Library guidelines for drama and music groups

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Group membership enables your drama/music group or educational establishment to borrow play or music sets at competitive rates. If you do choose to use our copies for a play production or concert, we would appreciate an acknowledgement in your programme.

To subscribe and be registered as a Surrey based group, your group must rehearse and perform mainly within the administrative area of Surrey.

Subscription membership is available to groups outside the administrative area of Surrey although different rates apply.

Registering your group

To give us all the details, complete the online registration form.

Designate a representative

You must designate one group member to act as your representative.

Your representative is responsible for:

  • keeping the card number and PIN safe
  • keeping all details up to date
  • any items on loan to your group
  • making sure that sets are returned complete
  • replacing any damaged or missing items prior to the return of the set
  • making sure all charges are paid
  • producing the card every time material is collected.

If your group treasurer pays the charges, add his/her contact details onto your membership record as a named contact. The card number and PIN can then be shared between the representative and the treasurer.

Your membership becomes active as soon as your card is registered on our system and your subscription has been paid. Your new card will be posted to you and the library card number along with your PIN will enable you to log into your online borrower account.

Keeping your details up to date

Once you have subscribed, please make sure your representative keeps all contact details up to date by logging into your online account profile or letting us know about any changes.

Any change of your designated representative - notify us immediately by using our online change of representative form. Your group will be issued with a new card which will be posted to you.

Care of music sets

Items should be returned in the same condition in which they were borrowed.

You must:

  • ensure all pencil markings are removed before you return the items.
  • notify us as soon as possible if the copies you receive have pencil markings on them. We will then contact the previous group borrower.
  • check the number of parts in sets at the time of the loan.
  • return orchestral sets with parts in running number order.
  • return all orchestral and vocal sets complete.

If, during the time you have borrowed the set, you lose or badly damage any parts:

  • we will ask you to replace those parts with new or good condition copies of the same edition.
    To help you to replace copies or parts we can supply publishers' details. Unauthorised photocopies or manuscripts are unacceptable.
  • If you cannot obtain replacement copy/copies, then we will charge you replacement costs.
  • In the case of instrumental, chamber or orchestral material where crucial parts are lost, the charge will reflect the replacement cost of the full work.
  • If a set becomes unusable due to missing items, your group will be expected to pay hire charges until they replace the items.
  • Any missing parts identified on return will be the group's responsibility.

Care of drama sets

Items should be returned in the same condition in which they were borrowed. You must:

  • keep the text free of any markings.
  • notify us as soon as possible if the copies you receive have pencil markings on them. We will then contact the previous group borrower.
  • check the number of copies in the set at the time of the loan.

If, during the time you have borrowed the set, you lose or badly damage any copies, we will charge you replacement costs.

Group loans and requests and reservations

Placing a reservation means that the selected material is held for your group and is unavailable for loan by other groups.

We encourage group borrowers to reserve materials in advance so you have the material you want, when you want it and in the quantities you need. When you give us details of the quantity required, the collection date and length of hire time, we will calculate the total cost. If you wish to continue, then we will reserve the set(s) for you. These charges will be added to your account and become payable at this point.

Material is loaned for periods of one month up to a maximum of 12 months. Late returns attract a charge.

To request your set, please use our online play set request form or music set request form below. Please note: items which are reserved more than a month in advance are subject to a non-refundable reservation fee to be paid when we confirm your order with you.

In light of the uncertainty of hiring stock for performance during the Covid-19 pandemic, until further notice hire charges will not need to be paid until the items are either collected from Ewell Library or until they are despatched to your nearest library for collection. In the event that you no longer require the items because of the pandemic, we regret that we will not be able to re-credit any hire charge to your account once your requested items have been collected or despatched.

Please be aware of our notice periods:

  • All types of music sets require a minimum notice period of one calendar month and may be requested a maximum of six calendar months in advance of the first rehearsal date.
  • Playsets require a minimum of two weeks' notice which extends to three weeks' notice if you are collecting your playsets from a West Sussex library. You can request playsets up to six months in advance of your first rehearsal date.

Charges, fees and payments

Always check our website for the most current charges.

Once we know which title and how many copies you want to borrow, we will tell you the total charge so you will be fully aware of the costs before you confirm your wish to borrow the material. Costs may include reservation/hold fee in addition to the hire charges. Please do read our refund policy.

Drama/play reading groups

Once you confirm you wish to continue, we will process your order. Charges will be added to your account within three working days and should be paid promptly. If you are collecting your plays at a Surrey Library, you may pay on collection.

Music groups

We will ask you to confirm your order and notify you when the charges have been added to your account. We would ask you to pay all charges within one week of having been notified, irrespective of when you will be collecting the material. Please be aware that your confirming your order means the material is held for your group and is unavailable for loan by other groups.

Please also note that replacement charges may be made for lost or badly damaged items as stated in the relevant section on the care of sets. You can pay by debit/credit card online through your borrower account (using the library card number plus PIN) or by telephone. Payment can also be made in person at any Surrey Library by cash, cheque or debit/credit card. If your treasurer is paying, please liaise with them.

Performance and royalties

Play sets on loan from Surrey Libraries are not necessarily released for amateur performance. In your own interest you are advised to apply to the publisher before committing yourself to a production. Similarly, royalty payments are usually payable on any music or play performed publicly and we strongly advise you to contact the publisher or the Performing Rights Society at an early stage.


Users of material borrowed from Surrey libraries are reminded that all unauthorised copies are illegal, whether made by machine or by hand.