Library news

Introducing BFI Replay to Surrey Libraries

We are proud to be partnering with the British Film Institute (BFI) to bring you access to 60 years of screen history, through BFI Replay. All available to use free of charge, library members can access the digital archives on the library computers.

With National Lottery Funding and the support of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, BFI have been able to digitalise thousands of moving image stories. There's plenty to choose from!

BFI also has a range of historical content, digitised videos and TV programmes from 1960s to 2010s, including interviews with authors, filmmakers and more.

BFI is an in library service only, so please pop in to one of our 52 libraries and see us to try it out for yourself. If you are a library member, you can pre-book a computer online.

Disclaimer from BFI

BFI Replay features 1000s of videos and programmes spanning six decades, from the 1960s to the 2010s. It allows people to explore thousands of videos and films from the collections of the BFI National Archive and partner UK Regions and Nations Film Archives.

The BFI (British Film Institute) and the Regions and Nations Film Archive partners take our role as guardians and curators of our screen heritage very seriously and have devoted many hundreds of hours to viewing archival material to ensure selection of the most interesting, entertaining and historically valuable content.

We have taken careful steps to exclude wholly unacceptable material from the platform, and to identify and label any sensitive material with appropriate warnings. But due to the very high number of titles involved, the BFI and our partners have not been able to view everything.

Multi-million pound transformation for Surrey libraries

A multi-million investment into Surrey's libraries has been approved by Surrey County Council's Cabinet to modernise services and create flexible, innovative and inclusive spaces that best meets the needs of our residents. This will revolutionise our libraries offer and make them fit for the future.

The first phase of this work will focus on key libraries including Epsom, Redhill, Staines, Woking and Weybridge with completion expected by the end of 2024.

The work is part of our library strategy focused on ensuring that Surrey libraries deliver a service that is fit for the future and accessible to all. The plans include significant changes at each location, including the creation of community 'Hubs' in Staines and Weybridge.

The work is part of our library strategy focused on ensuring that Surrey libraries deliver a service that is fit for the future and accessible to all. The plans include significant changes at each location, including the creation of community 'Hubs' in Staines and Weybridge.

For Epsom, Woking and Redhill libraries this means the creation of flagship facilities that will include:

  • Flexible meeting rooms with kitchenette
  • Moveable partitions/walls to create agile workspaces
  • Meeting pods
  • New furniture
  • A fully flexible layout throughout with space for events and performances, exhibitions, partner organisations and community use.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding of £500k has been secured for Redhill Library from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council.

For Staines library, this will include:

  • Creation of a state-of-the-art flagship modern Library and Cultural Centre
  • Relocation to the former Decathlon store located in the Elmsleigh shopping centre
  • The new hub will include Citizens Advice, Voluntary Action, Spelthorne Museum and other lettable space
  • Integration of Spelthorne Museum into the layout of the library will create an enhanced resident experience
  • External branding to windows and brickwork and landscaping to outside area.

For Weybridge library, this will include:

  • Extending the ground floor library space
  • Improving the current spaces and facilities to better serve the building's current occupiers such as Brooklands Radio and create a space for other partner organisation to deliver additional essential services
  • External upgrade to improve the look of the building
  • The refurbishment will also reduce energy use and carbon emissions, contributing to the Council's net zero ambitions
  • A fully flexible layout throughout with space for events and performances, exhibitions, partner organisations and community use.

Update for users with Amazon Kindle Fire tablets

Going forward, users with Amazon Fire tablets should download Libby directly from the Amazon Appstore instead of manually sideloading the app.

The OverDrive app will be removed from the Amazon Appstore on Wednesday 7 June, 2023. Fire tablet users who already have the OverDrive app installed can continue to use it for now, but it is no longer in active development. The OverDrive app will display messaging encouraging those with compatible devices to upgrade to Libby.

For more information see OverDrive's webpage: How to switch from the APK version of Libby to the Amazon Appstore version.

