Books and reading for children and young people

Children in library

We welcome children of all ages, and their mums, dads and carers to our libraries.

Even the youngest babies can have their own library ticket!

Did you know?

  • It’s free to join
  • We don’t charge late fees if you are under 12
  • You can get books on the move. If you are an iPhone user, you can go to the App Store and search for Derby City Libraries. Download the app called DerbyLibraries.

What do your libraries have for children and young people?

We offer:

  • board books for babies and toddlers
  • picture books
  • books for children learning to read
  • stories and information books for all ages
  • books to help with homework
  • graphic novels and Manga
  • audiobooks on CD
  • stories in large print format
  • comics and magazines
  • Free eBooks
  • Bookstart - free book packs for children; a national scheme which gives out free books to preschool children.

You’ll be amazed at how much we have got to offer! If you need any help using our catalogue or you can’t find what you are looking for, just ask us. We are happy to help you.

How many books can I borrow?

Children under 12 can borrow up to 10 items and 10 eBooks.

Young people aged 12 to 19 years old can borrow up to 20 items and 20 eBooks.

Interested in activities?

We have a range of free activities for all ages:

Ask staff for more details or check our library events page. Check our Children's activities FAQs below.

Children's activities FAQs

Do you have activities for children and young people in the library?

We have a range of activities for all ages from rhymetimes for the very young to reading groups
for older children and storytimes for the whole family.

Is there anything suitable for babies and toddlers?

All our libraries have a weekly ‘Shake Rattle and Rhymetime’ session especially for babies and
toddlers and their parents and carers. Some libraries also have Cradle Clubs for parents and
carers with children aged up to 18 months to meet socially and have fun with their little ones.

Do you have nappy changing facilities?

Some of our libraries do have facilities. Please ask beforehand or when you arrive.

Do you have special events during school holidays?

Every summer we have a reading challenge for children and during other holidays we offer
events such as craft sessions, puppet shows, storytelling, author visits and themed storytimes.

Do you have activities for the whole family?

We welcome families to all our activities to share in the fun together.

Is there a charge for children’s activities?

No we do not charge for any children’s or family activities.

Do you have to book places?

Sometimes we do ask you to book if we need to limit numbers attending, but we will always say
this on our publicity and tell you how to book.

Can I leave my child at an activity or do I have to stay?

If your child is five years or under they must be accompanied at all times. If over five, they can
stay on their own, but we may ask you to leave your contact details and be available if we need
to get in touch during the activity.

Will you take photos of my child?

Only with your permission. We will ask you to sign a form and tell you how we might use any
photos we take.

Will you offer my child refreshments?

Sometimes we do provide a drink or small snack, but we will ask you if it is OK to do this
beforehand or when you drop off your child.

Teen Reads FAQs

So, what do we do at a book group?

It’s pretty easy. At each meeting we hand out a book and you take it home to read in time for the next meeting. Then when everyone gets together you get to say what you think of it; if you liked it, if you didn’t, which characters you loved, which you hated, and any bits you thought were good or bad. Everyone gets to have their say and you get to read books you might not have picked up otherwise.

What if I don’t like the book?

It’s not a problem. In fact it would be surprising if you did like every book! Just come along ready to say why you didn’t like it. You may find everyone agreeing with you!

How often do I need to come?

It will be four weeks between meetings. That should be enough to read the book and still have some time for your own reading.

What if I can’t make it?

Don’t worry. We know that sometimes life gets in the way! You can just miss a month and pop into the library when you’re free to pick up the next book. Or if you want to let the group know what you thought then write it down and we can pass it along to them.

What if I don’t finish the book?

It happens. You may run out of time, you might have other books you need to read first, or you might just not like it! Whatever the reason, you can still turn up and talk about the bits you did read. Let the others know and they can avoid spoiling the end if you still want to finish it.

Who’s in charge?

You will be. We will be providing the space to meet, we’ll help you order the books in, and one of us will be on hand to help start the discussion, but it’s really up to you to decide if you want to change anything and how you want the group to work.

Who picks the books?

That’s you again. We’ll pick a few books for the first few meets, but then it’ll be up to you to talk about what books you want to order in. Then let us know and we’ll make sure we order enough copies in for next time.

How can I support my child with their reading?

Pick up a themed bookmark listing ideas about what to read next or download one of our useful guides:

How can I support my child with their study?

Download our guide helping your child with homework below.

Check out the Homework and study support club at Pear Tree Library and our eReference library for children and young people

Our offer to schools

  • Visits to libraries
  • Local history research and support for teachers
  • Everything begins with reading! Year 7 library activity day.
  • Visit our Libraries offer to schools page for more information

 Shelf Help: Reading Well for Young People

We have books in all our libraries that can help you cope with the pressures of life, feel better about yourself and boost your confidence.

The books have been chosen by a panel of librarians in consultation with young people to help with difficult feelings and experiences. They cover a range of topics such as stress, depression, anxiety, OCD, body image, self harm and bullying. Some of the books suggest self help techniques, others are personal stories, graphic novels and fiction.

How does the scheme work?

A health professional, or someone from school gives you a Shelf Help leaflet.
The staff at the local library will help you find the book or place a hold free of charge if it is not on the shelf.
If you are not a member of the library, you can join immediately using the Shelf Help leaflet as identification along with something with your name and address on, and take books home. Books are issued for four weeks and can be renewed if no-one is waiting for them.
The recommended books are available for anyone to read.

Who can recommend Shelf Help?

The books may be recommended by health professionals, GPs, teachers, school nurses, and other professionals who work with young people such as social workers. Or you can just go into the library and pick up a leaflet.

What books are available?

Pick up a leaflet from the library or download our Shelf Help list for more information.

Which libraries have Shelf Help books?

You will find Shelf Help books at all our lending libraries.

Want to know more? Check our Shelf Help FAQs below.