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Service update:

Following latest Government guidelines all libraries are temporarily closed to the public. Some sites will remain open to offer emergency public computer access by appointment only, Registration appointments and Blue Badge assessments. Please check individual library locations to see what services are available.

e-books and e-audio

Covid-19 update 

Joining the library online now provides you access to our BorrowBox and RBdigital services for e-books, e-audiobooks, e-magazines and e-comics.

There may be an overnight delay between verifying your account on the email you receive when joining the library service and being able to access these services, but you no longer have to collect a card from the library to use them.

Please note: if you exchange your temporary card number for a permanent library card, BorrowBox will treat the new card number as a new account and your current loans and reservations will end. Please finish whatever you are reading or have reserved before exchanging your card.

Watch our eLibrary videos on YouTube for more ways to use your library online.


You can access thousands of e-books and e-audio completely free of charge through our e-books system BorrowBox. There are no overdue charges; items will be automatically returned at the end of the three week loan period. Have a look at the range of best sellers, popular fiction and non-fiction available - new titles are added regularly.

To login to these services you will need your library membership card number and PIN. The default PIN is your birthday in the format ddmmyy.

Please note: You can download e-books and e-audio to your device or computer, but it isn’t possible to read them online in the browser.

You may borrow up to 7 e-books and 7 e-audio at any one time. This is in addition to the 14 items through your normal Essex library card.

You can find more about BorrowBox on their help page. (NB. You need to be logged in to access the help section).

Login to BorrowBox

Help Guides

To learn how to access e-books or e-audio, have a look at one of our handy guides:


You can access over 1000 e-audio titles completely free of charge through RBdigital.  Many of these titles have unlimited access so there are no reservation queues. You can borrow 6 titles at any one time for a period of 21 days.

You will need to create or login to an account on the RBdigital system to download e-audiobooks. This is an additional account to your main Essex Libraries one.

If you’re creating an account you will need to have your Essex library card handy as you will be asked for your library number. You can also register for an RBdigital account using the RBdigital app.

Login or create an account

RBdigital also provide e-magazines and e-comics.

If you need some help setting up your account then have a look at the RBdigital support pages.

Using the RBdigital app

You can download the RBdigital app to your phone or tablet so that you can access titles from a mobile phone or tablet that you have already checked out on your computer, or you can download direct from the app.

If you need help downloading the app then look at the RBdigital support pages or you can contact the Library service.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle operates a closed digital rights management system and we are unable to purchase e-books in the Kindle format.

You can download books to your Kindle from the Amazon website.


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