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Joining and using the library

Joining and using the library

It's free to join the library, borrow books and use the PCs. Many regular events in our libraries are also free. You can borrow 12 items at a time and can return these to Central Library Bexleyheath, Crayford Library, Erith Library, Sidcup Library, Thamesmead Library or Welling Library. In addition, you can borrow 4 e-Books or audiobooks at a time – for either 14 or 21 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Using the Library

How do I join the library?

What are the fees and charges in Bexley Libraries?

Where's my nearest library and when are they open?

What can I do at the Library?

How can I use the library if I'm housebound?

What is a Privilege ticket for people who work with children in Bexley?

Your Account

How do I check my library account online?

How do I get my PIN number?

How do I renew my items?

How do I reserve items?

Other Information

Bexley Library Service Privacy Notice (PDF document)

Terms and Conditions of Library Membership (PDF document)

Acceptable Use Policy (PDF document)

Printed Materials Display Policy (PDF document)

London Borough of Bexley's library byelaws. (PDF document)

Working for the Library Service

Any current vacancies with the London Borough of Bexley can be seen on


How to join the library

Anyone can join the library. It's free to join and there's no age limit. You don't need to live in Bexley. Just bring proof of your ID which includes your address to a branch.
If you can't provide proof of address, you can still join and borrow 3 items. Please ask library staff for details.
If you have additional needs you can borrow Books on CD free of charge. Please bring proof of your disability or a letter from a doctor or social worker on your first library visit.

Under 18s

If you're under 18, a parent or guardian will also need to sign the form for you as guarantor. We'll need to see proof of their ID, which includes their address. If you are 14 – 17 years old and cannot find a guarantor, or if you have no ID, someone else can vouch for you (i.e. employer, social worker, doctor or similar professional). They must be over 18 and will need to sign a printed joining form available from any library and provide a letter on headed notepaper confirming your details.

Joining online

You can complete a membership application on the Council website. Your Library Card and a key fob will be posted to you and will be ready to use as soon as you receive them. You will need to bring proof of ID on your first visit, when you will also be given your PIN.
If you just want to use the e-Books service, check Yes when asked if you only wish to use e-books and remember to give us your email address. We'll then email your library card number and PIN to you.
If you are under 18 you will need a parent or guardian to complete part of the form, as guarantor, and show proof of their ID on your first visit.


What are the fees and charges in Bexley Libraries?

You can see a PDF of the current fees and charges here.


What can I do at the Library?

There are many events in our libraries, from toddlertimes, storytimes and children's activities in the holidays, to Reading Groups, computers and Wi-Fi to use and thousands of books, DVDs and Audio books to borrow.

What other facilities does the library offer?

  • Colour photocopiers
  • A selection of newspapers and magazines
  • Local history publications for sale
  • Stamps, caddy bags and reusable garden waste sacks for sale
  • Display boards, available for hire by local artists or groups, at several libraries
  • A hall for hire at Crayford Library
  • Meeting rooms for hire at Erith Library, Sidcup Library, Welling Library and Central Library, Bexleyheath

You can find out about local events by looking at the notice boards in our libraries. 

If your rubbish bin wasn't emptied, we can report that for you. You can apply for parking permits and we can arrange for your unwanted furniture and other items to be collected from your home.


Privilege Tickets

Teachers, child-minders, early years’ practitioners and home educators who work with children in Bexley are entitled to a special ticket to support their work with children.

  • Borrow up to 12 books
  • 2 month loan period
  • No daily fines on children's books (but daily fines will be charged on any adult book returned late).
  • Free reservations on children's books
  • Available from Central Library Bexleyheath, Crayford Library, Erith Library, Sidcup Library, Thamesmead Library or Welling Library

To obtain a privilege ticket, bring an acknowledgment letter from your place of work, or relevant paperwork (e.g. child-minders certificate / letter from the Home Education Liaison Officer confirming you are registered as a home educator).

You will also need proof of personal ID, address and signature. (Or your Bexley library card if you are already a member).

You are personally responsible for all books issued on your privilege ticket.


How do I check my library account online?

It's easy to access your library account. Simply enter your library card number (full number, no spaces) and PIN number in the box in the top right of the page.

Once logged in you can:

  • See items you have on loan.
  • Renew your loans before they become overdue. (You may not be able to renew books which are long overdue, reserved by other customers or items for which a charge is payable)
  • Check on the progress of items you have reserved.
  • Place and cancel reservations. (There is a charge for reservations. Please see Fees and Charges for more details)
  • View any fines on your account and pay them online.



How do I get my PIN number?

Please bring your library card and one other proof of identity to any Bexley library and you will be given a PIN number. If you do not have further proof of identity, just bring your library card and ask for your PIN to be posted to you.

Please keep your PIN number secure. Do not write it on your library card.

If we have your email address you can change your PIN number by using the Forgot Pin link. We recommend you do this from time to time.


How do I renew my items?

  • Pop into your local library,
  • Use your Online Account,
  • Download the Library App
  • During library opening hours only, phone 020 8303 7777


How do I reserve items?

  • Log in to your account by entering your library card number and PIN number in the My Account boxes on the right of the page
  • Use the Search box to find the item you want to reserve 
  • When you find the item you want, click the ‘Reserve' button 
  • Choose the library you want to collect the book from
  • Click on Save
  • If you need the item by a specific date, you can use the ‘Valid to' option to choose that date (just click in the box and type the date) If the item is not available by this date your hold will be cancelled.

Do I have to pay to reserve an item?

If you are an adult, there is a charge for requesting items. Please see ‘Fees and Charges' for more details. Children may request books free of charge.

This charge is an administrative fee and is payable even if we cannot supply the item.

How will I know when my item is ready to be collected?

If you are an adult you will receive a notice via post or email depending on the method you have chosen.
Children's request can be checked by contacting the branch or checking their online account. Here you will see a list of the items you have reserved. For adults, if an item is showing as available and you have not yet received a notice from us, it's best to call to make sure the item is ready for you before travelling to the library (you can contact us on 020 8303 7777, say 'Libraries' to have your call transferred)


Can I cancel a reservation?

You can cancel a reservation by logging into your account or contacting a branch.


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