FAQs

Frequently asked questions

eLibrary

How do I access the eLibrary?

You can access eBooks and eAudiobooks from the Library Catalogue, or you can click on the eBooks link, which will take you straight to the eBook website, which is powered by Overdrive.

What is in the eLibrary?

Our eLibrary includes:

  • eBooks
  • Audiobooks
  • eReference library

Look at the eLibrary – eBook, eAudiobook and eMagazine loans page for more information on how to get started.

What devices are compatible with the eBooks and Audiobook service?

For further information on compatible devices please go to the Devices Support page.

How can I access eBooks and Audiobooks?

The eBook service provided by Overdrive has a feature for the visually impaired where you can magnify the screen. Look for a clickable button at the top right hand side of the screen. Your own reading / listening devices may also have features that can help.

I don’t have a PC at home, can I download an eBook or an Audiobook onto a library PC?

No. we are required under the terms and conditions of our licence to adhere to this requirement.

How long can I borrow an eBook for?

The default is 21 days. However, you can elect to have a shorter loan period. The system prompts suggesting 14 days or 21 days. You can also personalise your own settings once you have subscribed. At the end of this period the eBook will expire. An Overdrive eBook may still display on your reader but it is only showing the book jacket, which you can delete. 

How long can I borrow an Audiobook for?

You can borrow an audiobook for 21 days.

How many Audiobook titles can I access at anyone time?

You can download 20 titles from Overdrive. This has no impact on normal library entitlement.

How many eBooks can I access at one time?

eBooks are available on the Overdrive site. You can have up to 20 loans from this site at anyone time. This total includes Audiobooks. So if you don’t take any Audiobooks out you can have 20 eBooks and vice versa.

Books

How do I borrow books?

There are three ways to borrow and they are all free.

  • Standard Loans

These are for our main collection of books and include new titles, bestsellers, new authors and popular fiction, such as Mills and Boons, classics, sci-fi and fantasy. We also have non-fiction books on a wide range of subjects including cookery, health, travel, sport and biography. You can borrow them for up to four weeks. After that, you can normally renew them for another four weeks. If you don't return them on time we may charge you a late fee.

  • One Week Loans

These are for very popular current titles that everyone wants to read. You borrow, read and return the book within one week so that no-one else has to wait long to read them. You can renew them for one more week. If you don't return them on time we may charge you a late fee.

  • No Late Fee

We have a collection of books you can borrow for up to six months. You can borrow up to two books at a time from this collection with no late fees to pay.

How many books can I borrow?

Children under 12 can borrow up to 10 items and young people aged 12 to 19 years old can borrow up to 20 items.

How can I renew library books?

You can renew your books one of the following ways:

  • online through the library catalogue - select "my account" and login using your borrower number and PIN - this is set to the first two and last two digits of your date of birth
  • over the telephone - call 01332 641700
  • in person at a Derby City library.

Do you have books in other formats?

We have books in large print and audiobooks on CD.

We usually charge for borrowing Audiobooks, whilst they are free to borrow for concessions.  

Do you have newspapers and magazines?

You can read newspapers and magazines in our libraries. You can also borrow popular leisure magazines for one week, which can be renewed for one more week. This service is available free of charge.

How can I find books that I want?

You can find what you are looking for by searching our library catalogue. You can do this in any of our libraries or from your own computer.

Can I get a book or other item if it's not on the shelves at my local library?

You can place a hold on books and other items, which are out on loan or located at another library and you can pick them up from a library of your choice in Derby. There is a charge for this service.

How do you let me know when my hold is ready to pick up?

We can let you know by e-mail or by letter. Notification by e-mail is free. If you choose to receive notification by post, this will cost you 70p. Let staff know how you want to receive your hold notification and ensure we have your up-to-date contact details available on the system.

Library services

Can customers who do not live, work or study in Derby register to use the service?

No, sorry. This goes against legal requirements.

What are the library charges?

It is free to join the library and to borrow books and magazines. Ebooks and Audiobooks are free to download from our eLibrary – eBook, eAudiobook and eMagazine loans.

There are charges for some library services: 

Visit the Libraries charges page for information about the standard and concessionary rates for:

  • books - late fees
  • audiobooks - hire charge, renewal charge and late fees
  • overdue postcards
  • lost and damaged books and audio books.

What can I use the library computers for?

The library computers are free to use.

You can use the Internet to look up information, email or search for jobs.

You may want to just write up your CV or letter or try an online course.

What have you got on offer for schools?

We have the following programmes available for schools:

  • Bookstart gifting programme for all babies and preschool children
  • School visits by appointment
  • Setting up a Chatterbooks reading group in school.

Get in touch with our library staff to find out more at libraries@derby.gov.uk

Events

How can I find out more about learning events in libraries?

Take a look at our events page for the latest events.

What events are held at the library?

Come along to one of our events that we hold at our libraries; we have a regular programme of author talks, quizzes and other interactive events aimed at readers which are listed on our events page or ask a member of staff to find out what events are coming up soon.

Books on prescription

Books on Prescription aims to help those suffering from mental health problems by enabling GPs and mental health professionals to offer patients self help books from their local library. 

How long can I borrow the books with my prescription?

BOP books are issued for four weeks, and you can renew them as long as no-one else is waiting. You can renew online or phone the Renewal Line on 01332 641700.

Is the Books on Prescription service confidential?

If you are worried about confidentiality, be reassured that library staff are trained to be discrete and non-judgemental. The library service takes customer care very seriously. We are here to help. If you experience any problems either complete a comments form or ask to speak to the Library Manager.

Is there a charge for the Books on Prescription service?

Book prescriptions are provided free of charge.

Can anyone else read the books without a prescription?

Yes, all the books in the BOP collections are available for anyone to read in the usual way. They are available to borrow for four weeks and can be renewed as long as no-one is waiting, and holds can be placed for them at all libraries.

Is there support from health organisations?

The Society of Chief Librarians are championing this project and have support from these organisations:

  • The Department of Health (NHS Choices)
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • The Royal College of GPs
  • The Royal College of Nursing
  • The British Psychological Society
  • The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT)
  • MIND

Useful information

How do I get more out of reading?

If you are not sure what to read next, the following suggestions may be of use. All of these options are free.

Library catalogue

Can I manage my account online?

Yes, go to the library catalogue and select "My Account". You'll need your borrower number and PIN.

You will then be able to:

  • renew your items
  • place holds
  • check if you owe any money for holds or late fees
  • pay any outstanding charges by going to the “pay library charges” link in the left hand menu

Can I place holds on items which aren't in stock at my local library or which are on loan to another customer?

Yes. There is a small charge to place a hold. You'll need your borrower number and PIN. You can get a PIN by contacting your local library. You can browse the library catalogue in the library, or at home on the library website, and we will send the books you choose to any Derby City Library for you to collect.

Are there other ways of accessing the catalogue?

You can search the catalogue using a variety of mobile devices and smart phones.

Library app

If you experience any difficulties and you have an iPhone, there is another option. Go to the App Store and search for "Derby City Libraries”. Download the app called “DerbyLibraries” to:

  • search by barcode: use your device’s camera to scan the barcode on a book or other item and search for available copies at Derby City Libraries
  • search the Derby City Libraries catalogue for items by title, author, subject, or general keyword and place holds on interesting items
  • manage your account
  • find suggested reading - see what your friends have read and recommend with reading recommendations from Goodreads or check out the latest best-selling and award-winning titles.

Not found what you were looking for?

Complete the enquiry form below and a member of staff will be in touch with you shortly.

Enquiry Form

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