Borrow and Read FAQs

Borrow and Read FAQs

How many books can I borrow?

  • You can borrow up to 9 books at a time from any library in Northern Ireland.
  • You can also borrow up to 18 books at a time from the Libby app and these can be a mix of eBooks and audiobooks.
  • You can also borrow up to 18 books from the BorrowBox app. Note that you can borrow a maximum of 9 eBooks and 9 audiobooks.
  • All books can be borrowed for a period of 3 weeks and note that eBooks and audiobooks will automatically disappear from your device after this time.

How do I search for a book?

Use the search drop-down menu box on the top right of any of the web pages on the Libraries NI website and select any of the following options:

  • ‘Catalogue – All’ and enter in the search box either an author name or book title
    OR ‘Catalogue – Title’ and enter in the search box the book title or at least part of the title
    OR ‘Catalogue – Author’ and enter in the search box the author’s full name or surname.
  • Click on the Search button.
  • A search will bring back all available copies for a title. If the response is no results please check spelling and re-enter details. If it still brings no results then we do not have the book in stock. If a book is not listed on our catalogue a “no results” message will open with an option to “suggest a book” for purchase. Click on “suggest a book” link and enter the details of book required as well as your name and borrower number.

How do I actually borrow a book?

The book I want is already on loan what can I do?

How do I renew my book(s)?

  • You can visit or telephone your library or access your account on our website to renew your physical books.
  • To renew online go to our website and log on to your library account using your borrower number. Your account will show a tab to renew books. Books can be renewed individually or by selecting all and renewing all together.
  • eBooks and audiobooks will automatically disappear from your device when the loan period is up. 

I don’t know my membership number, what can I do?

  • You can contact our customer enquiries by phone or email to verify your membership number. Check our latest service updates for opening times.
  • You can also call into any public library in Northern Ireland and bring proof of your name and current address e.g. a utility bill or driving license. If you are under 16 you will need a parent or guardian to do this for you. Check our website for library opening hours. 

I don’t know my Pin Number, what can I do?

  • If you forget your Pin number simply visit the Reset My PIN web page (under ‘My Account’ on the top menu bar) where you must enter your membership number. When you enter your membership number and click on the ‘Reset Pin’ button an email will be sent to you within a few minutes with a link to reset your Pin. You click on the link within the email to set a new Pin for yourself. Note that if you have no email address associated with your account or you think it is an old email address that the library has on its records then please call into a library and ask a member of staff to update your account record with your current email address. Bring proof of your name and current address e.g. a utility bill or driving license.
  • You can also contact our customer enquiries by phone or email to verify your PIN number. Check our latest service updates for opening times. 

I’m confused with all the different apps, can you explain this to me? 

  • The Libby app is used for borrowing digital eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers. You will need to download the Libby app, open it and then enter a library name, followed by entering your Member card no. in order to associate your account and start borrowing. You can download eNewspapers in Libby although you will need to use the built-in PressReader facility as well. eNewpapers are available on the home screen under Extras when you scroll down the page. Tap on Get to visit the PressReader screen. Then tap Get Access and Continue to PressReader. where you will have access to Press Reader for 30 days. After the 30 days you simply repeat the process to get you next 30 days. You then have the option to tap on select publication. Find out more about our eServices.
  • The BorrowBox app is used for borrowing digital eBooks and eAudiobooks. After you download BorrowBox, open the app where the screen should be titled Sign in with your Library ID. Tap on Library and select your Library - you can search for your local library by typing in the name of the town e.g. Lisburn will bring up Lisburn City Library. When you have found the correct library tap on the library name to make your selection. Then tap on ID/Barcode and enter your Member No. and then tap on PIN/Password and enter your four digit Pin. Then tap on Sign In. You will be presented with the Terms and Conditions on first use and you can select Agree if you wish to proceed. You can then search for titles and begin borrowing. Find out more about our eServices.
  • The Libraries NI App provides links to lots of online library services including the apps above. There is an option to Join but you only need to use this if you haven’t got a Member No. already. When using for the first time you must tap on My Account and that will present the option to sign in. Tap on sign in and enter your Member/Borrower No. and 4 digit Pin. Alternatively you can scan the barcode on your membership card in order to sign in. If you tick/check the Keep me signed in you don’t need to log in each time you open the app. Tap on the Login button at the bottom of the screen and you will then be logged in to your account. The My account option will now display more options because you have logged in.
    The Libraries NI App provides direct links to the App and Play Store where you can download our other apps such as Libby. Latest service updates are available via the Libraries NI App and you can actually use the app option to scan book barcodes to see if a title is available in any library. There are links to our main social media accounts under Socialise if you want to keep up with everything that is going on in libraries.