Children under 12
Children under the age of 12 are not issued with a library card but can use the reading rooms if they are accompanied by an adult who has a library card.
This would normally be a parent or guardian and a ratio of one adult to two children would normally apply for personal visits. The adult will be responsible for the child/children at all times.
The reading rooms are for research and tend to be quiet spaces. If you are bringing babies or very young children in pushchairs, the Discovery Room is a more relaxed area and may be more suitable. If you want to discuss your visit in advance, contact us or talk to staff at Readers' Registration.
Children aged 12 to 15
We do not normally issue a library card to children aged 12-15.
Children visiting with a responsible adult will be issued with a letter which they should carry with them during their visit and show to staff as required. This allows them to enter/leave the reading rooms independently, e.g. to use the toilets.
In exceptional circumstances we may allow unaccompanied children access to see specific items which are unavailable in other libraries. While we will try to accommodate unaccompanied children who wish to use the Library, we will refuse access if a child's safety or wellbeing may be compromised.
The responsible adult must complete a registration form (PDF) (32 KB: 2 pages) to request access for an unaccompanied child. They must also accept the Library's terms and conditions on behalf of the child. This will usually require them to accompany the child to register. If this is not possible, then the responsible adult should contact email@example.com to discuss the access arrangements for the child.
Children aged 12-15 may not have the usual acceptable identification and proof of address. In this case we require the address and identification to be verified by the responsible adult, who in turn must provide acceptable proof of their own address and identification.
Once a child's identification and proof of address have been verified and the responsible adult has completed the registration form and accepted the terms and conditions then the child will be issued with a short-term card.
The issuing of collection items to unaccompanied children will be at the discretion of reading room staff.