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Library cards and membership types

Different types of membership

There are lots of different ways to be a member of the Essex Library Service. In addition to your personal membership we have library cards for tutors, home educators, playgroups, childminders, care homes and book groups. Please ask library staff for details.

Joining the library is simple and free. If you’ve never been a member before we don’t need to see any ID. You can borrow up to 14 items a time. You can borrow books, e-books and e-audio for three weeks and DVDs music CDs for one week (there is a small charge for CDs and DVDs).

Adult card

From age 17

Children's card

For 0 to 11 year olds.

There are no charges on overdue children’s books borrowed on a child card.

Young adult card

For 12 to 16 year olds

There are no charges on overdue books borrowed on a young adult card.

Memory support card

For adults who have memory problems, perhaps due to:

  • Dementia
  • learning difficulties
  • mental health issues

This card doesn’t incur any fees, so if you forget to return your items on time, you won’t be charged.

Access card

For adults and children who have difficulties accessing print. This card gives free access to all audio and DVD collections.

Friends and family card

This card enables you to borrow items for a friend or family member who can no longer visit the library.

Lost library card

You will need to come into a library to get a replacement card or to reactivate your account. You must bring identification with your name and address on it such as a driving licence, passport or recent utility bill. There is a charge of £1.10 for replacing lost or damaged library cards.

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