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 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.


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. A teacher’s toolkit is available to download, and library cards for visiting school groups can also be produced in advance.

It is always a good idea to give the library advance notice in case of prior bookings.

Please contact the library on 03000 41 31 31or via for further information.

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

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