Henry Bloom Noble:

The library was founded on November 29 1886 when it was situated next to the Town Hall in Ridgeway Street. In 2003 it was relocated to Victoria Street and in 2016 to Duke Street. It is named in recognition of the late Henry Bloom Noble (1816-1903), one of the island’s most generous benefactors, who came to the Isle of Man from Cumberland and through his entrepreneurial skills was reputed to be the richest man in Douglas by his early forties.

When he died he left his fortune to his trustees to be used for philanthropic purposes in the Island, and some of the Island’s best-known institutions, including Noble’s Hospital, the Villa Marina, St Ninian’s Church, Noble’s Park and Ramsey Cottage Hospital were established as a result of his generosity.


Adult and senior citizens – 8 items for 4 weeks;
Children – 6 items for 4 weeks;
Visitors – 2 items per visit maximum.


Fines are charged on overdue items borrowed by adults and senior citizens (concessions apply). There are no fines for children’s items borrowed on a child’s card. However, an administrative charge of 50p is payable when a letter is sent to a member advising them of any overdue item/items.

Fees and Charges

For the current list, click here.

Reservations, Requests & Renewals

Members may reserve books and audio items from the library’s stock in person or online, for which a charge of 50p is payable on collection. Books in high demand are limited to a 2-week loan period.

Suggestions for new stock are always welcome. Click here.

Members may renew their items for a maximum of 3 times unless the item has been requested by another member. Renewals can be made by phone, in writing and online.

Inter-Library Loans

Material which is either out of print or too expensive to purchase may be borrowed via the British Library’s inter-library loan scheme for which a fee is payable. Please ask a member of staff for more details.

Computer Suite & Study Area

There are 16 PCs and 2 iMacs which are free to use for up to 2 hours for library members. Charges apply for visitors. You must agree to the Internet Access Policy otherwise access will be denied.

There is free Wi-Fi available and an area downstairs with tables and charging points for quiet study.

Newspapers and Magazines

We have reading areas, a hot drinks vending machine and a water cooler. A selection of UK daily nationals and all of the Manx newspapers are available. All back copies of Manx newspapers are retained, however UK titles are kept for a limited period only after which they are sent for recycling. There is also a variety of monthly and weekly magazines to be read in the library only. Plus we have emagazines available to download, click here.

Other Facilities

Radar keys are available from the ground floor counter which provide access to disabled toilet facilities throughout the UK for a payment of £4.00.

Macmillan Cancer Support has a permanent information area at HBN Library. Library staff are happy to help you find the information you want and a volunteer from the Macmillan team will be at the library on the last Friday of the month between 11am and 2pm to offer a drop-in service for anyone who would like someone to talk to. Private room available.

There are notice boards advertising Douglas Borough Council information and services, local events and activities, community groups, government initiatives and heathcare organisations. Customers may ask to display posters providing they adhere to the leaflet and poster policy.


Click here to view our policies.

Our Children and Young People’s Section

Pre-School Children

  • A wide range of board books for babies to preschool children, some with sound and different textures to appeal to the senses, stories for reading aloud, pop ups, lift-the-flap books and nursery rhymes
  • Stories, rhymes and songs on CD
  • Story Time every Thursday from 10.30am – 11am

5 -12 Year Olds

  • We have books for beginners and fluent readers with stories to suit all tastes, from the classics, to new novels from the best of today’s children’s authors
  • The library has a range of non-fiction books
  • If you’re a reluctant reader or have dyslexia we have a “cracking reads” section from Barrington Stoke
  • If you enjoy listening to stories, we have lots of audiobooks for you to borrow.

Young People

The library has PCs and Macs on the ground and lower ground floor that you can book with a library card. You can check emails, type up school/college work or browse the internet. Your card entitles you to have 2 free hours every day or you can access our wifi if you prefer to use your own device.

The quiet study area is on the lower ground floor with ample space and charging points. Please put your mobile phones on silent before entering the library.

Things to do for primary school children

We hold regular activity workshops and participate annually in the Summer Reading Challenge. Keep checking our social media for upcoming events.

Online Library

We’ve got a large collection of books for children’s and young people online which can be downloaded onto your device. Click here: eBooks page 

Online homework help is available in our 24/7 Library section where you will find Encyclopedia Britannica and Oxford Reference Online.