What you can borrow from the library now

We are delighted to be able to offer our new Request and Read service for customers to order books from three of our libraries: Swiss Cottage, Holborn and Highgate.

The service will start from 17 August. For more details go to Request and Read.  

Also, at three of our libraries you can now get access to library computers: Pancras Square, Queens Crescent and West Hampstead.  More details here.

We hope to expand our services further, including reopening the three remaining libraries, from September.

However our Digital Library service  -  with thousands of e-books, e-audio-books, e-magazines and e-newspapers - is available to all new and current library members here:

For more information about the changes to our service during this period, go to this page. 

When our branches reopen

When our libraries reopen, you will be able to borrow:

  • 25 books for 3 weeks (adults)
  • 20 books for 3 weeks (young people and children)
  • 8 audio books for 3 weeks
  • 1 language course for 3 weeks (adults and young people)


  • people over 60 
  • people with disabilities 
  • full time students 
  • people in receipt of earning related benefits 
  • audio books are free to concessionary groups 

*Children and young people under 18 are exempt from fines on books and reservation charges

Library charges


Customer charge

Overdue charges



30p (15p)* per day

£5.00 per item max

Books on CD

£1.00 (free)*

30p (15p)* per day

£5.00 per item max

Language courses


30p (15p)* per day

£5.00 per item max



(no concessions)*


SELMS reservations



Reservations requiring extended searches



Renewal of items borrowed from British library



British library item reservation



*charges in brackets are concessionary rates



Customer charge





Printing and photocopier charges



Customer charge


PC printing B/W


PC printing colour


Microform Print



Photocopy (A4)



Photocopy (A3)


PC hire (guest use per hour session)


Replacement charges



Customer charge

Replacement charge for lost, stolen or damaged library card (0-17 years are exempt)

£2.25 (no concessions)*

Lost out of print book

£25 (£10 children’s book)*


Lost British library item


Lost adult or talking book


Lost book from the youth section

up to £8.50

Lost Language pack(s)


Lost material – Inter-library loan

Set by supplying authority

Charges for children and young people


Overdue books, toys, language courses, standard reservations, lost/stolen library cards

Lost library items

SELMS reservations

Children aged 0-11

X – no charge

X – no charge

Young people aged 12 - 17

X – no charge

(up to £8.50)