Borough-wide services

What you can borrow

You can borrow a wide range of items, including books, audio books, DVDs and CDs.

Adults (ages 16 and over)

  • 16 books and/or audiobooks on tape and CD can be borrowed for 3 weeks
  • 4 music CDs can be borrowed for 3 weeks
  • 4 DVDs can be borrowed for 1 week
  • 2 language courses can be borrowed for 3 weeks

Children and young people (ages up to 15)

Under 16s can borrow up to 12 items at a time.

  • Books, audio books, CDs and language courses can be borrowed for 3 weeks
  • DVDs can be borrowed for 1 week

Find out how much we charge for hiring CDs, DVDs and language courses.

Books in other languages

Our libraries stock a selection of books in these languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bangla
  • French
  • Gujarati
  • Hindi
  • Polish
  • Punjabi
  • Spanish
  • Tamil
  • Turkish
  • Urdu

For more information or book selection choice, contact your local library.

Reading Well

Reading Well supports you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using helpful reading.

The books are all recommended by health experts, as well as people living with the conditions covered and their relatives and carers.

You can be recommended a title by a health professional, or you can visit your local library and take a book out yourself. If the book you need is not available, you can reserve it online to pick up from any library in the borough.

There are five book lists available:

  1. Reading Well for mental health
  2. Reading Well for young people
  3. Reading Well for children
  4. Reading Well for dementia
  5. Reading Well for long term conditions

Reading Well was recognised by the Royal Society for Public Health as a finalist for the 2017 Public Mental Health and Wellbeing Award

Reading Well Mood-boosting Books

Reading Well Mood-boosting Books is a national promotion of uplifting titles, including novels, short stories, poetry and non-fiction for all ages. The books are all recommended by readers and reading groups.

All titles can be borrowed from Barking and Dagenham Libraries. If you are not a library member you can join online

Reading Well website 

School visits and talks

Visits by school classes to any borough library are very welcome. They can be arranged with the library you wish to visit.

School library service

The school library service provides a wide range of resources for:

  • primary teachers
  • student teachers
  • advisory teachers

working in Barking and Dagenham.

Visits are by appointment only, Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm (including school holidays).

Contact us to find out if your school subscribes to the service or for more information:

020 8724 8531

Curriculum support loans

Primary phase teachers working in the borough can borrow up to 30 books and one audiovisual item at a time to use in the classroom.

Resources are chosen with the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and 2 of the National Curriculum in mind. New titles are regularly added.

Collections are issued for a term, and can be renewed for a further term. Loans can be exchanged more often if required.

A van service delivers and collects the loaned items. Loans are automatically delivered as soon as possible after being requested, but schools need to contact us (details at the bottom of the page) to arrange for collection.

Delivery and collection day is usually a Thursday.

Special loan collections

We have special loan collections which can be requested in the same way as Curriculum Support Loans. The range includes:

  • material for Black History Month
  • author collections
  • folk and fairy tales
  • challenging picture books

Book purchase scheme

Subscribing schools are welcome to visit us to select books for their school library or classroom collections. Visits are by appointment only, Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm (including school holidays).

You can choose from a wide range of:

  • fiction and non-fiction texts
  • dual language books
  • SATs titles
  • big books

We can order titles or subjects not available.

If teachers find it difficult to access the showroom, our staff can select material on their behalf.

Schools can invest in extra books by transferring money from their budgets.