Books and moreFree entry to a world of stories

A quote from Neil Gaiman on a green wall of a public library. The quote reads "Libraries really are the gates to the future.". In the foreground a woman is walking away from the camera with a backpack on.

It’s free to join a library, and you can borrow books for free.

And digital formats like e-books, magazines and audiobooks. There's something for every age and interest, with plenty more on offer.

Get more from your library

A close up of a pair of hands holding a book open.


You can get free e-books and audiobooks, and digital magazines and journals

Fun for youngsters

Lots of libraries offer free activities that help build a love of stories in children and young people

A lady showing an iPad screen to another lady.

Order books

Your library can order in books you want to read if they’re not in stock

A man and a woman sit in front of a laptop. The man is pointing at the screen.

Renew from home

Renew your books online or over the phone

Stories bring people together

Reading improves literacy, feeds the imagination and helps relieve stress.

Lots of libraries run activities, events and groups that help people of all ages get into reading. They do this because reading is one of the best things you can do to improve your wellbeing.

“My book group helped me reconnect with the library, reading and people.”


Customer, Gateshead Libraries

Frequently asked questions

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.

Q:How do I get e-books and audiobooks through the library?

Most library services offer free digital downloads. They're often available through apps like Borrowbox and Libby.

If you have trouble downloading apps or content, the staff at your library can help.

Find your library and contact them to learn how to access even more free stories.

Q:Why should I read to my child?

90% of a child’s brain development happens by the age of five.

Reading aloud to your child during this time helps them develop language skills. Continuing the habit as they grow means they’re more likely to keep reading for pleasure.

Find your library or pop in to find out what activities your child might enjoy.