Health and activity trackers

Health and Activity Trackers are now available to borrow at Camberley, Guildford, Merstham, Redhill, Staines and Walton Libraries.

Are you wondering how to get motivated to move more to help improve your health and wellbeing? Surrey Libraries are working in partnership with Active Surrey to develop services and programs to positively impact the health and wellbeing of residents, focussing on physical activity.

As part of this work, you can now borrow a health & activity tracker (smartwatch) to track your activity levels and get more active.

The health & activity tracker is an Amazfit GT2 mini smart watch with amazing features:

  • Monitors heart rate, activity, sleep quality, and stress levels
  • 60+ activity modes
  • Easy to use & set up
  • Can be used with a dedicated smartphone app or standalone
  • Lightweight
  • Quick charging time with long lasting battery life for up to 14 days.

To borrow one of these trackers, simply visit either Camberley Library, Guildford Library, Merstham Library, Redhill Library, Staines Library or Walton Library with your library card.

If you are not a member, you can either join online or in person at the library. There is no charge to borrow the tracker and the loan period is six weeks. Each watch is cleared of all the data and information collected over the loan period to comply with GDPR and privacy guidelines.

You can check the availability of trackers on our catalogue. For borrower's manual, head to Surrey Active webpage.

As part of the loan process, the borrower will be asked to complete a short survey before and after borrowing the device. This information is to help evaluate the success of this new service and will impact future availability of the service across all libraries.

Provision of online resources from 1 April 2023

Following a review of our online resources, from 1 April 2023 the following resources will no longer be available through Surrey Libraries:

  • Go Citizen
  • Theory Test Pro
  • Times Digital Archive

Due to the low levels of use that this resources have received we can no longer justify the cost and after careful consideration will not be renewing our subscription.

We are committed to providing the best value for money for residents and will continue to prioritise spending in areas which benefit the most users.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding.

Surrey library CIPFA survey results

We're really excited to be able to share the results from the CIPFA (The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) survey we undertook earlier this year. For more information about CIPFA see their website.

Across the survey period we had a remarkable 9,000 completed surveys, which will provide us with invaluable information to help us evaluate our services and explore where we can make improvements.

The age range of respondents spanned from 16 to an impressive 101 years old showing that Surrey Libraries support our customers over their whole lifetime.

We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback detailed in the surveys and it was a pleasure to see how much our customers appreciated the service and dedication from our frontline staff.

Our question relating to loneliness highlighted the positive impact libraries have on the mental health of our communities, especially post COVID.

Some of the key results were:

  • 69% of our customers have been enjoying our services for over three years, and we received lots of lovely comments saying people had been a member for 30+ years and what an important role their local library had played in their lives.
  • The results also showed that our customers receive an outstanding level of customer care with 97% of respondents saying that they receive a good or very good standard of care when visiting our Libraries. Overall satisfaction was impressively high with 93% feeling good or very good about the library they visited.
  • 71% of customer's intended to borrow a book during their visit. Of those customer's 83% felt the choice of books on offer was either good or very good and 93% felt they were in good or very good physical condition.
  • Of the customers who felt lonely 62% said a visit to the library helps to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation and we had many comments saying what a lifeline the online services became when people were unable to visit in person and how important attending events and being able to see our staff in person was in helping people get used to the new normal.

These results are also reflected in many of the comments left by our customers with a number commenting on the importance of Surrey Libraries during and post COVID. The Ready Reads were referenced a number of times as a lifeline during COVID and customers enjoyed the chance to try new authors through books chosen by their local library staff.

Regarding the attractiveness of our Libraries, it was great to see Horley, Merstham, Dorking and Cobham topping the charts which demonstrates the benefits of investing in our buildings and highlights the future benefits of our transformation programme.

A selection of comments from our customers:

"The library is my happy space; the staff are always so kind and welcoming."

