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Request a library item

If you're looking for something that isn't in your library, we'll try and find it for you.

You can reserve items that we've got in Plymouth and we'll send it to your local library for you to collect.  This is free and we'll notify you by email when it's available. 

You'll need your library card and PIN to check our online catalogue and reserve items. If you're not a member, you'll need to join a library to get a library card and PIN.

If we don't have a copy we'll try and get one from another library. This costs £4. You can do this by completing our online form, email or ask in your local library.


If you need a book urgently, you can use our BooksFast service. You can request any book (whether or not we've got it) which has been published for at least three months. We'll deal with your request immediately.  Please note, depending on availability, it may still take several weeks to locate the item as we rely on other sources.  This is a premium rate service, please check our library charges.

What you can order


  • Fiction, both new and old
  • Non-fiction, both new and old
  • Reference books (we can't usually borrow these from another library if we've a copy of our own, but we'll try the British Library)
  • Theses
  • Conference proceedings
  • 'Grey' literature


  • Whole volumes
  • Photocopies of an individual article for you to buy and keep


  • Single scores
  • Performing sets for choirs and orchestras


  • Single copies of plays
  • Sets for performance


We can borrow some items we don't have from Devon and Torbay libraries.


We can borrow some items we don't have from Devon and Torbay libraries and other UK libraries.

How long you can keep it

If the item comes from one of our libraries, you can borrow it for the usual period and then renew it (or keep it for up to six weeks, for hired items.)

If the item comes from another library, we'll tell you how long they say you can keep it.

If the book comes from the British Library you can usually borrow it for about two weeks. If you want to renew a book from the British Library it costs £2.50.

If we supply you with a photocopy, once you've paid for it you can keep it.