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Frequently asked questions


Joining a library is easy and free!  Join online or visit any Staffordshire Library where you simply need to give us your name and postcode.

You do not need proof of your identity to join, you just need to know your postcode. If you don't know your postcode, you can still borrow some items and we'll post your library card to you.


You can view a map of all libraries to see which locations are nearest to you.

Libraries are open at different times throughout the week. Look at our list of libraries to find out what times your local library is open.

Libraries in Staffordshire are closed on Bank Holidays and will be closed on the following dates:

Public Holidays 2024

  • New Year's Day - Monday 1 January 2024
  • Good Friday - Friday 29 March 2024
  • Easter Monday - Monday 1 April 2024
  • Early May Bank Holiday - Monday 6 May 2024
  • Spring Bank Holiday - Monday 27 May 2024
  • Summer Bank Holiday - Monday 26 August 2024
  • Christmas Day - Wednesday 25 December 2024
  • Boxing Day - Thursday 26 December 2024
You can borrow the number of books that suits you - you might want to take a few more if you are going on holiday for example.

You can keep most books for three weeks. In some libraries, there are Quick Read collections which can be borrowed for one week so that as many people as possible have a chance to borrow them.

You can borrow CDs and DVDs for one week.



As long as another customer has not requested the items you have on loan, you can renew them a maximum of three times without the items being returned to the library. You can renew books by:



You can borrow:

  • Children's books
  • Adults books
  • Talking books
  • Large print books
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • Language courses
  • Drama sets
  • Music scores

Contact your local library to see what they have to offer!


You can return your library books to any Staffordshire Library, regardless of where you borrowed them from. Take a look at your nearest library to find out the locations of our libraries.

You can reset your pin by visiting the Libraries website and choosing the forgot pin option from the login screen.


A library PIN (Personal Identification Number) verifies that you have the authority to access your library card account, since it is a private number which only the account holder knows.

To get a PIN you need to join the library by completing the online form. You will choose your PIN as part of the joining process and you will be able to access the following services:

  • Download eBooks
  • Search the library catalogue and reserve items to collect from any Staffordshire library
  • Use some of our free online resources
  • View your account online
  • Learn more about your local library
  • View events at your library

Computer access

Find out how to access computers in the library.

I have forgot my PIN

Please request a new PIN through the library catalogue.


Please tell Your Library immediately because you are responsible for all items borrowed on your card and for any access to the internet made using your card.

We can then cancel lost or stolen cards and issue you with a new one. There may be a small charge for your replacement card.

Yes - you can search for library items using our online catalogue.

To delete an item from your reservations list you will need to contact your local library.

Yes, no one is too young or too old to join a library. There are lots of books and activities for all children and babies too.

It doesn't cost anything to join or to borrow books.

If your books are late back, or you want to use some other services, then there may be charges. Check our fees and charges page for more detail.

Ready to join?


Visit our Computer Access page for more information.


Library items are selected in line with our Stock Policy (129 KB)


Self-Publish Statement: 

Staffordshire Libraries and Arts Service is often asked to acquire, either by purchase or donation, books that have been self-published.

For your titles to be considered for purchase, they need to be presented to our book supplier Askew and be available for selection via the Askew web-based catalogue.   

To ensure your titles can go onto the Askew catalogue, they ask that you send full details of title/s of your publication to the following partner companies:

BDS - http://www.bdslive.com

Nielsen Book Data - https://nielsenbook.co.uk/publish/

Gardner’s Books – https://www.gardners.com/Selling-To-Us

Books donated to Staffordshire Libraries and Arts Service will be reviewed and may or may not be added to our library catalogue. We are not in position to return of a book once it has been donated.

If you cannot visit Your Library, then we could visit you at home as part of our Home Reader Service.
If you are a school you can subscribe to a range of services from the School’s Library Service.

Byelaws for Public Libraries made under section 19 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964. 

