Libraries across Northern Ireland offer a wide range of free services including the loan of books and magazines, local history resources, eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks, eNewspapers, computer use, internet access and Wi-Fi. Libraries have a large selection of books for all ages, including large print books and audio books.
Join the library
Library membership is free. You can join from birth and members can borrow up to nine items at any one time. Your library card allows you to borrow from and return to any Northern Ireland library or mobile library stop.
You can join online or in any Northern Ireland public library.
Find your local library
Online books, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers
Libraries NI offers free eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers.
There are over 33,565 eBooks and eAudiobooks, and 320 English language newspapers and many more in 60 other languages available.
Customers can borrow up to 36 eBooks and eAudiobooks at a time (18 from the Libby app and 18 from the BorrowBox app) for twenty one days with each book automatically dropping off your account at the end of the loan period.
There are 4,446 eMagazine titles including cookery, computers, home, sport, health and well being. These can be kept on your device as there is no expiry date.
Events and courses
Events and courses for people of all ages are held regularly in most libraries. These include talks, workshops, exhibitions, reading groups and computer courses.
Find out about events and courses at a library near you by entering your postcode on the following web page:
Digital Hubs are now available in public libraries across Northern Ireland offering all members of the community the room and resources to access virtual meeting spaces. The Digital Hubs can be found in a quiet corner or space within the library and are equipped with:
- headset (users are also free to plug their own headset in if preferred)
- conferencing software: Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Webex and Zoom
- acoustic screen/s
- privacy monitor
Libraries are welcoming and comfortable venues for studying, IT work and socialising with friends. As a library member you can:
- read and borrow books including curriculum support material
- access free Wi-Fi and use library computers
- access study space to read, revise or complete assignments
- access in library digital resources such as Access to Research
- access the Ulster University Library through the Civic Access Scheme
- access trusted health information for many of the issues that students face
- take part in social activities, all for free
- view student resources
Reading groups are held for adults, teenagers and children.
Rhythm and Rhyme
Parents and carers have the opportunity to enjoy nursery rhymes, stories and songs with babies and toddlers up to four years old.
Find a Rhythm and Rhyme event near you
Computer basics in small simple steps
The 'Got IT?' free course takes you through the basics of computers in small, simple steps. It is divided into three parts:
- introduction to computers
- introduction to the internet
- introduction to email
Each session lasts between 45 minutes and one hour. Library staff will be on hand to get you started, explaining the names and breaking down the jargon one piece at a time. You must be a library member to take part.
Go ON computer training session
This is a free session for people who want to find out more about technology and computers in a relaxed environment, at their own pace. It helps people improve their computer skills by offering help to do lots of everyday tasks on the computer. You must be a library member to take part.
Libraries NI has an wide range of resources for historians, researchers, genealogists, students and those with an interest in cultural and community life, past or present. These include:
- newspapers and journals
- archives and special collections
Heritage events take place regularly including talks, family history fairs, workshops and book launches.