Library fees and charges

Whilst it's free to join the libraries and borrow books there are charges for some services such as research, photocopying and printing and for overdue items. Please read through this guide for information on costs and charges.

Pay for overdue items

Log into your account to view your library fines onlineFines and charges can be paid in the library.

1. Reservations

Service Charge Westminster City Save card charge
Self-service reservations
  • standard: £1 
  • concessions and 16 to 17 years: 50p
  • standard: 80p 
  • concessions: 40p

Reservation of CDs free from 7 July 2016.

British Library or university libraries items (incl. choral sets and orchestral sets): an additional £14.

Customers with disabilities preventing them using computer terminals are entitled to requests at the self-service concessionary rate.

Request cards processed by staff
  • standard: £1
  • concessions: 75p
  • standard: 80p 
  • concessions: 60p
Reservation of periodical articles
  • standard: £1 plus 10p per page
  • concessions: 50p plus 10p per page
  • periodicals from British Library: £7
  • standard: 80p plus 8p per page
  • concessions: 40p plus 8p per page
Other reservation fees
  • homework items reserved by anyone 17 and under are free
  • reservations for selected DVDs at premium, standard and concessionary rates
  • audio materials to blind or partially sighted users and Home Library Service customers are free

2. Overdue items

Service Charge
Overdue charges
  • standard: 25p per day
  • 15 to 17 year olds: 10p per day
  • under 15 years old: exempt
  • language courses costing more than £100: £1 per day to a maximum of £20 (standard), £5 (concessions)
  • 17 to 18 year olds: £2
Maximum overdue charge
  • £10 per item (standard)
  • 15 to 17 year olds: £2 per item
Notification charge
  • £1 per adult notice
  • 40p per child notice
  • 20p per text notification (from 7 July 2016)
  • email notifications: free

3. Charges for lost cards and items

Service Charge

Library card replacement

  • adults: £3 per card
  • under 16 years old: £1 per card
Lost identifiable items (excluding DVDs) Full replacement price if in print. If not in print:
  • if the item has been in stock up to 2 years: full replacement price
  • in stock 2 to 5 years: 75% of full replacement price
  • in stock over 5 years: 50% of full replacement price.

Minimum charge: £7

  • linguaphone cassettes: £20 per cassette to maximum of replacement price of set if individual tapes not available
  • other language course cassettes: £10 per cassette to maximum of replacement price of set if individual tapes not available 
  • talking book cassettes: £10 per cassette to maximum of replacement price of set
Lost identifiable DVDs
  • full purchase price
  • minimum charge: adult and children's items: £7
Damaged items
  • full replacement cost
Lost unidentifiable items
  • adult hardback books or recordings: £10
  • children's items: £4
  • paperbacks: £4
  • videos and DVDs: £18
Items belonging to other institutions
  • full cost of recovery (including any penalty or administrative charge levied by the institution) plus £10 Westminster administrative charge

4. Photocopying, faxing and printing charges

Service Charge
Photocopying done by customers
  • black and white: 20p per page (A4) or 40p per page (B4 or A3)
  • colour: 80p per page (A4) or £1.50 per page (B4 or A3)
Photocopying done by staff for customers
  • minimum charge of £2.50 plus £2.50 per item handling charge for black and white, and colour photocopying
  • black and white: 40p per page (A4) or 60p per page (B4 or A3)
  • colour: £2 per page at most libraries or £3 at Westminster Reference Library
  • standard concessionary rates apply
Printing from microforms
  • 15p per page
Printing from CD-ROM or Internet
  • black and white: 20p per sheet (A4) or 40p per sheet (B4 or A3)
  • colour: 80p per sheet (A4) or £1.50 per sheet (B4 or A3)
Fax transmission and receipt
  • all faxes cost £1.50 for the first page (£1.20 with Westminster City Save card) and £1 per subsequent page (80p with Westminster City Save card) for both transmission and receipt
  • no concessionary rates and no additional charge for faxing abroad

Read more about printing and photocopying

5. DVDs, CDs, videos, language courses, talking books, orchestral sets, computer games

Service Charge Westminster City Save card charge
Music recordings loans No differential for boxed sets:
  • standard: £1.00
  • concessions: 50p
No differential for boxed sets:
  • standard: 80p
  • concessions: 50p    
Free for blind or partially-sighted users and Home library service customers
Talking books
  • standard: £1 per item for 3 week loan 
  • concessions: 50p 
  • standard: 80p per item for 3 week loan                         
Free to blind or partially-sighted users, Home library service customers and over-60s
Hire of language courses
  • standard: £2.50 per set (6 week loan)
  • concessions: £1.25
  • English language courses: free 3-week loan
  • standard: £1.80 per set (6 week loan)
Free for blind or partially-sighted users and Home library service customers
Online language courses
  • standard: £6 for 12 weeks access 
  • concessions: £3 for 12 weeks access
  • Online English courses: free
  • standard: £4.80 for 12 weeks access
  • concessions: £2.40 for 12 weeks access                      