Operation of Byelaws

  1. These Byelaws shall come into operation on and from the twentieth day of February 1997.

Interpretation of Byelaws

  1. In these byelaws, unless the context otherwise requires:
    1. "the Act" means the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964;
    2. "charge" means any charge imposed in accordance with the Regulations;
    3. "child" means a person under the age of 16 years;
    4. "emergency situation" includes situations where a library or part of a library is required to be evacuated for security reasons or because of threat from fire or other hazard and practices and false alarms in relation thereto;
    5. "last known address" means the last address held on the library authority's records;
    6. the library authority" means the Staffordshire County Council
    7. "library" means:
      1. any premises which are occupied by a library authority and are premises where library facilities are made available by the authority, in course of their provision of a public library service, to members of the public;
      2. any vehicle which is used by the library authority for the purpose of providing a public library service to members of the public and is a vehicle in which facilities are made available and includes any part of such premises or vehicle;
    8. "the library officer" means any officer employed by the library authority in connection with its functions under the Act;
    9. "library property" includes property owned by or provided for the use of the library authority whether or not it is made available by the library authority for use by the public and property obtained by the library authority for the loan to or use of the public;
    10. "the Regulations" means The Library Charges (England and Wales) Regulations 1991 S.I. 1991/2712;
    11. words importing the masculine gender include the feminine, words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular;
    12. expressions used, unless the contrary intention appears, have the meaning which they bear in the Act and Regulations.

Use of Public Libraries

  1. An act performed in connection with the proper execution of his duty by a library officer shall not be a contravention of these byelaws.
  2. No person shall give a false name or address for the purpose of entering the library or for the purpose of using any library facility.
  3. No person who in the reasonable opinion of a library officer is offensively unclean in person or clothing or both shall remain in the library after having been asked by a library officer to leave the library.
  4. Except with the consent of a library officer, no person shall:
    1. cause or allow any dog (other than a working dog accompanying a disabled person) or other animal belonging to him or under his control to enter or remain in the library;
    2. bring into any part of the library a wheeled vehicle or conveyance other than a wheelchair, pram, pushchair or shopping trolley;
    3. enter or remain in any part of the library which a reasonable person would or should know is prohibited to the public or;
    4. remain in the library after the time fixed for its closing.
  5. No person shall remain in the library after an emergency situation has been made known to him.
  6. No person shall, unless specifically permitted by a library officer, take or attempt to take any library property from the library or past a checkout or security point.
  7. No person shall, without lawful excuse, destroy or damage any library property having intent to destroy or damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property should be destroyed or damaged.
  8. No person shall behave in a disorderly manner in the library, use violent, abusive or obscene language therein, or intentionally or recklessly cause or do anything likely to cause injury to any other person or property.
  9. No person shall sleep in the library after having been requested not to do so by the library officer.
  10. No person shall remain in a library without making proper use of the library's facilities after having been requested, by a library officer, to make such proper use of the facilities.
  11. No person shall engage in audible conversation in any part of the library set apart as a reference department, study area, or for reading after having been requested not to do so by a library officer.
  12. No person shall intentionally or recklessly obstruct any library officer in the execution of his duty or intentionally or recklessly disturb, obstruct, interrupt, abuse or annoy any other person properly using the library.
  13. No person shall, without the consent of a library officer, intentionally display, distribute, or leave any bill, placard, notice or other document in the library. 
  14. No person shall, without the consent of a library officer, offer anything for sale in the library or canvass or seek signatures for petitions.
  15. No person having charge of a child shall without the consent of a library officer leave him unsupervised in the library.
  16. No person shall smoke, light a match or use a cigarette lighter in the library.
  17. No person in any part of the library shall inhale any toxic substance for the purpose of causing intoxication or take any controlled drug as defined by Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 other than drugs dispensed for and pursuant to prescription issued for him by a doctor under and in accordance with the aforesaid Act. 
  18. No person shall, except with the consent of a library officer, partake of refreshment in the library.
  19. No person shall, except with the consent of a library officer, cause or allow any mobile telephone, portable computer, or other electrical equipment, or apparatus for the reception of sound recording or for the reproduction of sound, to be operated in any part of the library to which the public has access.
  20. No person who
    1. borrows library property which is returned late or if returned would be returned late 
    2. fails to pay any charge

shall, unless with the specific consent of a library officer, borrow any other library property

