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Library Services

Everyone can join a Library. It’s easy and it’s free. If you live, work or study in Richmond upon Thames, or are a frequent visitor to the borough, you may join the Library Service online or by visiting one of our libraries. Full library memberships for adults and children last for two years but concessionary and temporary memberships are for shorter periods.

When your library membership expires, we can easily renew it for you but we’ll ask you to confirm that your contact details are still correct before we do. If you have a concessionary membership we’ll also ask for proof that you are still entitled to claim concessions.
You may borrow a maximum of 30 items at any one time. Books and audiobooks are loaned free of charge for an initial period of three weeks. CDs and DVDs are hired on a chargeable basis. DVDs are hired for 7 days; music CDs for 2 weeks; DVD Box Sets are hired for 3 weeks. See our charges for details.
Please return items to any Richmond upon Thames library no later than the due date. Please use the after hours bookdrop when the library is closed at the libraries where these are available.

If you provide the Library Service with your email address, we will send you a timely reminder before your borrowed items are due back.
You may renew borrowed items up to four times without returning them to the library provided that they have not been reserved by another customer. You may renew online using your Library Account or by telephoning any of our libraries.
Borrowed items must be returned or renewed by the due date. Overdue charges are made for the late return of borrowed items. Books and audiobooks attract a daily overdue charge, while hired audio-visual items (CDs and DVDs) attract additional hire period charges.

If you have not returned overdue books and audiobooks within 19 days you will be sent a reminder by email or by letter. Reminders about overdue CDs are sent after 14 days; reminders about overdue DVDs after 7 days.

Email reminders are sent free-of-charge but there is a charge for posting you a letter.
You may reserve most items free of charge if they are in stock or on order for any of the public libraries in Richmond upon Thames. Most reservations are supplied within 7 days but you may have to wait a little longer if the item you reserve has not yet been published or is on loan to another library customer.

You may reserve up to five items at a time.

If the item you require is not available in a Richmond upon Thames library, you can expand your search to our partner libraries in the SELMS consortium. If the item is available at a library in SELMS you may reserve it - a charge of £3 is payable for this service.

Once the reserved item arrives at your chosen library collection point, it will be held there for 7 days so that you can collect it. If it has not been collected after 7 days your reservation will be cancelled and the item will be returned to its home location.
You may request items that are not in stock in the SELMS consortium and we will endeavour to supply the item from another library. You will have to pay a placement charge for this service even if the requested item cannot ultimately be supplied. There may be a further completion charge once the item has been received (not all users have to pay this).

Once the requested item arrives at your chosen library collection point it will be held there for 7 days so that you can collect it. If it has not been collected after 7 days your reservation will be cancelled and the item will be returned to its home location.
If you would like to make a suggestion of items you would like to see added to stock in Richmond upon Thames Libraries, please do so using our online Stock Suggestion form. If you would rather the item is obtained especially for you, please use the request service.
Your Richmond upon Thames library membership gives you access to several resources offering eBooks, eAudio, eNewspapers, and eMagazines.

Cloud eLibrary- this service allows you to read or listen to a book anytime or anywhere by downloading it to your eBook reader or mobile device.
OverDrive eLibrary — this service allows you to read or listen to a book anytime or anywhere by downloading the Libby app to your mobile device.
Borrowbox - an exciting collection of eAudiobooks.
Pressreader - electronic versions of newspapers to read on your phone or tablet.
Comics Plus - eComics for all ages and tastes.
Naxos Music Library — this is a music streaming service, allowing you to listen to music online.
Naxos Spoken Word Library — this is an eAudiobook service, giving you online access to hundreds of books without having to download to your computer or mobile device.
Self-service kiosks have been installed at nine of our libraries. The machines allow library members to issue, return and renew items on their library account themselves. The kiosks also allow library users to pay off any oustanding fines or charges using a debit or credit card, via contactless payment or Chip and PIN.

Explore new books! Discover new authors! Swap reading ideas in a friendly library environment!

What is a reading group?
A reading group is a group of people who meet regularly to discuss books they are all reading. They range from an informal meeting of friends who know each other to organised gatherings set up in libraries and bookshops.

Discussions are focused on sharing personal experiences about the book you have read, your favourite bits, how it made you feel, whether or not you liked the characters etc. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t manage to finish the book, just come along and hear what others have to say. It’s all about relaxing and having fun.

Reading groups are a good way to meet new people and share your passion for reading. They are a great way to try out a range of different books and authors, developing and challenging your reading habits. Groups can read anything from crime to poetry, graphic novels to classics, or focus on a particular genre.

Create your own…
Richmond upon Thames libraries are keen to support and encourage local reading groups. Find out what we can do for your group by downloading our support pack.

