Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

If you want help with your studies, to learn a new skill, or just want to relax with a good book, Portsmouth libraries are the places to go. Not all nine libraries in the city stock everything, but you can request items from other libraries and we’ll send them to your nearest branch.

Alternatively, download e-books, audiobooks, magazines and music onto your home computer using your library card number and PIN.

If you’re not sure what to read next, we’ve even got books and websites to help you choose. The table below gives you some idea of what's available.

For more information, email

We’ve got thousands of titles covering a vast range of subjects for all age ranges and abilities. We regularly buy new copies of bestsellers and literary prizewinners, as well as more specialised materials and books in over 30 languages.

Our new eBook service Bolinda is free to use and requires your library card number and PIN to login - users can borrow four eBooks and four eAudiobooks at any one time for up to three weeks.


eBooks include titles by numerous bestselling authors such as Kate Atkinson, Bill Bryson, George Martin and Bernard Cornwell, as well as a range of eBooks for children and young adults.


You can also access Bolinda on your phone or tablet by downloading a free app called Borrowbox.

Digital comics and graphic novels are available online from RBDigital Comics. Titles include Black Panther, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spiderman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and others from Marvel Comics. You can browse them online and download unlimited titles - all for free.


You will need to register with your Portsmouth Library card, although if you use RBDigital (the library's digital magazine service) you can use your RBDigital login and password. The RBDigital app is an easy way to access both comics and magazines.


You can also borrow printed graphic novels from libraries, with particularly strong collections at Portsmouth Central Library and Southsea Library.

A collection of Quick Reads (simplified, shorter versions of popular books, both fiction and non-fiction) is available. Some even come with audio tapes, so you can listen while you read.

We provide books in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and resources for adult learners.

We stock a broad range of books on tape and compact disc - perfect for those with difficulty reading print, for listening in the car, or while ironing!


Our new eBook service Bolinda is free to use and requires your library card number and PIN to login - users can borrow four eBooks and four eAudiobooks at any one time for up to three weeks.


eAudiobook authors range from M.C. Beaton and David Baldacci to Bill Bryson


You can also access Bolinda on your phone or tablet by downloading a free app called Borrowbox. Further details and FAQs are available on the  Bolinda website.

Have you ever fancied learning a new language? We’ve got educational packs in a wide variety of languages for beginners, or for the more experienced linguist. Packs contain both a book and CDs to help with the learning process.

You'll find daily copies of the Portsmouth News at Central library.


Access the Portsmouth News, hundreds of national and international newspapers free of charge 24/7 with your library card via Press Reader - click on 'log in' then 'library or group', search for 'portsmouth' and enter your library card number.


Central library houses the newspaper archives:

  • Times newspaper archives from 1785 to the present day on microfilm
  • Portsmouth News past copies on microfilm
  • Local articles - contact the Portsmouth History Centre for further details

Online - you can download a wide selection of titles free to your computer or mobile device by registering your library card with RBdigital (formerly Zinio). Digital magazines have the same content as the print versions.


Magazines currently available to download include Auto Express, Cosmopolitan, HELLO!, New Scientist, Total Film and The Week.


Download the complete list of magazines available on RBdigital

  • CDs - Central Library has a CD collection covering tastes from musicals to opera, world music to thrash metal
  • Online - Freegal is a free music service with over a million tracks, from the latest releases to classic rock, jazz, classical or world music. Stream up to five hours of music a day, and download five new tracks a week to keep. Use your library card number and PIN to login

There are DVD collections in Cosham, North End, Southsea, Beddow and Central libraries and you’ll find everything from cartoons to classics, and blockbusters to Bollywood, as well as a wide range of educational titles to help you learn new skills or discover new facts.

  • Age restrictions are observed on DVDs according to their certification
  • Project Gutenberg offers free access to out-of-copyright books, by authors such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. No registration or password required.
  • The Big Project features online newspapers from around the world, with English translations.