Children and Young People's Library Service

We offer a wide range of services for children and young people, from books to enjoy to books to help with homework. All libraries have collections of books for children from board books and picture books for the very young, to books for teenagers and graphic novels. Central Library also has a dedicated teen zone.

Libraries have collections of coursework and homework books as well as free access to computers to help with homework needs.

Activities take place in all libraries on a weekly basis - with special events such as the Summer Reading Scheme around school holiday times. Look out for storytimes, crafts, arts workshops, quizzes and competitions.

Visits from school classes and playgroups are also welcomed.

Have a look at what we have to offer

  • Computers for free internet access and packages - to help you with your homework presentation
  • Free Unlimited Wi-Fi - work on your project on your own device.
  • Free online information resources - music, art and general encyclopaedias, dictionary and online reference
  • Information and reference books - We have up-to-date, good quality information books on most homework subjects to borrow from the library. If you can't find a book on your subject, staff can order a book from another library for you. You can also use the homework collection in your local library. The books in our Homework Collections aim to cover all subject areas and are not for loan, so you can always find a book about your subject.
  • Study space in most libraries and friendly staff who can help you.

Finally, life is not all about work!

We have lots of other services you can use in your local library

  • Fiction books for all ages, including teenage and older teenage books
  • Magazines and graphic novels
  • Talking books to borrow for free
  • Books on leisure subjects, such as TV and film, sports, arts and craft books.
  • Information about local groups and societies is available at your local library.
  • You can also find family information about young people's events and activities at the Family Information Directory

Don't forget - it's free to join your library and you can borrow up to 20 books and 4 e-books for free!

Books, E-books and CDs

You can borrow up to 20 books, and keep them for up to four weeks or you can download up to 4 e-books. Bring books back on or before the date they are due back. You can renew your books and have them again if nobody else wants them. If you are under eight you won't have to pay fines if the books are returned late - but don't forget other people may want to read them.

There are all sorts of books in the library, including:

  • books for babies
  • adventure stories
  • funny stories
  • information books
  • books for mums and dads

CDs are also available - you have to pay to borrow these except for story CDs for children, which are free.

Online resources

The Library Service provides a range of free online resources . You can access "Britannica Junior for ages 5 to 11" and "Britannica Student for ages 12 to 18" online using your library card. You may also want to check out our range of Oxford online resources.

Some libraries have computers in their children's sections and you can book up to one hour for free. All libraries have computer learning facilities that children can use. Children can also use the internet, but they must have signed permission from a parent or carer and there are other safeguards. Computer sessions can be booked by asking at the library or by phone or you can book a computer online. To do this you need to have your library card number (which you will find under the barcode) and your PIN.

If you do not have a PIN, staff at your local library will provide you with one in person or by e-mail once you have proved your identity. You can change your PIN if you wish by asking in the library. Your PIN is for your security. Please do not tell it to anyone else, as they will be able to get access to your library details.

Sharing books is a vital part of learning to read.

Growing Well toolkit

ASCEL have launched a Growing Well toolkit which includes resources for parents/carers to support children's health and wellbeing.

Families can:

  • read more about why keeping active and healthy eating is important;
  • find free and easy to use ideas for activities to do with their children.

Access the toolkit.

The toolkit has been commissioned by ASCEL to promote activities to help combat childhood obesity as part of the Universal Health Offer.

Homework help

If you need help with your homework, you've come to the right place. Libraries have lots of material to help you with your studies.

Libraries and Information Service

Address: Central Library
Smithford Way

Telephone: 024 7683 2314