What you can borrow
Your library card gives you access to all East Sussex County Council libraries. You can borrow items from and return them to any of our libraries.
With library membership you can:
- Borrow a range of books for adults, children and young people free of charge, including books in Large Print and books in other languages
- Borrow eBooks and audiobooks and eMagazines and newspapers
- Borrow DVDs, music CDs and audiobooks for a small charge
- Borrow reading group sets, playreading sets and music score sets for a small charge. Music scores and play sets cannot be reserved online. Please ask a member of staff at your local library
- Renew your items up to 5 times if no one else has requested them
- Reserve or select & collect items for pick up from your local library
- Access subscription websites for free in the online reference library
- Get free access to computers and wifi
Full members can borrow the maximum number of items:
- Up to 20 books
- 6 CDs
- 6 audio books
- 6 DVDs
Loan periods for items are determined by the type of membership you have. All membership types feature book loan times of a minimum 3 weeks.
Reading Well (formerly Books on Prescription)
Reading Well for Mental Health
Libraries have self-help books for people who are finding it difficult to cope or need advice on a specific emotional or mental health problem.
Topics for adults include:
- panic attacks
Reading Well for Long Term Conditions
Libraries have collections of books that provide information and support for people living with a long term health condition and their carers.
The booklist covers general advice and information about living with a long term condition, common symptoms and titles focused on specific conditions such as arthritis, bowel conditions, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Libraries have self-help books for young people and families who are finding it difficult to cope or need advice on a specific emotional or mental health problem.
- school and exams
Libraries have self-help books for children and their families who are finding it difficult to cope or need advice on a specific emotional or mental health problem. The collection is aimed at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11), but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.
Topics for children include:
- the world around you
- dealing with tough times
Libraries have self-help books for people who have dementia and are finding it difficult to cope or need advice about the condition.
- information about living with dementia
- support for relatives and carers
- personal stories.
Reserving self-help books
You can browse and reserve self-help books at your local library or online.
If you’ve been given a ‘Books on Prescription’ recommendation leaflet by your GP, counsellor or mental health adviser, you can reserve these books free of charge.
There are 2 ways to do this:
- Hand the recommendation leaflet to staff when you reserve a book in the library.
- If you reserve a book online, a reservation charge will be placed on your account. Just hand the recommendation leaflet to library staff on your next visit to a library, and they will take the charge off your account.
Using self-help books
Try to set aside some time each day to work with your book. Having someone to work through it with you can help.
If the book includes exercises or questionnaires, please make a copy for your work. You can make photocopies at the library for a small charge.
These books might not be able to completely resolve your problems, so if feel you need more help contact your GP or mental health worker.
GPs and mental health workers should contact us if you need more Books on Prescription publicity materials or the recommendation leaflets with prescription slips.
Free books for children - Bookstart
Bookstart is a national scheme offering free books to children under 5 years old and advice to their parents on sharing books with children from a very early age.
Details about each pack are below. To order special packs or ask questions, contact the Bookstart Librarian for East Sussex.
Bookstart Baby Pack
Parents are given a baby pack by your health visitor at your baby’s 3 to 6 month assessment.
It includes 2 board books, guidance for parents and carers, information about libraries and an invitation to join your local library.
Bookstart Treasure Bag for three year olds
Children aged from 36 months receive a treasure bag of books at their nursery, playgroup or pre-school. If your child doesn’t go to pre-school, our Bookstart Librarian can help instead.
The pack includes 2 picture books, guidance for parents and carers, information about libraries and an invitation to join your local library.
Books in other languages
Families, health visitors and early years providers can ask our Bookstart Librarian to include books written in English and a second language.
We offer Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Kurdish, Mandarin, Lithuanian, Nepali, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese.
Bookstart packs for disabled children
Parents and carers can ask our Bookstart Librarian if you need one of our special packs for children with disabilities.
- Bookshine pack for deaf or hearing impaired children up to 4 years old. It includes touch and feel book with signing, a signing rhymetime place mat and guidance for parents and carers.
- Booktouch packs for blind or partially sighted children up to 4 years old. It includes touch and feel and Braille books, advice about reading with blind and partially sighted children and lists of recommended books.
- Bookstart Star packs are for children aged 3 to 5 who have disabilities affecting their fine motor skills. It includes a touch and feel book, board book, animal finger puppets and resources to help parents and carers enjoy reading with their children.
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