    1. Any person who has borrowed library property which if returned would be returned late and who has been served with a notice by the library authority demanding return of the library property shall return library property to the library from which it was borrowed within 14 days from the date the notice was served.
    2. For the purposes of this byelaw, a notice may be served upon any person by delivering it to him, or by leaving it at his last known address, or by sending it by post addressed to him at that address.
  2. Except as regards byelaws 9 and 19 in respect of which a prosecution may be brought under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 or the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 respectively, any person who contravenes any of the afore going byelaws shall be liable to prosecution for contravention of the byelaws by the library authority and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale in respect of each offence. 
  3. A Library officer may exclude any person who contravenes any of the foregoing byelaws from any library maintained by the library authority under the Act. 
  4. On the coming into operation of these byelaws, the byelaws relating to libraries which were made by the Staffordshire County Council on the twenty fifth day of April in the year one thousand nine hundred and sixty six, and were confirmed by the Secretary of State for Education and Science on the eleventh day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and sixty six, shall be revoked.

Given under the Common Seal of the Staffordshire County Council this twentieth day of February in the year One Thousand Nine Hundred and ninety seven.

The Common Seal of Staffordshire County Council was hereunto affixed and confirmed by Mr. John R. Gregory, Deputy Clerk of the County Council. 

The said byelaws were further confirmed by Mr. Duncan H Wilson, on behalf of the Secretary of State for National Heritage by the Head of Libraries and Information Division, Department of National Heritage. 

This note is not part of the byelaws. 

Users of the library and library facilities are reminded that the provision of the general law apply at all times. In particular as regards the activities referred to in byelaws 9 and 19 the library authority draws attention to the existence of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

People who intend to make copies of works are advised that they may only do so in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and are liable to prosecution under that Act if they fail to observe its provisions.

Downloadable version

A downloadable version of the above information is available using the link below. 

Byelaws for Library Services (58 KB)


1.Why were overdue charges removed?

During COVID-19 overdue charges in libraries across the country were suspended to avoid penalising people who were unable to return items on loan during lockdown and periods of self-isolation.

When libraries were able to loan books again some COVID restrictions still applied and in Staffordshire charges were never re-introduced.

2.Why have you reinstated overdue charges?

Overdue charges have been an integral part of running an efficient library service, encouraging books to be returned on time, and by extension giving customers more opportunity to see and borrow newer books, as a good turnover of stock is maintained.

In Staffordshire, there is a network of 27 community managed libraries, which rely on, and have missed, the income from overdue charges to help with day-to-day running costs. It is important that we support these libraries and enable them to a deliver a library offer into their respective communities.

3.What about the cost-of-living crisis?

Customer can renew books online, over the phone and via the Staffordshire Libraries app to avoid incurring overdue charges if they are unable to visit their local library.

We are maintaining the cost of overdue charges at pre-COVID levels and are extending the age limit at which overdue charges apply from 16 years to 18 years.  This will enable library services to support young people in this age category.

Library users can be emailed prior to their loaned items becoming overdue.  This enables customers to manage their accounts and return or renew items before overdue charges are incurred.

4.Why have you increased the cost of photocopies from the British Library?

We are charging full cost-recovery of British Library photocopies which is £11.65.  Previously the county council made a substantial loss by offering copies at just a fraction of that cost.

Full cost recovery for British Library requested books and articles is already in place.

5.Why have you increased the cost of reading group subscriptions?

We have increased Reading Group subscriptions by £5.00.  This covers the administration cost of collating and dispatching the sets.  The group rate is still advantageous for most groups, compared to individual Reading Group members each paying a 50p request fee for each of 12 books over a year, and not necessarily receiving them at the same time as other members.


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