be working during the current restrictions. Social distancing will be a requirement. Hand sanitiser will be available on entry and exit.

We appreciate your support and continued patience during this time. We have come a long way and we want everybody to stay safe.

We have book groups to suit everyone based at St Ives Library. One that met in the library in the past is our Dead Choughed book group. This group now meets over Zoom. The next two books are The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and The Impressionist. If you would like to take part in a Zoom book group e-mail us on Please pass this information on to anyone you know who might enjoy discussing books over lockdown.

Book Stock and ordering

In the first phase of re-opening you will not be able to access the books on the shelves to browse the stock. Please order your books either through Cornwall Council’s online reservation page; telephone St Ives Library on 01736 796297, email  or post your request through the door or speak to a member of staff. We are happy to choose a selection of books for you, please tell us the books you enjoy in both fiction and non-fiction.

We will contact you when your requests are ready for collection. It would be appreciated, if at that time, you can give us an indication of when you will be in to collect them. This will allow us to control the numbers of people in the library and reduce the number queuing to enter. Your reservations will be issued and ready for you to take away.

We will have a one-way system, please enter at the main entrance using the automatic doors and leave through the doors just past the self-service kiosks.

Cornwall Council payments

We will not be taking any payments on behalf of Cornwall Council. Please pay at the Post Office. Please ask us if you have any queries.

Visitor Information and Left Luggage

Visitor Information can be found on this link St Ives Tourist Information

The library staff and Friends of St Ives Library (FOSIL) are offering a wonderful and interesting read in a monthly newsletter Library Events and Newsletters

*PRE AND POST COVID-19 SERVICES: Regular Library and Information Services Opening Hours (See above for current opening hours and services updated 12 March 2021)

Monday – Saturday 9.30am to 5pm *
Sunday High Season 10.00 to 3pm (generally late April to late September)*


St Ives Library
Gabriel Street
St Ives, Cornwall
TR26 2LX

PH 01736 798577 and 01736 796297

Services available:

Library book loans
Local maps and Information
Concert ticket bookings
National Express ticket bookings
Cornwall Council payments (council tax, business rates, etc)
Citizens Advice Cornwall – 3rd Thursday of the month 9.30am-5pm
16 computers with internet access, Free WiFi
Scanning, printing and photocopying
Medici TV – online resource for Ballet, Classical Music and Opera Link to Medici TV
Meeting rooms for hire
Recycling bags and boxes (orders)
Adult education classes and groups
‘Reading Challenge’ and other children’s events
Left Luggage

Join the library:

click here for a link to quickly and easily join the library.


The foundation stone of the two-storey St Ives Public Library was laid in April 1896 by John Passmore Edwards, the Cornish philanthropist, and benefactor. He provided £2,000 for the building, which replaced five cottages at the corner of The High Street and Gabriel Street. Passmore Edwards’ object was to improve the education of the working-class people of St Ives. He also provided £100 for the original book stock.

The building was handed over to the Corporation of St Ives on 1st January 1897, and shortly after opened to the public as a lending library. Nearly 2,000 people borrowed books in its first year. In addition, the Library was used to help a large number of people to be trained to read. From as early as 1899, some rooms were used as Council Offices.

Local historian, Janet Axten, article on the history of St Ives’ Library