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.

Covid-secure ‘Staff Picks’ and PC Bookings

We are offering a Covid-secure ‘Staff picks’ borrowing service and free, pre-bookable 1-hour PC and WiFi sessions at Canterbury Library.

For more information and to make bookings online please visit Select and Collect or PC Bookings or call 03000 413131.

We will also continue to offer our Mobile Library Service (using the Select and Collect model) and our Home Library Service.

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

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

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Library Opening Times

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. 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

Come to us to register a birth or death. Registration is by appointment only. Call 03000 41 51 51 or book online

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