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Membership is free

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Once joined you'll be given a temporary membership number. This number will give you access to nearly all our online resources such as ebooks, audiobooks, online newspapers and magazines.

If you want to take out physical books, put holds/reserves on items for click and collect, then you will need an actual Idea Store membership card. You will have to visit an Idea Store for this. 

Just go along to an Idea Store with your temporary card number above, and take some form of ID with your name and address on it. You'll be given a card.

With you Idea Store card you can order books in advance using our CLICK AND COLLECT service. Choose a book on our online catalogue and we'll email to let you know when it’s ready to collect.

When visiting, please remember to bring your Idea Store Card, in case you decide to borrow items.  Need help with the self-service?  No problem, our staff are there to assist you. We encourage customers to download the Idea Store App on their mobile devices, it is simple to use, and all our online services are available on it. You can link your membership barcode number to the App allowing for quick access on our self-issuing kiosks’ without your card.

View the Idea Store Rules and Regulations [PDF]

View the Tower Hamlets Libraries Byelaws

Data Protection

Your personal details are required for the creation of a library account. This information is held on a common database shared by The Libraries Consortium [TLC] authority members. It is password protected and only accessible to Idea Store and TLC staff.. Details of all completed transactions i.e. items borrowed and returned, are kept within the system for two years and details of non-completed transactions i.e. items borrowed and not returned are kept for six years. 

You can sign-in to our online catalogue to view the last 18 months of your borrowing history.

We collect and use depersonalised details, which do not identify you as a named individual for statistical analysis of our services, such as Idea Store Online usage and the number and type of library items borrowed. This allows us to review and provide better services.

When you register for a library account:

• We will need to collect your email address. This is so that we can send you pre-overdue, overdue and reservation notifications;

• You can choose to opt-in or opt-out to receive marketing emails that alert our members to new services and Idea Store courses that may be of interest. You can opt-out of receiving marketing communications at any time by using the ‘Unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of the marketing emails.

Borrowing books, CDs and DVDs from Tower Hamlets Idea Stores & Libraries is free. However, there are charges for some services and fines charged for loaned items that are overdue. Reservations for Tower Hamlets CDs and DVDs are free, however there is a premium charge of £6.00 for each item reserved from outside the borough.

Your loans can be renewed via the Online Catalogue.

You can borrow up to 12 items for three weeks including a maximum of 4 audio visual items. If items are returned late you will have to pay a fine. Books may be renewed up to 10 times if there are no outstanding reservations attached; you can renew a DVD or CD only once. See below for more detailed fees and charges.

Please note that these fees & charges may be subject to change.

Please note, if items are borrowed from a library outside of Tower Hamlets, charges for that library authority will apply.

For more information see our list of library charges 

24 hour service

Use this website or our app to use your own Idea Store 24 hours a day. With the app you can download films, music, books, magazines and newspapers directly onto your device for free.

Download the Idea Store app:

download the app apple  download the app google play


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If you need to contact us about anything please email  and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

View the Idea Store Privacy and Data Protection Policies