"The library is both an invaluable resource and a beautiful space. I have been visiting for over ten years and have always appreciated the helpful staff and broad selection of books. Thank you to all at the library – you are appreciated."

"Brilliant facilities for children with great staff that are friendly and approachable for the children to engage with."

And in relation to loneliness:

"Having access to so many books gives a sense of companionship and being amongst others who like to read gives a sense of community."

"Studying from home gets lonely, so just to be around other people is very helpful."

"Being around other people – a public space without having to spend money."

"Getting out of the house and seeing normal life."

Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey, the information we collected is proving invaluable in helping us to improve our services.

Login to your account

To login to your account, search the catalogue, renew and request items online, please use the Surrey Libraries' online system. You will need your library card (borrower) number and PIN number. Forgotten you PIN, please see how to reset your PIN.

Multifunction devices

All libraries (except the Community Partnered Libraries) now have new canon MFDs (multifunction devices) which print, copy and scan. Please ask a member of staff in the library. We are hoping to install these devices at Community Partnered Libraries in the near future. In the meantime please check with your local Community Partnered Library to see if they offer these facilities or see details under facilities on their webpage: Bagshot, Bramley, Byfleet, Ewell Court, Lingfield, New Haw, Stoneleigh, Tattenhams, Virginia Water and Warlingham.

Print from your own device

You can now print documents from your own device such as a laptop or mobile phone.

Log in to the PC booking system, using your library card number and PIN, and follow the instructions.

Once submitted, your files will be securely processed and prepared for printing within the next few minutes.

You can then pay for and collect your print jobs at one of the self service kiosks or by speaking to a member of staff in your nearest library.

Your print job will then be available for the next 3 hours. Printing charges apply and are paid at point of collection.

Borrowing stock from other libraries in the Libraries Consortium (TLC): your questions answered

When will I get access to stock from across The Libraries Consortium (TLC)?

Stock from across The Libraries Consortium (TLC) will be available from 23 November 2021. You can place reservations on titles on the catalogue regardless of where they are in the consortium. This is a huge increase in the choice of books and other lending materials available including foreign language stock and specialist collections; Borrowers will now have access to over eight million items of stock from over 380 branches.

Please note that this currently only applies to physical stock and not eResources such as eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines.

How do I search for books on the catalogue?

The catalogue is set to Surrey Libraries stock in the first instance, but the search can be expanded to include all consortia libraries. This can be done by selecting 'Everything' in the location search field of our catalogue.

If I reserve an item from another library in the consortium how long will it take to arrive?

There will be twice weekly visits to the central point of collection for the consortium for bringing items to and from Surrey. Those items will then be sorted and distributed, as usual, ready for you to collect your reservation from your local library. This service will be monitored during the first few months, and, if necessary, we will adjust it to ensure your items don't take too long to arrive.

Can I return items borrowed at other TLC libraries to libraries in Surrey and the other way around?

Yes, you can return items to any library in the consortium.

How does it work if I use my library card in other TLC libraries?

If you borrow items directly from another TLC member you will be subject to their policies and procedures around loan periods, fees, and charges. However, if you borrow your item from a Surrey library as normal you will continue to be charged our fees and charges whether your item is fulfilled by Surrey stock or consortia stock.

Will I be able to use other services, such as computers and wi-fi, in other TLC libraries?

Yes, you will be able to use PCs in all libraries and wi-fi in most libraries, subject to their local policies and procedures.

What happens if I am already a member of another library service within TLC?

You will no longer need two library cards and we encourage members to only have one card. In this instance we would suggest keeping the card for the library service you use the most and shutting down your other membership.

Please speak to a member of staff, in the Library service where you are shutting down your membership, if you wish to do this.

Will people from other libraries in the consortium be able to reserve Surrey stock?

Yes. In the case of new Surrey stock this will be after a set period of 42 days to ensure that Surrey customers have priority access to new Surrey stock. Other collections such as our New Titles and Bestseller promotions are also restricted from consortia borrowing.