Derby Libraries FAQs

Frequently asked questions


How can I borrow library books?

  • Standard Loans

These are for our main collection of books and include new titles, bestsellers, new authors and popular fiction, such as  crime, 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 three weeks. After that, you can normally renew them for another three  weeks. 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
  • 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?

To help prevent the spread of COVID -19, newspapers and magazines have been withdrawn from all Derby Libraries.

You can still access eMagazines from Derby Libraries Website.

You will need your library card and pin number to use this service.

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.

The eLibrary

Our eLibrary includes:

- eBooks
- eAudiobooks
- eMagazines
- eReference library - encyclopedias, dictionaries and newspapers online

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


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?

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 our events programme has been postponed until further notice. However, we are offering virtual Rhymetime  and story telling session.  Please check our website for updates.

Books on prescription

Reading Well Books on Prescription aims to help those suffering from a range of common mental health issues by enabling GPs and health professionals to recommend 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 Reading Groups  

To help prevent the spread of COVID -19 our library Reading Group meeting have been postponed until further notice.

Facebook Reading Group

Derby Libraries Reading Group is a welcoming online space where members can join together to read, share, and explore books. We set a new book every three weeks, all the books chosen are available in our eLibrary, and are available for multiple download so lots of people can read them at once.

The group is free to join and is open to everyone.

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.

What can I look for on the library catalogue?

- You can search for books, audiobook and magazines on the catalogue.

- You can also search for eBooks and eAudiobooks.

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.

What can I look for on the library catalogue?

You can search for books, audiobook and s on the catalogue.
You can also search for 
eBooks and eAudiobooks.


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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