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Join a library

Smiling family

We have something for everyone and it's free and easy to join. We have 16 libraries, a home library service and a children’s book bus.

All of our libraries offer a warm and friendly environment which encourages you to read, relax and browse for interest and leisure, whether you live, work or are visiting the city.

Join by visiting a library

You can join in person at any of our libraries; it’s quick and easy as there are no forms to fill in. All you need to bring is one proof of name and address. Children under 16 do not need to provide identification. 

Proofs showing identification can include:

  • Driving licence
  • Benefit, pension of similar official document
  • Bank or credit card statement (recent within the last 3 months)
  • Payslips with address
  • Medical card
  • Gas, Electricity or Water bill (recent within the last 3 months)
  • Council tax letter
  • Tenancy agreement 

Not acceptable – personal letters or other informal documents.

Join online

You can also join by completing an online form and then go to any library with your identification. Once you have completed the online form - you will only be able to reserve two items. For full membership, you need to visit a library with your proof of identification - listed above.

Once you have joined you are a member of all city libraries and you can borrow items immediately. The majority of our services are free but charges do apply to some services and there may be overdue charges for books that are not returned or renewed on time.

Library members can...

  • Borrow up to twelve books for three weeks free, including books in over twenty different languages
  • Renew books online, by phone or in the library up to 10 times without returning them
  • Hire talking books for up to three weeks; free to children, senior citizens and people with a visual impairment
  • Borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks online for up to three weeks
  • Hire CDs and DVDs for one week
  • Download free eMagazines from our subscription collection, which are then yours to keep
  • Reserve and request items (free to city residents).

You do not have the item I want, what can you do for me?

If we haven't got the item you want and we are unable to buy it, we may be able to borrow it from another library authority. We will do our best to get your request but can make no guarantees; items can take up to eight weeks to be delivered or may be unobtainable. You can request an inter-library loan online or at your local library and there are charges for this service; unless you have a visual impairment. 

The charge is added to your account when we receive the requested item. We will notify you when your request is ready for collection and keep the item for two weeks. If you don't collect your item we will return it to the home library authority but you will remain liable for the charges. Inter-library loans are non-renewable.

Public computers

Members also benefit from free access to public computers, with office software and the internet. 

  • All computers are connected to a printer and printouts are available in black and white or colour; charges apply for this service. 
  • Most libraries also have an A4 scanner which can be used in conjunction with specified computers; if you need to use the scanner we suggest that you phone the library to discuss your needs as we cannot guarantee immediate availability and scanners are not supported on all computers. 
  • Every library has free WiFi and we also provide 24/7 WiFi coverage in Town Hall Square; unfortunately we are unable to offer printing facilities via the WiFi service.
  • You can book a computer in advance in the library, over the phone or online.

Information and reference

You might also be interested in our information and reference page which provides links to a number of online resources including, for members, our subscription services. Many of these are available 24/7 from any device with an internet connection but there are some services that are only available on library computers because of licensing restrictions.

Access further services

Follow Libraries on social media for regular updates about all our projects, services and the latest bestsellers