Bookstart & Library Services

Waltham Forest Libraries support literacy and lifelong learning and provide a wide range of services that promote the exploration of the world of art, culture and literature including the management of the universal bookstart offer; school class visitse-learning resource; free library membership and school library service

You can never get enough books into the hands of enough children!
- Dolly Parton, Author and Musician

Bookstart Universal Offer

Bookstart is the first National Books for Babies Programme in the world. The aim is to provide every child of 4 and under with two Bookstart packs free of charge to promote the idea of book-sharing and a lifelong love of books with parents and carers.

Two packs are universally gifted and are available to order for your early years settings or schools:

  • Bookstart Baby (available for children 0 to 12 months)
  • Bookstart Treasure Pack (available for children aged 3 to 4 years)

To place an order, please download and complete a Bookstart Delivery Request form and send it to Libraries support.

Bookstart Corner

Bookstart Corner is Book Trust's targeted programme delivered in partnership with Children's Centres. It supports Children’s Centres across England to help families that need the most support to develop a love of stories, books and rhymes.

Aimed at families with children aged 12 to 24 months, the programme allows centres to offer intensive support for parents and carers so that they may read together for pleasure with their children with confidence.

All Children's Centres that sign up receive a number of free resources to use to help them build on the work already carried out with families. Each centre also receives either 25 or 50 packs, containing two picture books and guidance materials, to gift to families.

Bookstart Corner is free to deliver. If you are interested in your Centre taking part please speak to your Children’s Centre Cluster Coordinator in the first instance. 

School Class Visits

Waltham Forest Libraries would be delighted to welcome your class to the library on a visit. We offer introductory tours for school classes to show children the library, sign them up for membership (we’ll supply you with the forms ahead of your visit for parents to complete) and depending on the time you’ve got, read some stories too.

To book a class visit please phone your nearest library on 020 8496 3000 or email:

We are also available to attend parents’ evenings, school fairs and open days to promote reading and the library offer to parents and children alike. If you would like to arrange this or have any other enquiries about how else the library might support your school please email library promotions.

E-Learning Resources

The E-Learning resource includes access to over 400 online learning courses and computer skills. This is accessed simply by registering with your Waltham Forest library membership card.

Free Library Membership

Free library membership, which includes free access to computers and the Internet to all those living, working and attending full-time education in Waltham Forest. 

Schools’ Library Service

The Schools' Library Service is a subscription-based support service for schools which provides advice and guidance as well as topic packs and fiction loans.

Waltham Forest Council do not currently have a Schools’ Library Service offer in place, however schools can subscribe to and access the Redbridge Schools’ Library Service.

Last update: Wednesday 15th of April 2020 02:01:12 PM