Select and Collect FAQs

There are three ways you can request items:

  1. If there is a specific item you’d like to request, log in to ‘My Account’ on the library catalogue, ‘Check Availability’ choose the library you’d like to collect from and click on the Select & Collect button. You will receive an email to confirm we have your request. Once the item is ready to collect we will contact you.
  2. You can email the library service at telling us what you would like to borrow. Please be as specific as you can to help us find you the right items.
  3. If you are unable to request through our catalogue or by email you can telephone the library you want to collect your books from. We will ask you some questions about what you like to read, listen to or watch. We’ll contact you when they are ready to be collected.

I don’t have a Barnet library card. Can I join to use Select & Collect?

Yes, you can join the library online. Once you have an email with your card number you can make a Select and Collect request. When you collect your items your new library card will be inside your Select and Collect bag. 

I joined the library online and have a membership number starting H0. I can’t request any books for Select and Collect on the library catalogue.

When you join online you are given an e-membership number to use our online services. We will need to upgrade your account to full membership so you can request items from the catalogue. You can still use Select and Collect by emailing or telephoning the library you wish to collect your items from. We will upgrade your account to full membership and give you a library card with your Select and Collect items. With your new card you can request specific items on the catalogue in future.

I’ve lost my library card. Can you give me a new one?

Yes, you will need to contact us about this before visiting the library. There will be no charge for replacement cards while we are operating Select & Collect.

Do you need my library card to collect the books?

No, your items will be ready when you come to collect them. Please make sure you give us your library card number when you contact us.

Do I need to bring a bag?

No. We will pack and seal your items in new paper carrier bags for you to collect.

Is it safe to borrow library items?

All library stock that is available for customers to borrow has been kept in a strict quarantine for at least 72 hours. Once staff have selected your item, they will place it in a paper carrier bag until you collect it. Staff will be wearing gloves and adhering to strict health guidelines when they handle library stock.

Can I just return my books?

Yes, Chipping Barnet, Edgware and Finchley Church End libraries all have an out of hours return bin outside the library which you can use at your convenience. At Colindale library you will need to return items inside the library during Select and Collect times.

Can I use the public toilet? Can I use the baby changing facilities?

All libraries are closed to the public at the present time. Unfortunately, this means that the toilets and baby changing facilities are unavailable.

Is there anywhere for me to park?

Parking is limited at all library locations. There is a small amount of parking at Chipping Barnet and Edgware libraries that can be used for a short time for the purpose of collecting books.

Why is Select & Collect only open at four libraries?

The current health guidance means we can only provide a limited service. We will be expanding our service as soon as circumstances allow.

Can I collect books for my friend/family? Will they need my library card or ID?

Yes, but you will need to let us know prior to collection. We will need to be informed of the name of the person making the collection for you, but no ID will be necessary. We won’t need your library card as the items will be ready to collect.

Can I just place an order at the door and wait for staff to pick the books I want?

No, items must be prepared in advance to minimise the length of the library visit and enable us to manage the number of customers visiting the library each day.

What if I don’t like the items you’ve picked?

We won’t always get it right but we hope to introduce you to new books and authors you’ll like. If you don’t like our selection please contact us by email at or by phoning the library you wish to collect from. We will be happy to select some more stock for you.

Can you go and get me some more or different titles?

Unfortunately, only titles that have been pre-selected will be available to take away on the day. If you wish to borrow different books, please contact us by telephone or email us at

Can I return these books to another library?

The books can be returned to any of the four Select and Collect libraries. Chipping Barnet, Edgware and Finchley Church End libraries all have an out of hours return bin outside the library which you can use at your convenience. At Colindale library you will need to return items inside the library at Select and Collect times.

How long can I keep my items for?

All items are loaned for six weeks from the date you arrange to collect them. We will automatically extend your loans until further notice so there are no fines during this time. You can check your loans in My Account in Barnet Libraries Online.

Will I get fined for books due back during lockdown?

No. There are no fines on books or CDs during lockdown. Your books will be renewed automatically for another six weeks when they reach their return date. Any fines on DVDs will be cancelled when libraries re-open.

Will you be getting new books? How can I get them?

We will start to receive new stock very soon. You will be able to request new books, CDs and DVDs by searching the catalogue.

Can I come in the library just to sit down?

No, the main library building is closed to all customers at the present time.

Can I have a look at the newspapers?

Newspapers and magazine are not available for library customers to view on the premises. However, we do offer a comprehensive selection of UK and international newspapers and magazines online at You can download the Pressreader or RBDigital apps and create an account with your library card and PIN. You can start reading newspapers and magazines straight away.

Can you do some photocopying for me?

No, this service is not available at the current time.

Can I come in and use a PC for printing?

No, the library PCs are not presently available for public use. We will be reintroducing this service in the near future.

What happens if I can’t get the items back on time?

All items are automatically renewed if they aren’t returned by the due date. We are not charging fines during this time. Any fines on DVDs will be cancelled when libraries re-open.

Do I have to wait for six weeks before asking for more books?

No, you can use the Select & Collect service as frequently as you want. We are loaning items for six weeks to reduce the number of visits you need to make to the library if you don’t want to change your items.

Is there a Summer Reading Challenge this year?

Yes, Silly Squad is a digital challenge this year. Find out how it works and how to join.

When will the library be open properly?

There is no firm date for re-opening libraries. The Government have said all libraries should remain closed to the public. This will be reviewed in July. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates.

When will there be any children’s activities in the library?

While libraries are closed we are running events for children and adults online. Check out our craft activities, rhyme times and Local Studies videos which are updated regularly.

Can I hire a room in the library?

No, all libraries are currently closed to library customers. If you are interested in room hire you can email the library you wish to book a room at and we will get back to you when room hire restarts.

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