Cumbria Libraries Frequently Asked Questions

If you would like to join Cumbria Libraries, membership is free to all those who live, work or study in Cumbria. Visitors are welcome to join using a basic membership to have access to some of our in branch services.  To join either:

  1. Come into your local library where a member of staff will be able to issue your membership.  If you are over 18, you will need to provide proof of your name and address. This can be a driver's licence or a recent bill.  Full library membership gives you access to all Cumbria Libraries as well as a great range of digital services. If you have never accessed our digital library, you can use the Library contact form and a member of the team can provide your password.
  2. Join the Cumbria Libraries online. Once you have completed your membership application form it will be reviewed and approved. You are emailed your membership number as soon as you register but your application might be denied over the following days. If it is approved, you will then have access to our digital services. 

You can manage your membership account using our portal. Visit the site and log in to your account section, on the right-hand side of the screen. You can find your library membership number of the back of your library card; if you have a digital membership your membership details will be provided in your welcome email; if you have forgotten this or your password use the Library contact form and we will send you a new password.

Across the top of the screen, there is a search bar. You can search for book titles, authors, subject or if you aren't sure you can search for a keyword. Your search will return all the items available within Cumbria Libraries and provide you with information such as:

  • Language
  • Publisher
  • Availability
  • Library location

From your online portal you can request/hold and renew your books.  You can also submit changes for approval (address, name) and change your password for your internet security.

Borrow Box gives Cumbria Libraries members access to audio and eBooks for all ages, using a free app. To download the app, visit your phone or tablets app store and search Borrow Box. Once you have successfully downloaded follow these steps:

  1. Open the app
  2. Select the box called library press and search for Cumbria Library Service
  3. After this you will need to enter your login details - your library membership number and password. If you have forgotten your password use the Library contact form 
  4. First time you login you will need to complete the registration for the app
  5. There are 19 slides with tips on using the app
  6. Across the bottom of the app, there are 4 options: My Loans, audiobooks, eBooks, and search
  7. The search function is the easiest way to find new content simply search using a keyword; for example - "sport" to bring up a large list of audiobooks and eBooks
  8. In the top left corner of the screen, you can select to only items which are currently available
  9. By selecting an item you can bring up more information, and similar items you may enjoy
  10. On the bottom of the screen, you will find 2 options one which allows for a preview of the item and the other which allows you to borrow the item. You will need to confirm that you want to borrow the item.

Each library member can only borrow 6 items at any one time.

Press Reader gives Cumbria Libraries members access to newspapers, magazines, and comics from the UK and across the world free of charge, using a free app or web-based browser. To download and use the app follow these steps:

  1. Visit the app store of your phone or tablet and search for Press Reader, and download the app
  2. Open the app, across the bottom of the screen select the sign in
  3. Next there is several options you need to select Libraries and Groups and search Cumbria Library
  4. Using your library membership number and password. If you have forgotten your password use the Library contact form 
  5. As a new user you will need to complete the new user page and agree to the Terms and Conditions of the app. Your access runs in 30 days periods
  6. Across the top of the screen, there is the search bar function, use a keyword search to bring up a wider range of content; for example - "history"
  7. Your keyword will bring up all items which contain your keyword, select an item to bring up more information and other similar items
  8. Within the more information you can select auto-download to make sure you receive the latest releases.

If you lose your library card, you will need to visit your local library and speak to a member of the team. There is a charge of £3 to replace your library card which can be paid in the library. Our under 18s are allowed 5 replacement cards until a charge is made.

You can also download the Stocard app and create a digital version of your library card on your phone which works in the same way as your plastic library card.

Library opening hours are different for each library.  Find your local library location and opening hours.

Even when our libraries are closed, as a full or digital library member you have access to our digital content. This means we can now offer a 24/7 service and allow you to access thousands of eBooks and audiobooks, as well as a wide selection of newspapers and magazines at your fingertips. 

Download the following apps and use your membership and password:

  • Borrow Box
  • Press Reader
  • Libby

From the 1 April 2021 Cumbria Libraries no longer ask for fees and charges for the hire of items and overdue loans. We still have charges in place for replacement of items such as library cards, books, and story sacks. We do however ask for payment for some services such as photocopying and printing.

Details of our fees and charges.

To make sure all personal information for library members is correct and up to date, library memberships are reviewed and renewed every 3 years.

If you have an email address on your account you will automatically be reminded 21 days before your membership expires to check the accuracy of the details held.

Members without an email address on their account will instead receive a reminder letter, posted 21 days before your membership expires. If you would prefer to receive an email, please provide your email address to a library staff member at any time.

Our library service offers more than just books and offers something for all ages and many interests. Within Cumbria Libraries you can find a wide range of services such as:

  • Select and collect of books and other items
  • PC access, free for 2 hours per day for library members
  • Printing
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • Photocopying
  • Loanable dementia bags
  • Reading group loans

Other services your local library offer.

Cumbria Libraries are working hard to make sure libraries are safe and welcoming for customers and staff. 

All our libraries have hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes for our customers to use and we encourage all visitors to still wear a face covering where possible, although it is now no longer a requirement. Following easement of some government restrictions from 19 July we have been able to extend some opening hours and will be gradually reintroducing activities and in-person groups and sessions.

Find more information about our Covid-19 measures.

All Cumbria Libraries jobs are advertised on the Cumbria County Council jobs page