Local libraries

Local libraries offer plenty of things to read, borrow, watch and listen to, mostly for free!
Library books for teenagers

You can find books in your local library on all subjects. But you can also find lots of other things. 

  • Books for homework and research
  • Graphic novels and comic books
  • Free high-speed access to the internet
  • Information on places to visit, local clubs and groups, health, and much more.

Depending on your local library, there may also be book clubs and job clubs for young people, rhyme time and story time for children, exhibitions, competitions and other events and activities.

Crucial: You can find your local library and see what events and services they have, on the Oxfordshire County Council Website

Join the library

Anyone can use the library. But if you want to borrow items you need to join and get a library card. This can be done either online or at your local library.

Did you know? The library also offers free access to books, magazines, music and more via the Libby app and other online services. 

Anyone who lives, works, or studies in Oxfordshire, or is a resident of one of the neighbouring local authorities, can join an Oxfordshire library for free.

How old do I have to be to use the library?

Children aged under 16 can get a library card! But you must provide the name and address of a parent, guardian or carer. 

Get your library card: You can join the library online or in-person at your local library.

You can go to the library at any age. But if you are a small child (primary school age or younger) then you must take a parent or carer with you, so they can supervise you, and make sure you are safe. Older children (secondary school age) can go to libraries on their own.

The library is a useful place to do homework, get quiet study time or just peacefully read. There are events for teenagers at libraries, like Book Clubs, job clubs and author events. There are also things like Maker Spaces, public access keyboards, enterprise centres and even knitting clubs!

Instant expert: Find out all about the extra services that makes libraries special for children in Oxfordshire.

Help out in your local library

Volunteers are crucial in libraries, and there are opportunities for young people aged 14 and over to get involved.

Libraries are staffed by librarians, but lots of volunteers support them. Volunteers in libraries learn about books, get valuable experience to put on their CV, and have the satisfaction of helping others.

The sorts of opportunities that are available include:

  • Summer Reading Challenge helper
  • Rhymetime helper
  • Library stock helper

To find out about opportunities, see here or visit your local library and talk to the librarians there about what you can do to help.

You can volunteer in the library as a part of your Duke of Edinburgh Award.

My Experience: 

When I came to Oxford, I was living in a tiny room, and didn't have much space for books. Also, I couldn't really afford books that weren't relevant to my course, especially the stuff I was into, like graphic novels and photography. The local library had lots of books about art and photography, and the teenage section had a good selection of graphic novels. I was really impressed by the illustration and found it inspirational.  Jo, 19

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