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Children of all ages are welcome in our libraries.

There is something for everyone – no one is ever too young for a book!

All of Portsmouth’s libraries have books to suit every child’s taste and ability, from fun reads to homework help – they all stock plenty of non-fiction (fact based) books to help children with their homework.

For more information, email, or phone the Learning and Outreach Officer on 023 9268 8049

For teenagers and young adults

Head for the teen section of the local library to find anything from Marvel to Manga.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

One of the world’s most trusted sources of information on every topic imaginable. Their student and junior editions can be used in a Portsmouth library or from home. You will need a library card to log in.

  • student edition – suitable for young people aged between 12 to 18 years
  • junior edition – suitable for children aged between 5 to 11 years.

Follow the link below to find out more about other literary events for young people, such as the Portsmouth Book Awards – young people deciding their book of the year, organised by the School Library Service and local schools.

For children

Joining the library and borrowing books is free, and there are no fines for late return of items on the tickets of children under 16. We can offer special group tickets for individuals and organisations, from childminders and foster carers, playgroups to youth groups.

If your child would like a particular book that’s not on the shelf, but is available in other libraries in the city, we will have it sent to your local library free of charge.

All our libraries offer free internet access which children of all ages can use.

As well as board books for babies and picture books for toddlers, we also stock story books (fiction) for older children. To help parents and children select appropriate reading material, children’s books are organised in order to reflect reading ability and content. Children can also enjoy our range of audio books on CD and films on DVD.

Other reading services

Barrington Stoke publish accessible, enjoyable and unpatronising short books for children who are dyslexic, struggling to read, or simply reluctant to sit down with a book. Great stories by some of the best children’s authors.

For babies and toddlers

Books help babies and toddlers improve their speaking and language skills, and understand the world around them. Sharing books with babies and toddlers is a great way to relax with your child. Children who have shared stories at an early age have a real advantage when they start school.

Books are important for eye co-ordination, stimulation, bonding, language development and literacy. Joining the library is free, with no fines on overdue books or for damage to books for the under-fives.

Portsmouth libraries support Bookstart – a national programme encouraging parents to share and enjoy books with their children, from as early an age as possible. A free pack of books is available from libraries.