We will provide the facilitator of your group with a reading group membership card. Books can be issued for an extended loan period of up to 8 weeks, if required. In order to register your group email or ring 020 8734 3325 - we will need the following information: name of reading group; name of contact person; email; telephone; address; book collection branch; number of members in the reading group.

Once you’re registered you will be able to easily browse available book titles from home by looking at our list of booksets. This list is regularly updated with new sets so make sure you check the online version for new additions. The booksets are kept centrally for loan to reading groups and can be requested by emailing in advance and listing two or three title choices in order of preference, the number of copies you require for your group and the library you would like to collect them from.

The Library Service provides a free home delivery service for Richmond upon Thames residents who, because of age or disability, are unable to get to their local library and do not have anyone who can borrow and return items for them.

How does it work?
Once you have been enrolled for the service, a member of the library staff will contact you and fill in a detailed questionnaire about your reading tastes and the items you would like to borrow.

You will then be visited every six weeks at a regular time by a volunteer who will deliver your books, audiobooks, CDs or DVDs. There is no charge for any part of the service.

What may I borrow?
All library materials may be borrowed by members of the Home Library Service, including:

Novels – in standard or large print, hardbacks and paperbacks,
Non-fiction books,
Books on hobbies and interests,
Books on health and your rights,
Books on history and travel,
Music compact discs,
You may ask at any time for particular books that you would like to read. There may be a waiting list for the more popular titles.

The library will also try to provide you with any information you need – about the Council, the local area, welfare rights, transport, what’s on… You only have to ask.

How do I join?
If you are interested in joining the Home Library Service or know someone who is, let us know.
Telephone: 020 8734 3308
Write to: Library Headquarters, The Cottage, Little Green, Richmond, TW9 1QH
The Home Library Service can only reach a limited number of people at any one time. It is therefore important that the service is provided for those people who need it most. This means that you may be asked to wait until there is a place available on the waiting list at your nearest library.
Richmond upon Thames libraries have more than 90 'People's Network' computers available for public use. Key features of the network are:

Public computers are free to use! The only costs you may incur are for printing or if you buy a USB memory stick.
All computers have Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access) and multiple web browsers (Chrome, Firefox).
All PCs have multiple USB3 ports and every library has an A4 scanner.
You may use computers on our public network for a maximum of 3 hours per day - this is a borough-wide limit.
You are allowed up to four sessions per day, and the normal session length is two hours, extendable by up to one hour depending on PC availability and previous personal usage that day.
To log in to any of the public computers in Richmond upon Thames libraries, library members should use their library card and their 4-digit PIN.

How to book time on a public computer
To manage the high demand for our public computers we have a reservations system. Computer sessions may be booked in advance by:

Booking online at our PC booking website - this is available remotely (e.g. from home, work) and also on our PCs.
Telephoning your local library or by visiting in person.
Using a catalogue terminal, available in most of our libraries.
All sessions may be reserved up to seven days in advance with a maximum of four advance bookings at any one time.
Our friendly and knowledgeable staff provide free computer taster sessions - whether you are a complete beginner, need to refresh your knowledge, or just want to know what the Internet is all about.

If you need more long-term or advanced training than our taster sessions provide, our staff may be able to help you find a suitable course in your area.

Taster sessions in Richmond Reference Library
Getting Started (Mouse Skills, Keyboard Skills, Introduction to the Internet, Organising your Folders and Files)
Using the Internet (Internet Basics, Email (Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo!), Searching the Internet)
Online Plus
Online Shopping and Banking, Research Your Family History, Homework and Study
Social Networking
Facebook, Twitter, Blogs
Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Presentations
Word, Excel Basics, PowerPoint Basics
Other Practical Applications
Digital Cameras, Photo Editing, Scanning, Burning and Ripping CDs and DVDs, Organising Your Folders and Files
For more details call the Information and eServices Team on 020 8734 3308 or visit us at Richmond Reference Library.

Self Learning Guides
If you want to learn or practice on your own we recommend and which both offer excellent courses for beginners and improvers. From keyboard and mouse to setting up an email account these websites cover all the basics.

Taster sessions in libraries
A range of IT taster sessions are also available in libraries, either at set times or by arrangement. Please contact your local library for further details or to book a session.
Free filtered Wi-Fi is available in all Richmond upon Thames libraries. Just ask for the password when next you visit a library.
Library events for Adults
We hold regular events at all our libraries, including author events and talks on subjects of local interest. Check our web pages to find out what’s on at your local library.

Library events for Children and Teens
There are free, regular Storytimes, Tiny Teddies sessions and other special events for children and teens at all our libraries. Check our web pages to find out what’s on at your local library.
Richmond, Twickenham, Ham and Whitton Libraries all have spaces to hire. The Old Town Hall also has rooms for hire. 

For further information, to enquire about availability or to make a booking please contact:

Email: for all library venue hire giving your name and contact details including a daytime telephone number.
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