Warm spaces, books, internet access and events; the library has many ways to support you through the cost-of-living crisis. Using the resources available to you as a library user, this blog post will explore how the Richmond upon Thames Library Service can help you. Do be sure to also take a look at Richmond Council’s cost of living hub here, for all the other resources available you.

Household Bills & Costs

Did you know that with your library membership you can get free access to Which? magazine? Which? raises awareness of consumer rights, promotes informed consumer choice through conducting experiments on the latest products, and offers independent advice. Which? is currently focusing on the cost of living, providing information on the best ways to save money, through finding the best deals, or informing you about your rights as a consumer. Library users can access Which? online through our public network computers, available at every library, or take a look at our physical copies in Teddington, Twickenham, who keep back files up to two years, and the Reference library that has complete back files! You can read out previous post on Which? magazine here.

Money: Grants & Benefits

Though not the first place people think of, the Richmond Information & Reference library is an invaluable source of reliable, free information about the rights you have regarding housing, accessing grants, and benefits.


Help With Housing Costs, Vol 1 & 2 issued by Shelter. These books provide information about help with personal housing costs from universal credit, mortgage interest loans, to council tax rebates, and are designed for easy use.


The Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook, provides comprehensive coverage of all social security benefits and the tax credits scheme.

The Disability Rights Handbook provides in-depth information and guidance on the benefits system and social care services.


The Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need 2022 – 2023 provides a wide range of funds and other support available for the relief of individual poverty and hardship.


Job hunting and all it involves can be a daunting process. If you need help writing a CV, switching jobs, or earning a promotion, we have a wide array of books to help you out. Some of the books we have include:

Front cover of the book 'The Ultimate Job Hunting Book.' Front cover of 'Ultimate Job Search' sixth edition, by Lynn Williams. Front cover of 'Ultimate CV' by Martin John Yate.From cover of 'What color is your parachute? Job-hunter's workbook' by Richard N. Bolles.

Be sure to take a look at our catalogue (linked at the bottom of the article) to see our whole collection, or head to your local library and have them point you in the right direction.

Transform Work Life

In addition to books, Richmond libraries also offers Transform Work Life. Taking place in Richmond’s Old Town Hall, Transform Work Life is a collaboration between a Careers Development Institute registered practitioner and mentor and Richmond Libraries.

It will deliver a series of interactive seminars aimed at developing knowledge and understanding of your personal and professional skills, to enhance employability and to encourage potential transformation in your work and life situation. You can read more about it here.

Sessions are free, but please remember to book in advance.


Budget recipe books are a useful source of information when it comes to cooking up tasty meals that meet both nutritional requirements, and are good value for money. Some of the books we have available include:

Front cover of 'A Girl Called Jack: 100 Delicious Budget Recipes' by Jack Monroe. Front cover of 'The Batch Cook Book' by Sam Gates. Front cover of 'Feed your family for £20 a week'Front cover of the recipe book 'Green One Pound Meals' by Miguel Barclay.

Again, check out our catalogue linked below to see what other budget recipe books we have available!

Family & Childcare Support
Practical Parenting

For information about childcare, all libraries will have a Practical Parenting section in the children’s section. These books cover a wide variety of subjects from picking a child’s name, to different styles of parenting. The collection also includes picture books aimed at young children that can help them deal with new or difficult experiences.


Free events for children & teenagers at the library are aplenty!

Baby Child Health Clinics: Well Baby clinics deal with the health and well-being of children and families in the borough.

Story Time: Each library holds a weekly story time for under 6s. They are free and booking is not required.

Baby Rhyme Time: These free baby bounce and rhyme sessions are for very young children accompanied by adults. They take place weekly at 10am in every library, and are free with no booking required.

Chatterbooks: At these popular groups for 8 to 10 year olds we chat about books, play games and do quizzes. It is a great way to discover new authors and make new booky friends.

Teen Reading Group: Discover fantastic new books and authors, write your own short stories and poetry, make new friends and get to grips with graphic novels and manga.

Richmond Coder Dojo: Richmond CoderDojo is a free coding club open to young people aged 7 to 17 with sessions on Scratch, HTML, Python, and using micro:bits.

Little Seedlings Grow Club: Grow Club is a new, free children’s gardening and nature club at Ham Library that meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 3.45pm.

If you’re seeking guidance on what you’re children could read, ask a member of staff, or take a look at our librarian’s recommendations here.

Mental & Physical Health

Keep on top of your mental & physical health with books about exercise, diet, and mental health.

Front cover of 'Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies.'Front cover of the book 'Science of Pilates' by Tracy Ward.Front cover of 'The Comfort Book' by Matt HaigFront cover of 'Bad Bad Book' by the British Medical Association.

Internet Access

Visit any of our libraries for free access to the internet, either from our public network computers or our wi-fi. Richmond & Twickenham libraries also offer Hublets, which are our borrowable tablets. If you don’t feel confident using computers, we offer free IT taster sessions which you can find out more about here.

Relevant Links:

Library Catalogue

eLibraries: Overdrive, Libby, BorrowBox, Cloud Library & Press Reader

People’s Network Computers

What’s On in Libraries