Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

Portsmouth residents can enjoy a huge range of entertainment, including music, books and magazines, while they're staying home. And it's all free.

All you need to do is use your library card, or sign up to be a library member online. Because although Portsmouth City Council's library buildings are closed, their digital services are available 24/7. 

Residents can enjoy all these free services: 

  • audiobooks and e-books, including bestsellers and online reading group titles 
  • unlimited music streaming, from rock and pop to classical and world music 
  • magazines and comics to download and keep or read online, including top national titles 
  • hundreds of UK and international newspapers, including The News


Plus, whether or not you're a library member, you can get lots of ideas to keep the whole family occupied on the Official Portsmouth Libraries Facebook page. These include:

  •  story videos for younger children
  •  ideas for art and craft activities to keep kids busy
  •  an online book club and record club


Twitter users can keep in touch by following @PortsLibraries

Cllr Steve Pitt, deputy Leader of the council, said: "While we're following the government guidelines and staying home, it's good to know there's lots of free entertainment available from our libraries. 

"Give yourself a break by reading a book or listening to some music, or pick something that will keep the children occupied. 

"Now's the time to make the most of what our libraries provide online." 

This is how to use digital library services such as such as Borrowbox (books), Freegal (music), PressReader (news) and RBdigital (magazines and comics): 

  • Library members just need their library card number and library PIN number to get started. If you don't know your PIN, you can email with your card number, date of birth and postcode and your PIN will soon be sent to you.
  • Residents without a library card can register at and set up a password and number. Click on 'register' at the top of the page or in the menu. You can then start using the digital services straight away.
  • You can download Borrowbox, Freegal, PressReader and RBdigital from your app store. Once you've installed an app, search for Portsmouth Libraries and enter your library card number and library PIN.