As the world celebrates the joys and importance of reading this World Book Day, it is also important to highlight the importance of our local libraries. 

With such a high abundance of libraries across County Durham, we have compiled a list of seven reasons why you might need a Durham County Council Library Card. 

The Northern Echo: Here are 7 reasons why you should have a library card this World Book Day

1. Joining the library is free for everyone.

The first and most obvious reason to get a library card – because it’s free.

To get a thrive library card all you need to do is provide one proof of identity which includes your address, such as an electricity bill.

If you don’t have proof, there is no need to worry, libraries can still issue a temporary library card meaning visitors can borrow up to three books and use the computer at any Durham County Council library.

2. Access to 12 books and 6 audiobooks at a time

With a Thrive library card visitors can borrow up to twelve books and a maximum of six audio books for up to three weeks. That is an awful lot of reading and listening to get through.

For readers looking for something specific, such as a book by a particular author, can reserve them using the library catalogue for a small fee.

As well as this, library staff can access almost any library in the country to try and find a specific request for a user.

Readers can also benefit from the Use Library Online service to browse the library catalogue, e-magazines, e-newspapers, e-comics or request an item or renew an item already on loan.

3. Computer and internet access

Another huge perk in owning a library card is that members can gain access to computers, which can be used for up to one hour (or extended if no one is waiting) and Wi-Fi at all Durham County Council Libraries.

With a range of software and printers and scanners available, access to library computer clusters can be essential for those without access to that technology.

4. Library on Wheels Service

Books on Wheels is a free service with Durham County Council libraries that deliver books to those who have mobility problems and who cannot use their local library.

Over 80 volunteers and staff deliver books across the region, directly to the homes of users. Providing all of the usual services expected from a library, users can access all the books they need including large print or as audio books.

The scheme delivers books on a regular day and time once every three weeks.

5. Access to 39 libraries

There are also a total of 39 libraries covered with a Thrive library card meaning that no matter where you are in County Durham, there will be an accessible library you can visit and borrow from.

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6. Community Support

Another extremely important reason to get a library card is to support the local community.

Facilities available at local libraries are vital to some members of the community, so by signing up for a library card and using it you are ensuring that libraries remain open and can access funding to continue to offer fantastic services to those who need them most.

Another example of a great library service in Durham County Council is The Bookbus, which provides a mobile library service to older people and people with disabilities in residential homes, day care centres and sheltered housing schemes throughout County Durham.

Visiting over 50 homes, centres and schemes every three weeks, so by having a library card you can support the continuation of this service.

7. Wide range of activities

There are a wide range of activities happening across the 39 libraries in County Durham. For all ages there is an activity for everyone.

During term-time many libraries host Toddler Time, which are fun sessions for under-fives to help develop their creativity and literacy skills.

For adults there are reading groups which offer fantastic opportunities to share authors and books, as well as make a few new friends.

As well as this there are Get Creative sessions to allow visitors to learn a new craft, share skills with others and work on on-going projects.

In town centre libraries there are also Discover Digital sessions allowing visitors to learn digital skills.

For opening hours and service information visit