The Library

Canterbury Library was the first publicly funded library in Great Britain, through innovative interpretation of the Museums Act 1845 for provision of a museum of arts and science. It is now part of a large network of public libraries managed by Kent County Council

Learn more about the Kent Libraries service.

  • The library stairs leading from the top floor to the bottom floor.

Visiting the Library

You can now visit the library to browse our shelves, borrow and reserve books, pre-book PC / Wi-Fi sessions and study.

To book a public access PC online please visit  PC Bookings or call 03000 413131.

We will also continue to offer our Mobile Library Service across the Canterbury area and our Home Library Service.

Don’t forget, our fantastic digital offers – including free e-books, e-magazines and e-newspapers are always available.

Please visit www.kent.gov.uk/libs for more information regarding these offers.

All our services have been carefully planned and developed with customer and staff safety being our highest priority.

Current opening hours can be found on the  Canterbury Library page of the KCC website.

Staff Picks

If you are unsure what to read next or would prefer to collect books without browsing the shelves at one of our open libraries, you might like to use our Staff Picks service.

Staff Picks is simply letting us select a variety of library books from the shelves on your behalf, based on your tastes and preferences.

Let us know what sort of books or audiobooks you enjoy and which of our open libraries you want to pick your items up from.

You can do this by simply completing the form below and we’ll do the rest. You can ask us to choose up to 10 books or audiobooks on your behalf.

We will contact you when they are ready, and you can then collect them from the open library of your choice.

The loan period is for 3 weeks on all items issued through Staff Picks.

Complete our Staff Picks form

If you’d prefer not to use the online form, call 03000 41 31 31 to speak to a member of staff.

Resources

The library provides a wide selection of materials – books, DVDs, CDs, Talking Books and local history resources. You can browse the Kent Libraries & Archives catalogue and reserve and renew items online. There are also special collections for parents and carers, as well as people living with conditions such as cancer, dementia or depression.

We also offer eBooks and an increasing range of online resources such as encyclopedias, newspapers and reference tools for use in the library or from your home computer.

Ask our staff about services for reading groups, schools and home-bound people.

Volunteering Opportunities

Do you have a little time to spare? We offer enjoyable and worthwhile volunteering opportunities, such as computer buddies and event supporters. There are activities for everyone, whatever your age, experience or availability.

Find our more about our  volunteering opportunities.

Learning Offer

School groups are welcome to visit the library guided by teaching staff. It is always a good idea to give the library advance notice in case of prior bookings. Contact the library on 03000 41 31 31. A teacher’s toolkit is available to download.

Library cards for visiting school groups can be produced in advance. Teachers can download and distribute the joining form to pupils, in order to obtain parental permission and then pass on to the library a week prior to the visit. Download Joining Form

Registration Services

Find out more about services relating to births, deaths and ceremonies.

Follow Us on Facebook

Stay up to date with the latest news and activities by following the  Canterbury Library Facebook page.

Regular Events *Temporarily unavailable*

Join in our popular Baby Rhyme Time for 0-2 year olds and Talk Time, a social group open to everyone are held weekly.

For details of these, author talks and family activities, visit The Beaney What’s On page.

 

Artefacts in exhibition case The Beaney Museum

Get closer to The Beaney and immerse yourself in history, heritage, art and culture