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Accessing Resources

Borrowing from Cambridge Libraries

FAQs

    How do I request a book on loan?
    Once you have found the book you want to borrow on iDiscover, click on the title in the search results list.
  • The status tells you that the book is lent and the date it is expected to be returned. To request that the book is reserved for you when it is returned to the library, click on 'check request options'.
  • You will be asked to login with either your raven credentials or your barcode number (the 5-digit code starting with a V on your library card).
  • When you have entered the information click the 'Log in' button.
  • Place a request: This requests the borrower to return the item earlier than the due date shown in iDiscover.
  • Once you have done this, you will be asked to add additional information. You will need to enter the date after which you will no longer need the item, and you can also add an optional comment.
  • Complete your request by clicking on 'Place Request' and then pressing 'OK' in the confirmation box which will appear. You will receive an email when the book is available for you to collect.

    I have requested a book but the other person has not returned it. Is there any way I can speed up a request?
    The library can contact the reader with the book again so please let the relevant library know if you would like them to do this. Contact details for all of the libraries in the University can be found in the Libraries Directory.The reader with the book will be fined £1 per day the book is overdue.

    I cannot return my requested book.
    Please contact the relevant library. Contact details for all of the libraries in the University can be found in the Libraries Directory.


Do I need to renew my books?
For students and staff, most books will be renewed automatically. You can also manually renew your books online or in the library.
If the books didn't renew - what should you do? Online renewals typically don't work if:

  • Someone else has requested it
  • Your library account has been blocked
  • Your library account has expired
    If you can’t renew online, contact the relevant library as soon as possible for help. You can get contact details from the Libraries Directory.

    How long can I keep this for? / when’s my book due?
    It’s due back a week today, but if it isn’t requested it’ll automatically renew. So you’ll be able keep it until you no longer need it, or until it’s requested.

    I have a book on loan that has been requested by someone else.
    When a book is requested it should be returned within three days. As it has been requested the loan cannot be extended. Hopefully three days with the book should allow time to consult the book for any essays due within a week. Check iDiscover for other available copies.

    Why won’t my book renew?
    It might be that it’s been requested by someone – have you had an email about that? Or it could be that it’s a short loan book.

  • Someone has requested a book to be returned, but I am using it for an essay due next week. Please can I hold on to the book so I can do my essay?
    When a book is requested it should be returned within three days. As it has been requested the loan cannot be extended. Hopefully three days with the book should allow time to consult the book for any essays due within a week. Check iDiscover for other available copies.

    I am ill and cannot return my requested book. Please could I have an extension?
    If you are ill your health and general welfare should come first. Although an extension will not always be possible, any fines that are accrued when you return books may be able to be waived. If requested please arrange for either a doctors note or a letter from a tutor confirming illness to be forwarded to the relevant library. If you are also able to please let the relevant library know, they will be able to make a note of your situation. In the case of a requested book they may also be able to let the requester know.
    Contact details for all of the libraries in the University can be found in the Libraries Directory.

    A relative has passed away and I am unable to return my books.
    In cases of bereavement, family and your general welfare should come first. If you are able to please let the relevant library know and they will be able to make a note of your situation. In the case of a requested book they may also be able to let the requester know.
    Contact details for all of the libraries in the University can be found in the Libraries Directory.

    I am a part-time student and do not live in Cambridge. I cannot return my book by the due date.
    Books can be returned by registered post if you are away from Cambridge.
    Please contact the relevant library to check the correct postal address.
    Contact details for all of the libraries in the University can be found in the Libraries Directory.

    Who do I contact to request a reduction in fines on overdue books please?
    If there are extenuating circumstances for returning a book late and you have received a fine then it may be possible to waive your fines (illness for example). Please contact the relevant library to check this. Contact details for all of the libraries in the University can be found in the Libraries Directory.

    My book is overdue, how much will the fine be?
    Most libraries will charge £1 a day for overdue items.

    How do I pay my fine?
    Usually, college libraries will add fines to college bills, while fines at faculty and departmental libraries are paid directly to the library, either in cash or online via your library account. Contact details for all of the libraries in the University can be found in the Libraries Directory.

    I received a fine for my book, can fines be waived?
    If there are extenuating circumstances for returning a book late and you have received a fine then it may be possible to waive your fines (illness for example). Please contact the relevant library to check this. Contact details for all of the libraries in the University can be found in the Libraries Directory.

    I haven't received a reminder or notice for my overdue books. Can these fines be waived?
    E-mail notifications are sent as a courtesy. You are still responsible for returning your books on time even if you do not receive an e-mail. We recommend that you monitor all borrowed items on your library account to avoid overdue charges.
    E-mails may be redirected to your spam or junk folder, so please double check. If you are concerned that you are consistently not receiving e-mails, please ask a member of staff to ensure we have the correct e-mail address.

    Can I take books home during the vacation?
    Most Cambridge libraries allow borrowing over the vacation. The exact policies on this will vary from library to library, so check your library website or talk to your librarian. Contact details for all of the libraries in the University can be found in the Libraries Directory.
    Please note: The University Library operates vacation borrowing only during the Christmas and Easter vacations. There is no vacation borrowing over the summer vacation.

    When does vacation borrowing begin?
    Vacation loans start the last Tuesday of Full Term; more details can be found at Vacation borrowing.

    Can I return a book by post during the vacation?
    Items can be returned by registered post during vacation if necessary. Please contact the relevant library to check the correct postal address.

    How do I check my borrowed items and due dates?
    To check your borrowed items and due dates, go to iDiscover (but if your library uses another catalogue, you will need to use that). You log in to your library account by clicking on the "My Library Account" option in the top menu on the iDiscover screen. You can log in with your Raven account or with your library barcode (the 5-digit code starting with a V on the back of your blue University card) and last name.
    Click on the 'Loans' tab to view the books you have out on loan. Due dates are displayed next to each book.
    A step by step guide can be found in the iDiscover Libguide.

    Can I find the list of items I have borrowed before?
    To check your previous and historic loans, go to iDiscover (but if your library uses another catalogue, you will need to use that). You log in to your library account by clicking on the "My Library Account" option in the top menu on the iDiscover screen. You can log in with your Raven account or with your library barcode (the 5-digit code starting with a V on the back of your blue University card) and last name.
    Click on the 'Loans' tab, and change the drop down from 'Active loans' to 'Previous and historic loans'. A full list of previously borrowed books will display.
    Please note this list will be for books borrowed from January 2018.

    There is a block on my account - what do I do?
    If for any reason you are blocked from borrowing in a library, it could be because of any one of these things:

    You have reached the maximum fine amount you are allowed to owe before you are blocked. The maximum is £100.
    You have reached the maximum number of books you are allowed to loan from across all the libraries. The maximum is 200.
    You have requested 100 physical items through iDiscover – after this you will be blocked.
    You have reached the maximum number of overdue items that you are allowed. The maximum is 50.
    You have reached the maximum number of overdue requested returns ie the items you have out have been requested to be returned for another borrower, you have failed to bring them back on time and they have gone overdue. Once you have two overdue books you have failed to bring back you will be blocked.

    If you think that one of the above applies, then you should be able to solve the issue by paying your fines, returning some books, or returning your overdue items.

    If you are unsure then please contact the relevant libraries that you have borrowed from, or your books have not been returned to for assistance.