Why join the library
Join the library
The easiest and quickest way to join is online.
It's free to join East Sussex Libraries.
To become a member of our libraries you can
- please take proof of your name and address with you
- you will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions
- provide your name and address
- select your nearest library
- choose a 4 digit PIN
- Your new library card will be posted to you within 5 working days
With library membership you can:
- Access stock and services at any East Sussex Library
- Borrow a range of books for adults, children and young people free of charge, including books in Large Print and books in other languages
- Borrow eBooks and audiobooks and eMagazines and newspapers
- Borrow DVDs, music CDs and audiobooks for a small charge
- Borrow reading group sets, playreading sets and music score sets for a small charge. Music scores and play sets cannot be reserved online. Please ask a member of staff at your local library
- Renew your items up to 5 times if no one else has requested them
- Reserve or select & collect items for pick up from your local library
- Access subscription websites for free in the online reference library
- Get free access to computers and wifi
There are a wide range of library memberships to support different needs and circumstances
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.
Full and standard membership
You can be a full library member if you live, work or study in East Sussex.
You will need to show proof of your name and address with a document such as a utility bill or driving licence.
Full members can borrow the maximum number of items:
- Up to 20 books
- 6 CDs
- 6 audio books
- 6 DVDs
- Books 3 weeks
- Spoken word CDs 3 weeks (fee applies)
- CDs 1 week (fee applies)
- DVDs 1 week (fee applies)
- 20 music scores for 3 months (fee applies)
- 20 play sets 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 use the free library computers.
We will send you an email reminder one day before your loans become overdue - or send a reminder by post after 28 days.
You will be asked to provide proof of name, such as a bank card, to join the library as a standard member.
A standard member can borrow up to 4 items. If you are over 16, one of these items can be an audiobook, DVD or CD.
Standard members can use the free library computers.
Children under 16
Children’s library cards
If you are under 16, and would like to join the library, you will need an adult (a person aged over 18) to provide proof of your address.
A parent or guardian is best as they will be responsible for the items you borrow - and also any charges.
Children aged 8 to 15 can join when visiting the library alone. A letter will be sent to your parent or guardian asking them to bring proof of address into the library to complete your registration.
Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
Under 16s can borrow:
- 20 items, including 6 audio visual items:
- Books for 3 weeks loan
- Spoken word CDs for 3 weeks loan
- CDs for 1 week loan (fee applies)
- DVDs for 1 week loan (fee applies)
- 20 music scores for 3 months
- 20 play sets for 6 weeks
- 2 language courses for 6 weeks
- 1 home electricity monitor for 3 weeks
Your parent or guardian will need to sign a consent form before 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 library staff for details.
Home library service memberships
We run a free home library service for people cannot easily use a library due to disability or frailty.
You can also apply for this service if you are caring for someone who cannot be left alone.
Reading group membership
Ask library staff about how to apply for 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.
See our Reading groups page for more information.
Under 5s - childminders and playgroups
Playgroups and childminders can borrow extra children’s books for 12 weeks.
Complete a registration form at your local library to get your card.
Childminders will need to bring their childminder registration to get a group card.
Playgroups, as well as parent and toddler groups, can also arrange storytime or rhymetime sessions in the library.
Playgroup book boxes
At some libraries, playgroups can borrow a box of 30 pre-selected books. These are exchanged 2 times per year.
The boxes 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.
You can ask for a special library card for each of 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.
This service is for primary and special schools.
With our Teachers’ Membership you will be able to borrow up to 40 books for your class from our special Teachers’ Collection.
When you apply, 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.
We will send your Teachers’ card and PIN to your home address. You will need your card number and PIN to reserve the books you choose from our Teachers’ Collection. Your books will be boxed up and sent to your nearest public library for you to collect. All books in the Teachers’ Collection are free to reserve.
Frequently asked questions
- How long can the books be borrowed for?
The books can be borrowed for 12 weeks.
- Why is there a message saying I will be charged when I make this reservation?
This is an automated message. It does not apply to books reserved from the Teachers’ Collection using a Teachers Card. Please ignore this message.
- Once I have reserved my books, how long will they take to arrive?
We will aim to have your books ready for you to collect within 2 weeks of the reservations being placed. You will receive an email telling you when they are ready for collection. If they are not collected within one week of notification they will be returned to our central store.
- How do I return the books?
You will need to return the set of books to your local library in their original box at the end of the loan period, or earlier if you have finished with them.
- Can I use the Teachers’ card to borrow books from my local library?
No, you can only borrow books from the special Teachers’ Collection. You cannot use the Teachers’ card to borrow books from your local library.
- What if my books are overdue?
Your books are free to borrow and there is no charge for overdue books. There will be a charge for damaged or lost items.
- Where is my local library?
Find your nearest library
Library accounts that are not in use are set to expire after 2 years. This is to ensure that customer data is not kept for longer than needed, and to conserve data storage space.
If you are concerned that your account has expired, please visit your local library, call our enquiries line on 0345 60 80 196 or contact us online.