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Date updated: 15/02/2024

Barbican & Community Libraries is the name for the City of London's public lending libraries. They are free to join to anybody who lives, works or studies or is a regular visitor to the City of London. Membership entitles you to borrow items and to access online resources at all of our libraries: Barbican Library (including Barbican Music Library and Barbican Children’s Library), Artizan Street Library and Shoe Lane Library.

How to join

Anyone is welcome to visit and use our libraries, but to borrow items you will need to become a member. 

Visit any of our lending libraries in person (just bring proofs of identity and address with you as outlined below), or fill in our online form in advance, then simply visit one of our libraries within three months of your online application with the required documents.                    

  • Anyone aged 18 or over can join free of charge as a full adult member provided they have suitable identification and a permanent UK address.
  • Young people aged 14-17 can show a school/college ID and school correspondence as proof of ID.
  • Membership for children under 14 will require a parent or guardian to provide their signature, identification and proof of address in order to complete the registration.
  • UK residents requiring temporary membership can join for the duration of their stay (minimum three weeks) by showing proof of a temporary address and identification.

Accepted forms of ID and proof of address

You will need to show proof of who you are and where you live when collecting your library card from one of our libraries. Two documents are required - one showing proof of identity and one with your address. Please see below for examples.

You can bring your ID in printed form or as a digital document.

Proof of identity:

  • Bank card
  • Current, valid UK photo-card driving licence with signature
  • Work pass, Freedom pass or Blue badge (all with photo)
  • Passport
  • National Insurance Card

Proof of address:

  • Recent utility or council tax bill, or tenancy agreement
  • Current, valid UK photo-card driving licence with signature
  • Recent bank statement
  • Medical card or medical appointment letter
  • Student Loans Company letter or letter from college confirming address
  • Hostel accommodation letter (for those with no fixed address)
City of London Public Library Byelaws PDF (80KB)
Date submitted: 3/01/20