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Why join the library?  

Some people still think a library is a dark, quiet place, full of dusty books, where there are notices telling you to be quiet. Libraries aren't like that any more! Most libraries on the Isle of Wight have DVDs, tapes and computers as well as books, and all of them have noisy events for children in the holidays, and quizzes and games with prizes.

It doesn't cost anything to come into the library, and you don't have to join the library to visit it. You can come in at any time and read the books, do homework, and come to the activities. None of these cost any money, and you can do them without joining.

However, if you actually want to borrow the books to take home with you, then you need to join. It doesn't cost anything, and you will get a library card which you can use in any library on the Isle of Wight.

How do I join?  

Joining the library doesn't cost any money. Just go into any library on the island (click here to find out where they are) and tell them you want to join. If you are under 16, you will need to bring an adult with you - your mum or dad or whoever else looks after you. Ask them to bring with them one thing that has your address on. You will then get a library card straight away, and can start borrowing.

You can use your card in any library on the Isle of Wight. So, if you've already got a library card from Freshwater, for example, but want to borrow a book from Newport Library, you just use the same card, and don't need to get a new one.

What can I borrow?  

You can borrow any books you like from the children's section of the library. We have storybooks, picture books, books on hobbies, and books to help with your homework. It doesn't cost anything to borrow books.

Some books in every library are called "Reference Books". A reference book is a book you can't borrow. These are usually things like encyclopedias and atlases, but sometimes other books will be "reference only" as well. This is because a lot of people want to look at these books, and it's fairest if they always stay in the library for everyone to use. But these are the only books you can't borrow. Everything else in the library can be taken home.

We also have got "talking books", which are storybooks on tape, and all libraries have DVDs. These cost some money to borrow, and you will need to have an adult with you to borrow them.

There is also a teenage section in every library. There is no age limit on when you can start borrowing the books in this section.

How long can I keep them?  

You can keep books out of the library for three weeks. If you haven't finished them after three weeks, you can get them out again. This is called renewing your books. You can do it either by bringing them into the library, by phoning the Renewal Line (822123), or on the Internet. You need to know your borrower number (this is written on your library ticket) and your PIN number. You can find out your PIN number by asking in any library.

Sometimes if you bring books back late, you have to pay some money as a fine, but it's so easy to renew them that many people who use the library never have to pay anything at all.

DVDs and videos can be kept for one night or for a week.

How can I find out if you have the book I want?  

A list of every single book in the library is called the catalogue. The catalogue for every book in every library on the Isle of Wight is kept on computer.

In every library, there is a special computer for you to use for looking things up on the catalogue. It will tell you if we have the book you want, which library it is in, whether someone else has got it out, and where you can find it on the shelves. If someone else has got it out, you can order it, so it will be kept for you when they bring it back. You can also renew your books on this computer yourself.

You can also find out what the library has got by looking on the Internet. Anyone can look for a book, but if you want to order it, you need to know your borrower number and your PIN number.

Remember, you can always ask for help if you get stuck. The library staff will always be happy to help you find what you are looking for.

Page last updated on: 28/03/2009