How to access the best of Brisbane's libraries from home

The coronavirus lockdown is a great opportunity to cross some top reads off your library book bucket list.

Brisbane City Council’s 33 libraries may be closed for now due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), but you can still access their huge range of eBooks and eAudiobooks, language lessons, music, films and documentaries and eMagazine subscriptions.

Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said libraries offer a diverse digital service for residents to enjoy. 

“Council’s library members have access to more than 150,000 online resources, including magazine and newspaper titles in more than 60 languages," he said.

"This means even if you can’t leave the house, you can bring the library (including books, movies and music) right to your own living room."  

Library members can jump online and search for “library catalogue” on the council’s website to get started.

Here are the remote library options you can choose from: 

  • Read eBooks: Access eBooks on your smart phone, tablet or desktop computer. No matter what device you’ve got, you can download or read online for free as a library member and unlike the traditional paperback, there is an automatic return and no late fees. 
  • Listen to audiobooks: Perfect for the movers and multi-taskers among us, there are 41,673 audiobooks to choose from on the council’s library catalogue. Download directly to your device using a choice of platforms or listen online. 
  • Watch free entertainment: Enjoy free movies and documentaries courtesy of Kanopy, council libraries’ streaming platform. There are more than 30,000 movies to select. 
  • Listen to free music: Council libraries give you free access to the Freegal music platform, which has about 12 million songs (MP3) and thousands of music videos (MP4). 
  • Get the latest magazines: Stock up on a huge selection of magazines or comics using RBdigital, which gives you the latest editions and lets you keep the magazine downloads for life.
  • Newspapers and journals: Get into your passion, research project or read more news using the epic Council library database of journals and publications. 

Learn a language: Keep your mind active by learning a language. Council library members have free access to Mango Languages. It is downloadable on your phone from the app store, or on your personal device, so you can learn at the pace you’d like wherever you are.

Top Picks for Brisbane City Council e-entertainment


  1. The Dry by Jane Harper
  2. The Lake House by Kate Morton
  3. 488 Rules For Life by Kitty Flanagan


  1. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  2. The Midnight Line by Lee Child 
  3. Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

    How to gain access 

    Not a member yet? Sign up online for a temporary digital library membership. Digital library membership provides Brisbane residents with access to e-collections and resources until 30 June 2020. If you have an existing Brisbane City Council Library membership, there is no need to reapply.

    Quick e-access guide

    To start downloading, all you will need is your membership number and, in some cases, an email address. You can download the apps directly to your phone or desktop computer and get started or visit and search “Library catalogue” to read about the different free platforms on offer. 

    Home library service

    Not everyone is going to be able to make the most of the council’s library e-services, just like there are people who usually can’t make it to the libraries. To help those people we have a free library service to bring a selection of books, magazines, audiobooks, DVDs and CDs to registered home service customers. 

    What to do with your physical library books

    Brisbane libraries have extended due dates for all returns to 30 June and this may be extended for longer if needed. You can also return any borrowed books by using the after-hours return facilities outside your local library.

    Handy help on council’s website:

    E-books and downloads from Brisbane City Council libraries

    Borrowing e-books from the library

    Learn how to join Council’s library service