Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Suffolk Libraries provide a shared catalogue, offering a greater choice to customers. Peterborough Libraries members can now search for and reserve items from Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Libraries. A £2 charge will apply to reservations, to cover the cost of transporting the item to your selected library.

Members of Vivacity Peterborough Libraries can also borrow items in person from any library in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk for free and return library loans to any Cambridgeshire, Peterborough or Suffolk library.

SPINE Frequently Asked Questions

What is SPINE?

SPINE is regional library services working together to offer you more.

SPINE was formally established in 2011 between Cambridgeshire's and Suffolk's library services.

Vivacity Peterborough Library service became a full member of SPINE 2017 and from 1 October 2018 offers cross border lending.

How do I become a SPINE member?

You need to tell a member of staff in your 'home' library service (i.e. the one where you first joined) to let them know that you are happy to share your membership record (personal data) with other library services in SPINE. They will then 'tick a box' so that the library system knows that you want to be able to use the full range of services on offer. You only need to do this once.

Or, if you are not yet a member of the library, when you join you can opt-in to use the full range of SPINE services from the start. Unfortunately, at the moment, you cannot manage this within your online account if you are already a member.

Or, if you only want to reserve items and collect them from a SPINE library service, then you do not need to give consent for other library services to see your personal data in your membership record / account

How do I borrow an item from SPINE?

From the online catalogue there will be an option to search the catalogue of other SPINE partner library services. Once you have found the item you want you can request it online.

Or, you can visit any library in SPINE to borrow from their stock on the shelves.

Or you can ask a member of staff or volunteer on duty to help you reserve an item.

What stock can I borrow from SPINE?

Fiction and non-fiction books, DVDs and CDs can be borrowed (with some exceptions). At the moment Peterborough and Cambridgeshire customers cannot reserve Games (Nintendo) from Suffolk, items held at Cambridgeshire’s Library Access Points, mobile libraries, Peterborough’s Book Bus, Suffolk Children’s Centre’s and some other special collections cannot be reserved.

E-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines are not included in this arrangement.

How long will it take to get my item?

It will depend on whether the item is already on loan or whether other people have already reserved it. If they have you will be placed in the queue to borrow it when next available. There will be regular deliveries between the library services and then it will be distributed to your selected pick up location.

How is my item issued to me to borrow?

SPINE stock can only be issued by a member of library staff, unfortunately it cannot be issued using self-service yet.

How do I return an item?

SPINE stock can be returned to any of the library services in SPINE, but needs to be returned by a member of library staff, unfortunately it cannot be returned using self-service yet.

How do I renew an item?

Once you are a SPINE member you can sign in to the online catalogue of any SPINE library service and renew your items online. You can use the links from your 'home' library service to do this.

Or you can visit any library within SPINE and ask a member of staff to renew the item/s for you.

How long can I keep an item for?

You can borrow an item for the same length of time you would borrow the same item from your 'home' library service. Most of the loan periods are the same in the SPINE library services.

What charges will I need to pay?

It costs £2 to reserve an item from another authority in SPINE.

If you have visited another library in SPINE and borrowed an item then you will pay the fees and charges advertised for the service you borrowed it from.

If you reserve a SPINE item and collect it in your 'home' library service, then you will pay the fees and charges advertised for the item in your 'home' library service.

This applies to any loan fees for items such as DVDs and CDs and overdue charges on any item.

Which library service will send me notices?

If you visited another library in SPINE then that library service will send you notices; if you reserved and collected from your 'home' library service then they will send your notices.

What do I do if I have lost or damaged an item borrowed from SPINE?

The same rules apply to lost and damaged items from library services in SPINE as they do in your 'home' library service. If this happens, please do not worry, just speak to a member of staff or volunteer on duty.