Free books and more

26 May 2023

At The Reading Agency, we love libraries. They can be found all over the country and are full of books just waiting to be read. And best of all, they’re completely free to use! Library users agree with us, as 95% say that they enjoy their visits.1

When did you last visit the library? If you haven’t been for a while you may find that it offers far more services than you realise. They’re not just for books, they’re also community hubs dedicated to supporting local people in all sorts of ways. So what are these services that the library offers? Why should you visit the library? Read on to find out!

1. Book Borrowing

Of course, the key service that libraries offer is book borrowing. On your Road to Reading you may be worried about buying books. What if you don’t enjoy it, or struggle to get into it? Becoming a library member solves this problem. It doesn’t matter if you don’t enjoy a book that you’ve borrowed, you can just return it!

Different libraries have different limits on how many items you can borrow at a time but they tend to range between 20 and 30. That’s enough to keep you busy! We know that fines can be a big worry, so make sure you check your return dates and renew them if you need to. In some libraries, fines have been scrapped all together (although you won’t be able to borrow anymore items until overdue ones are returned!)

2. Digital Access

Long gone are the days when you had to physically visit your local library to borrow a book – you can borrow them digitally from the comfort of your own home! And that’s not all. You can also borrow audiobooks, newspapers and magazines to be read on your phone, tablet or computer. Check your local library website to find out how to join (for free!) and access their digital lending so you can start borrowing.

3. Activities

Libraries are all about community so it’s very likely that your local library offers various activities throughout the week. There may be reading groups, board games clubs or knit and natter groups! There are also lots of activities for children including Baby Rhyme Time, LEGO workshops and more. If you have children, make sure they sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge to keep their reading up over the summer. Different libraries have different activities and finding out the ones that your local library offers is only a quick Google search away.

4. Events and Exhibitions

Libraries host all sorts of events and exhibitions, which can vary depending on the size of the library. They often host local authors to talk about their books, and some might host authors travelling around the country on national tours. Many big libraries in city centres also have exhibitions; take a look at the British Library in London, Liverpool Central Library or Manchester Central Library for year-round and temporary exhibitions.

5. Find your local library

Libraries are places of learning, and the sharing of learning, and are vitally important to all communities. They are universally welcoming and will be more than happy to assist you on your Road to Reading. Next time you pass by your local library, why not step inside? Find your local library.

1. [DCMS (2018) Taking Part Survey: England Adult Report, 2017/18]


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