DVD Subscriptions

Quarterly:
  • standard: £30 (2 items at a time)
  • concessions: £15 
Quarterly:
  • standard: £24 (2 items at a time) 
  • concessions: £12
Please note: Customers with a DVD subscription are not entitled to borrow DVDs free of charge at any RBKC or LBHF library.
DVDs from the collections in RBKC and LBHF can be requested for collection at a Westminster library branch and this entitles a subscription holder to borrow them for free.
Video and DVD loans Standard charges - varying loan periods
  • new release features: £2.50 for 3 days
  • features: £2 for 1 week 
  • TV series: £2.50 per week
  • instructional: £1 per week
  • children's: £1 per week
  • language courses: £2.20 per 6 weeks
  • English language courses: free

Standard charges - varying loan periods

  • new release features: £2 for 3 days
  • features: £1.60 for 1 week 
  • TV series: £2 per week
  • instructional: 80p per week
  • children's: 80p per week
  • language courses: £1.80 per 6 weeks
  • English language courses: free
Computer Games
  • standard: £2 for 1 week loan
  • concessions or Active Westminster Passport: £1
  • standard: £1.60 for 1 week loan
Orchestral and vocal sets loans View performance sets hire charge list 
(Vocal sets new from 7 July 2016)

6. Room hire, filming fees, window hire, notice boards, computers, headphones, cassette player hire, memory sticks and bags

Service Charge
Filming in libraries and archives More information on the Filming in Westminster Libraries page
Room hire at Church Street Library (discretionary) View fees for room hire at Church Street
Meeting room hire at Archives Centre (discretionary) View Archives Centre meeting room and equipment costs
Westminster Reference Library meeting room and art space hire (discretionary) View Reference Library meeting room costs

Art Space Hire:

  • £80 per week (£64 with Westminster City Save card), plus 15% commission on all sales
Community notice boards
  • £1.50 per advert per week (£1.20 with Westminster City Save card)
Computer use
  • one hour free per day for library members
  • additional time: £1 per hour pro rata (minimum charge 25p per charged booking)
Memory sticks USB memory sticks:
  • 2GB: £5.99
  • 4GB: £7.99

(this may change with supply cost)

Headphones (discretionary)
  • single set: £1.50

(this may change with supply cost)

Bags (discretionary)
  • plastic bags: 10p
  • fair trade cloth bags: £2 (£1.60 with Westminster City Save card)
Cassette player hire (Home Library Service only)
  • up to £10 per annum

7. Other types of membership

Service Charge
Visitor's subscription membership
  • £10 per month (2 books at a time)
Chinese Library Subscription Service (CLSS)
Friends of Archives membership
  • individual: £14
  • joint (2 people at the same address): £22
Local History Network membership (for societies)
  • £25

8. Research, training, advice and talks

Service Charge Westminster City Save card charge
Research (where available)
Archives talks and guided tours
  • at the Archive Centre: £90 plus VAT
  • outside the Archive Centre: £130 plus VAT
  • guided tours of the Archive Centre: £90 plus VAT

Reduced rates for bookings by WCC, school or adult education use or by Westminster Local History Societies:

  • at the Archive Centre: £65 plus VAT
  • outside the Archive Centre: £100 plus VAT 
  • guided tours of the Archive Centre: £65 plus VAT

Tea, coffee, biscuits, water or juice: £2.20 plus VAT per person per serving

  • at the Archive Centre: £72 plus VAT
  • outside the Archive Centre: £114 plus VAT
  • guided tours of the Archive Centre: £72 plus VAT

Reduced rates for bookings by WCC, school or adult education use or by Westminster Local History Societies:

  • given at the Archive Centre: £52 plus VAT 
  • outside the Archive Centre: £80 plus VAT
  • guided tours of the Archive Centre: £52 plus VAT

Tea, coffee, biscuits, water or juice: £2.20 plus VAT per person per serving

Training, advice, consultancy, talks and reminiscence sessions (beyond statutory service)

Negotiable subject to full cost recovery

9. Concessionary rates

Concessionary rates at 50% where applicable are currently available to:

  • westminster residents who are 60 or over
  • westminster residents currently receiving Income Support, Working Tax Credits, Housing Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • library users (regardless of residence) claiming Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Disabled Tax Credits or Disability Living Allowance

Appropriate documentary proof is required each time concessions are claimed. The Director of Libraries is authorised to modify concessionary eligibility rules for libraries and archives in line with any variation in the benefit system.

From April 1996 concessionary rates were also offered to under 18s on the loan of music recordings and this will continue.

Westminster City Save card, Active Westminster Passport, Senior Passport and WCC StaffCard holders are offered a 20% discount on many charges. This discount is rounded down where appropriate in order to present customers with clearer and more convenient pricing.

Visually impaired customers now receive better customer service by the removal of the requirement to produce, on every visit to the library, documentary proof of eligibility for exemptions. The concession status is now added to the computer system on enrollment (or on production of documentary proof) and this removes exempt charges automatically. The exemptions include charges such as reservations for audio items and loan of music recordings and talking books.


Last updated: 10 November 2017
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