Libraries Services

Swanage Library

Borrow books, attend a regular club, check out the latest library event or simply pop in to this welcoming space in the heart of town

Swanage Library is set in the heart of town and is open four days a week, and holds regular weekly, monthly and one-off special events.

First opened in 1965, Swanage Library continues to be an important social and community hub for the town.

The quirky, dodecahedron-shaped building has a great selection of the latest fiction and non-fiction, along with a range of audiobooks, and lots of other items to borrow such as DVDs, CDs and maps. And if there’s a book you’re keen to read that isn’t available, you can easily reserve or order a copy.

The friendly staff at Swanage Library are always on-hand to offer advice and support, and run a programme of events for all ages – from Rhyme Time for preschoolers to regular coffee mornings and craft activities. The team also run seasonal events, such as at Christmastime and during school holidays, as well as author talks and presentations.

Reserve, borrow and return books at the library and check the noticeboard on your way in for the latest community news for something to get involved in.

The Swanage Library building itself is a bright and welcoming space, with the upstairs being flooded with light through its 360° windows, making it a pleasant place to browse the library’s books or spend time with like-minded people at its drop-in ‘cuppa & company’ sessions.

Weekly events

There are regular events at the library throughout the year, providing a fantastic source of information, new skills and social interaction for young and old alike:


Cuppa & Chat and Ctizens Advice drop-ins at Swanage Library
Community drop-in events at the library
  • Cuppa & Company – Enjoy a free hot drink and biscuits, and enjoy the library’s warm and welcoming space, 10.30am – 12.30pm
  • Digital Campion – Online advice session, 2.30pm – 4.30pm (please book in advance)
  • Colour Me Happy – Adult colouring session, 4 – 6pm


  • Citizens Advice Bureau – Drop-in sessions every Wednesday, except the first Wednesday of the month, 10am – 12pm
  • Books & More – Adult’s book group & discussion. Third Wednesday of the month, 10.30 – 11.30 am (book in advance)


Children's area of Swanage Library
Children’s toys and books
  • Volunteer bureau – 10.30am – 12.30pm
  • Rhyme Time – Songs & stories for under 5s, 11am – 11.30am


  • Lego Club – Fun Lego drop-in session from 10am – 12pm
  • Crochet Creations – Learn a new craft or improve your crochet skills. Suitable for all abilities. First Saturday of the month, 2 – 3.30pm (booking essential)

Opening times

  • Monday – 10am – 6.30pm
  • Tuesday – Closed
  • Wednesday – 9.30am – 5pm
  • Thursday – Closed
  • Friday – 9.30am to 5pm
  • Saturday – 9.30 – 4pm
  • Sunday – Closed
Outside Swanage Library
Swanage Library

Library membership & how to join

It’s easy to join Swanage Library – simply pop in during opening hours with your proof of address.


Membership allows you to borrow books, audio books and DVDs, as well as giving you access to various online resources such as e-readers and digital magazines, comics and reference.

Archway through to Swanage Library and The Anchor Inn
Swanage Library on High Street

You can also easily sign up for digital membership online at home, but you’ll need to have full membership to borrow physical items from the library.

Your library card is valid in all 31 Dorset libraries as well as any LibrariesWest library, which includes Poole, Bath & Somerset and Bristol & South Gloucestershire. Your resources can be reserved, borrowed and returned from any of these libraries and you are free to use all library computers.

For a list of Dorset libraries visit:

Libraries West services can be found here:


Bring your proof of address to the library to join. Accepted documents include your driving licence, a utility bill (dated within the last three months), a bank statement or wage slip.

For a full list of proof-of-address documents accepted, and for visitor information, visit the library website.

Swanage Library books
Bookshelves on the upper floor


Swanage Library has a wheelchair and buggy-accessible entrance and internal access. There’s also an accessible lift to the first floor.

The library also has a disabled toilet and baby-changing facilities.

Swanage Library offers services for visually-impaired customers, as well as a home-library service for the housebound, people living in residential or nursing homes or sheltered housing (see below).

If you or a family member is on the autistic spectrum you’ll find various resources such as a picture journey or visual tour of Swanage Library, as well as a good variety of books, chosen and recommended by professionals, that may offer support – these include topic such as child, teen, women and adult support, as well as diet, sensory aspects and informative autistic spectrum guides. Ask at the library or explore titles here:

Home library service

Your local library to your doorstep (image credit Royal Voluntary Service/Dorset Council)

If you’re unable to visit the library due to health or mobility issues or caring responsibilities, Dorset Council’s Home Library Service can help.

This free service can be a lifeline to keep you reading books or enjoying talking books.

You can get in touch with the service by calling 01305 236666 or emailing

Alternatively, contact Dorset Library Service: 01305 225000 or email

Location in town

📍 30-32 High Street BH19 2NU

Find Swanage Library on High Street in the centre of town and just a short stroll from the beach.

It’s adjacent to The Anchor Inn pub, opposite Purbeck New Wave Gallery and close by to various eateries such as Love Cake, Java Coffee House and Chococo, so you can combine your trip to the library with a treat!

There’s some short-stay on-street parking further along High Street. Alternatively Co-Op’s car park and Mermond Place are both just a five-minute walk away.

Swanage Library location in town (credit: Google Maps)

Contact details

For full information on Swanage Library and to keep up-to-date with library talks and events visit the library website or follow the Friends of Swanage Library on Facebook

ℹ️ Library website:

  • 📞 Telephone number: 01929 423485
  • 📥 Email address:

Friends of Swanage Library

The Friends of Swanage Library is a group of local people who support the library, in partnership with the Purbeck Development Trust.

The library is always keen to welcome new Friends, and volunteers are actively encouraged to come along and get involved.

ℹ️ Find out more on their Facebook page: or email:

More libraries in Purbeck

There’s another council-run library in Wareham and a smaller, community-run library in Corfe Castle.

Signage and hanging basket outside Wareham library
Wareham Library & Information Centre

Wareham Library is located on South Street and is open every day except Wednesday and Sunday as follows:

  • Monday – 10am – 5pm
  • Tuesday – 2pm – 6.30pm
  • Thursday & Friday – 9.30am – 5pm
  • Saturday – 9am – 12.30pm


Flowers, bench and defibrilator outside Corfe Castle library
Corfe Castle Library

Corfe Castle Community Library is right next to the village hall and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the following times:

  • Monday – 3pm – 5pm
  • Wednesday – 10am – 12pm & 3pm – 5pm
  • Saturday – 10am – 12pm