Borrowing books

It's free to borrow a book from any of our libraries; most can be borrowed for three weeks. Adults can borrow up to 20 books at a time and children can borrow up to 10.

You can check if a book is available to borrow by searching our library catalogue. It shows you if we have the book in our collection and the branch where it's available. If it's already on loan it'll tell you the date it's due back in the library. You can reserve a book that's already out on loan to collect when it's returned by the current borrower.

If we don't have the book you want we may be able to get it from another library for you, such as the British Lending Library. There's a charge to request a book and this varies depending where the book comes from. You can request a book that's not already in stock in person at one of our branches.

Order and collect service

The online catalogue allows you to place holds on a specific book(s) for pick up from any of our branch libraries. If you prefer a member of staff to choose your titles for you, you can reserve books online with our order and collect service. They will pick a random selection of books from the genre/author you specify.

You can also call us to request books on (01226) 773555 and you'll be put through to one of our library staff.

Readers' groups

We host regular readers' groups in libraries across the borough to discuss books, authors and genres.

They're independent groups open to any member of the public who already is, or would like to become, a member of the library. The groups are friendly and informal with new members always welcome.

Find your local group

Reading for health and well being

Reading self-help books can help people with mental health conditions. The Reading Agency has worked with health experts to create the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme. This is a list of self-help and guidance books on conditions including anxiety, depression, phobias and eating disorders.

They've also selected some mood-boosting books as part of the scheme. This includes uplifting works of fiction, novels and poetry that's been selected by readers.

There's a scheme for people with dementia, carers and health experts, as well as for those with long term conditions. This book list covers specific conditions including diabetes, stroke and asthma, as well as common symptoms including pain and fatigue.

Self help for young people

A Reading Well scheme is also available for 13 to 18 year olds. The collection of books provides high quality information, support and advice on a wide range of mental health issues and pressures. These include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self esteem, bullying and exams.

A love of things local

We've been collecting books about our local communities since the 19th century! All our libraries have a selection of local history books to borrow with more available to reserve on the online catalogue to collect.

We also have a number of titles to download as eBooks. Our Local Studies Library has the largest range of reference books, pamphlets, newspapers and journals to browse and can be found in Barnsley Town Hall.