Skip to main content

Libraries from home for adults

Libraries reopening news and updates

45 libraries are now open for public access. For the latest updates and information on current library services, opening hours and how we are keeping customers and staff safe, visit our Coronavirus information page.

Library services, information, and activities for people at home

Please also see our selection of activities and information for children.

New additions

We will be adding new content regularly so please check back to see anything newly added.

Do you need help in using computers, tablets and smartphones? Surrey Library Service can help:

  • Phone: Surrey County Council's Community helpline, 0300 200 1008
  • email: and ask for a member of library staff to contact you.

Families Magazine have published their third free lockdown issue packed full of more tips for parents and fun things for children.

Essential information for the over 60's including the latest magazine, silver grapevine.

The Community Zone at the University of Surrey's Student Union has been running a poetry campaign, with the School of Literature and Languages, to encourage students and staff to write about their experiences during lockdown. The poems submitted have now been collated into a digital anthology.

Explore the British Library offer a quick chat service for short research enquiries and get an instant reply.

The RNIB is offering free newspaper subscriptions for people with sight loss during coronavirus.


Surrey Library Services

Join the library - now even easier for children and young people.

eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eComics

Today's newspapers and magazines from all over the world.

Surrey Libraries' Reading Well – mental health self-help books recommended by GPs.

Surrey Library Online Reference Shelf: some fascinating resources, including the Times newspaper from 1785 onwards.and COBRA business startup sheets.

Find out more about how you can take your reading group online with our new range of eBook and eAudiobook titles for reading groups, and details of how meetings can be held virtually.

Take a look at all of our past on-line events on our new YouTube channel. Here you'll find crafts, poems and lots of fun things for your little ones.

Missed out on the free ancestry offer? You can still access all the records held by the Surrey History Centre for free from home. Head to our Online Reference Shelf for full details.

Return to top

Surrey County Council's information and advice

Surrey County Council's information and advice page, including what to do if you need help.

Surrey County Council's advice on self-isolation at home including mental health support and helplines.

Community Information Service: Surrey County Council's page for people who need help or people who want to help.

Everyday scams: Surrey County Council Trading Standards guides suggest you visit the Citizen's Advice pages

Activities for people at home

Libraries Connected, a team of public librarians from across the country, has produced Libraries from home, highlighting key services that can be accessed through library websites and social media platforms.

Share your experiences of life during shutdown: Surrey History Centre is inviting you to keep a diary of your thoughts, experiences and challenges during these exceptional times.

Return to top

Creativity and crafts

Creative Isolation offers a lovely roundup of activities and learning from a range of organisations

#Drawwithrob every day on Twitter every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am.

Collaborative social

Zoom is being widely used for families to get together. Free to use, for up to 40 minutes a day.

Houseparty allows you to chat with up to seven people at a time.

Fun Palaces are offering Tiny revolutions of connection, in which they are sharing practical suggestions as to how to connect more with your local community and pass their time creatively in isolation.


The Social Distancing Festival is celebrating art from all over the world.

The Lockdown Litfest is a global literature and culture hub.

The Hay Festival is offering podcasts, book discussions and free films.

If you have a passion for poems, take a look at our Poetry in Surrey blog, and make a suggestion or submission of your own.

Virtual museums has a map of virtual tours that allow you to experience some of the best museums in the world, from the comfort of your own home.

Take a virtual tour of the British Museum and explore two million years of human history and culture.

Google Arts and Culture has hundreds of collections of art that you can explore and experience.

BBC History Extra has removed its paywall. Listen to fascinating podcasts.

Return to top

Financial matters

The Money Advice Service has produced a comprehensive guide to Coronavirus and your money.


Explore some of the world's hidden wonders with Atlas Obscura.

Home learning

The Department for Education has produced an excellent list of resources for learning from home, organised by key stage.

BBC Bitesize offers in depth online learning. is offering free, high quality, digital and numeracy courses in The Skills Toolkit.

Feed your curiosity with Ted Ed animated talks.

Futurelearn offers free courses from Britain's top universities.

If you've ever considered working to support people with dyslexia, or want to refresh your professional skills, Dyslexia Action offer accredited virtual learning courses.


BBC Languages will give you a good start in 40 different cultures.

Memrise have free online language learning packages for a range of different languages.

Return to top

Physical activity and movement

PE with Joe Wicks – visit his YouTube channel. His daily workout has ceased but there are plenty of videos to help with fitness.

GoNoodle offers free movement and mindfulness videos for families to use when exercising at home.


In Arcadia book cover

Want to have a browse of some of the currently most read and talked about books, all for free from Surrey Libraries?

Are you Interested in joining one of many online reading and book communities?

What should I read next takes your reading preferences and offers advice on other books you might like.

Missing the opportunity to discuss books and interested in joining an online book club?

Have a passion for all things science fiction and fantasy?

Have a passion for the classics?

Finding the time to write and interested in joining like minded writers?

The Reading Agency have shared a toolkit for staying connected using books and reading during the current virus outbreak.

If you struggle to read or hold books due to blindness, visual impairment, physical disability or print blindness you can register for the free eBook library at Seeing Ear. All titles are available in Giant Print, braille and with synthetic speech.

Clear visual information designed for adults with Dyslexia can be found at

Scams awareness

Everyday scams: Surrey County Council Trading Standards guides suggest you visit the Citizen's Advice pages.

Coronavirus scams: Good advice for avoiding Coronavirus scams.

Return to top

Science and technology

We have created the Surrey Library lab, Which contains our own science activities for you to try at home and a variety of other websites that are offering science and technology content.

Browse the Wellcome Collection and view thousands of artworks, photographs and images.


Kooth provides free online counselling and mental health and wellbeing support for young people aged between 10 to 18 years. On, young people can speak to a counsellor until 10pm every day of the year, can access numerous self-help resources and share their experiences, creatively, through articles and forums.

The Healthy Surrey website is supported by the Health and Wellbeing Board, and helps you find self-care information, as well as signposting to local services available to you as a Surrey resident.

The National Autistic Society has created some tips for autistic people and families to help them cope in these unprecedented times.

Return to top