Libraries are foreveryone

A young female student with a laptop at the library. She is smiling and has a cup of coffee next to herA group of ladies at a craft group at their local library. They are looking at some of the crafting that is on a table.Two young men around a table at the library. One has his laptop and is looking at his phone, the other has a tablet stylus in his hand. They are both concentrating on their tasksA children's craft group. Two children are holding up felt flowers and the group leader is smiling.A member of the public looking through a book that has been handed to him by the librarian. He has a backpack on and the librarian is holding a leaflet.

Start your journey of discovery here to browse what’s on offer and find your local library.

Free spaces of culture, learning, knowledge, and community that belong to you, and help you belong.

  • A baby and parent group at the library. The mum is smiling at her baby while the baby is laughing at the group leader.
    “Bring your little ones to rhyme time. I say to the new parents: your baby can cry. You can cry. You need a hug? I’ll give you a hug.”
    TracyChildren & Youth Librarian, Wiltshire Libraries
  • A lady at an art club in her library
    “You can just go in, and there's no charge. There's so much on offer, and the staff are so kind, patient and welcoming.”
    DianeCustomer and volunteer, Wakefield Libraries
  • Mr Ali and a library volunteer at a digital learning session
    “My devices cost a fortune but I wasn’t using them effectively. Now I take them to tablet taster sessions every fortnight and get all my questions answered.”
    MajzoubCustomer, Southend-on-sea Libraries
“We love our library - it’s the central hub of our community. It’s part of the reason we haven’t moved!”


Customer, Sandwell Libraries

Your public library is a free, open space where you can:
  • Borrow books
  • Learn new skills
  • Keep warm
  • Access wifi
  • Research your history
  • Find space to work
  • Just be
  • Study
  • Use a computer

Frequently asked questions

Get more from libraries by learning what they have to offer. Here are some answers to questions people often have about libraries.

Q:Is it free to join a public library? How do I join?

Yes, it’s free to join.

Your local library might need to see identification (like a driving licence) and proof of address (like a recent utility bill) to give you a library card. Not all libraries ask for this - it’s best to check with your library.

Q:How do I find my nearest library?

Visit our library map and enter your postcode to find libraries in your area.

Q:Do I need to be silent at the library? Can I take my child?

Most local public libraries don’t expect you to be quiet, and hold activities especially for children. They also have quieter times - check with your local library for the best time to visit.

Larger libraries may have stricter rules on noise and quiet areas for people to study in peace.

Q:What is free to do at the library?

It’s free to enter a public library, and many things you can do there are free.

That includes borrowing books, using computers, accessing wifi and, usually, taking part in activities and events.

Q:Will I be fined for returning a library book late?

Fines help ensure as many people as possible can access the books they want.

However, many libraries have stopped issuing fines for returning books late. To find out if your library issues fines, contact your local library.

Q:Where can I find out what’s on at my library?

Many libraries have listings on their websites. Library websites are sometimes part of their local authority’s website.

You can also try searching Eventbrite with the name of your local library to see what’s on offer.

Q:Where can I find my library’s opening hours?

You can usually find your library’s opening hours on its website or the website of your local authority.

You can also find opening hours by searching for your library on our library map.

Q:Can I download e-books and audiobooks through the library?

Yes. Most library services offer free digital downloads through partnerships with services like Borrowbox and Libby. You can also usually reserve a digital book if it's not currently available.

Find your nearest library and contact them to learn more or get help downloading free digital content.

Q:How do book groups work?

Book groups are places where people get together to talk about books they're reading.

They can take place in libraries, but people often host them in pubs, community centres or group members’ homes.

Find your library to find out if there are book groups in your area.

Map of libraries and services

Find your local public library