Library Membership

1. How to join the library

It’s free to join, borrow books, use our computers and access online resources. You can join online and your library card will be posted to you within five working days. Alternatively, if you prefer to sign up in person visit any library with proof of name and address.

With library membership you can:

There are a wide range of library memberships to suit different needs and circumstances, such as the home library service, reading groups, teachers and community memberships. For more information please contact us.

To see what we charge for please check our library fees.

Your personal data

Information on how we will process your personal data to provide you access to the library resources can be found in our Privacy Notice.

2. Full and standard membership

Full membership

You can be a full library member if you live, work or study in East Sussex. You’ll need to give proof of your name and address, like a utility bill or driving licence. Full members can borrow the maximum number of items:

  • Maximum of 20 books, 6 CDs, 6 audio books, 6 DVDs
    • Books – 3 week loan
    • Spoken word CDs – 3 week loan (fee applies)
    • CDs – 1 week loan (fee applies)
    • DVDs – 1 week loan (fee applies)
  • 20 music scores for 3 months (fee applies)
  • 20 playsets for 6 weeks (fee applies)
  • 2 language courses for 6 weeks
  • 2 CD-ROMs
  • 4 Toys and Games
  • 1 home electricity monitor for 3 weeks

Full members can also use the free library computers.

We’ll email you one day before your loans go overdue or send a reminder by post after 28 days.

Standard membership

Give proof of name, like a credit card, to join the library as a standard member.

You can borrow four items in total. If you’re over 16, one of these can be an audiobook, DVD or CD and you can use the library computers.

3. Children under 16

Children’s library cards

Under 16s need an adult aged over 18 to bring proof of address to the library. A parent or guardian is best as they will be responsible for the items you borrow and any charges.

Children aged 8 to 15 who visit the library alone can join. A letter will be sent to your parent or guardian to request they bring in proof of address to complete the registration.

Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Under 16s can borrow:

  • 20 items, including 6 audio visual items:
    • Books – 3 week loan
    • Spoken word CDs – 3 week loan
    • CDs – 1 week loan (fee applies)
    • DVDs – 1 week loan (fee applies)
  • 20 music scores for 3 months
  • 20 playsets for 6 weeks
  • 2 language courses for 6 weeks
  • 1 home electricity monitor for 3 weeks.

Library computers

Your parent or guardian will also need to sign a consent form so you can use the library computers. Website content is filtered for children but this doesn’t always block unsuitable material.

Foster Carers and Childcare professionals

Special library cards are available for various groups, organisations and people. Please ask your local library staff for details.

4. Other membership options

Home library service

We run a free home library service for people cannot easily use a library due to disability or frailty, or are caring for someone who cannot be left.

Reading groups

Ask your library about getting reading group membership. The annual charge of £10 per group includes:

  • access to over 1,100 sets of books, delivered free to your local library
  • borrowing multiple copies of the same book
  • help setting up groups and support from library staff
  • regular book magazines and newsletters.

Foster carers

You can ask for a special library card for all the children in your care. Normal charges apply to children’s audiobooks, DVDs and videos, but there are no fines for late, lost or damaged books.

To get a foster carer card, visit your local library with evidence of your status as a foster carer.

Under fives group ticket for playgroups and childminders

Playgroups and childminders can borrow extra children’s books of your choice for 12 weeks. Playgroups, as well as parent and toddler groups, can arrange for storytime or rhymetime sessions at a usual meeting place or in the library.

Complete a registration form at your local library to get your ticket straightaway. Childminders need to bring your childminder registration to get a group ticket.

Playgroup book boxes

At some libraries playgroups can borrow a box of 30 pre-selected books, exchanged two times a year. They contain board books, rhymes, stories, ‘joining in’ books and non-fiction. We can deliver directly to you, or you can exchange them at most libraries.

  • For most libraries, ask staff for a registration form. We will let you know when your first book box is ready.
  • In Eastbourne, Hampden Park, Langney, Polegate, Pevensey Bay and Willingdon, please ask for the under fives group ticket instead.

Teachers Ticket

This service is for primary and special schools.

With our Teachers’ Membership you will be able to borrow up to 30 books for your class from our special Teachers’ Collection.

When you apply for the Teachers’ Card, we will ask you for the name of the school you teach in and a senior member of staff to act as guarantor for any items you borrow. You can apply for a card online.

5. Unable to access your library account?

Forgotten your PIN?

We can send your PIN to your registered email address if you complete our form.

Lost library cards

If you’ve lost your library card, please bring proof of name and address to any East Sussex library and we’ll replace it for a small charge. Alternatively contact us and we will arrange for one to be posted to you.

Unable to access your library account

If you’re having trouble accessing your library account, please contact us and we’ll resolve your issue for you.