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Cambridge LibGuides

Find out more about our library services, facilities and resources

Selwyn College Library: Borrowing and returning books

This is a brief guide to borrowing and returning books and other items from Selwyn Library and other Cambridge libraries.

For more information on borrowing and automatic renewals at Selwyn and the other libraries you can use in Cambridge, have a look at the Cambridge University Libraries' borrowing guide.

Borrowing from Selwyn Library - the basics

  • You can have a maximum of 20 Selwyn items on loan to you at a time (and a maximum of 200 items from all the Cambridge libraries combined)
  • These items will renew automatically until you are requested to return them
  • You can place a request on an item that is on loan to someone else using iDiscover and other people can request items that you have on loan, but only during term time
  • If something you have on loan is requested, you will have 3 days to return it to the library
  • You will only be fined if you fail to return requested items (£1 per day)
  • You borrow books and DVDs using the self-service kiosk outside the library office on the first floor or in the ground floor lobby
  • Select borrowing from the menu and hold your university card near the contactless symbol at the bottom right of the kiosk
  • Place the books or DVDs onto the square as directed and wait for each title to turn dark green on the screen
  • You can return books and DVDs using the return option on the menu. Place the items on the square as directed and then put them onto the book trolley behind you (or in the book returns box on the ground floor).
  • If you've been emailed and requested to return an item, please place it to the right of the self-service kiosk, on the requests shelf (or in the book returns box on the ground floor).

Requesting books and DVDs that are on loan

You can place a request for any book or DVD which is on loan during term time.

You’ll need to be logged in to iDiscover with Raven to place a request.

From your iDiscover search results, click through to the full details for the item. You should check if there is a copy available in a subject library or the University Library, as you should be able to borrow this item instead of waiting for a loaned copy to be returned.

Select “request options” from the link by the details of the copy you would like to request. Follow the on screen prompts. This generates an email to the current borrower, who will have 3 days to return the item.

You will receive an email when the item has been returned and is ready for collection. If you no longer need the item, please let us know so we can put it back on the shelves for others.

If you receive an email informing you that something you have on loan has been requested from you, you must return the item to the library by the date given.

If you are away from Cambridge, or if you are isolating, you will not be expected to return anything requested from you, though you will need to email us (or the library from which you borrowed the book) to let us know. The same goes If you are unable to return the item to the library for any reason.

Vacation loans

You can borrow books and other library items for the vacation.

iDiscover requests will be switched off from the last Tuesday in term to the first Tuesday in term for most Cambridge libraries. No new requests will be possible during that period. Your books and other library items will continue to renew automatically throughout the vacation. It will not be possible for them to be requested by other people and you will not be asked to return anything during the vacation.

The University Library has different vacation loan rules, so please check with them if you have any queries about UL books.

You can find information about borrowing in Cambridge libraries in this borrowing guide.

Returning books to Selwyn and other Cambridge libraries

You can return Selwyn Library books and DVDs in the library during opening hours, using the self-service kiosk on the first floor or by putting them into the book returns box inside the library entrance.

You can continue returning books from other Cambridge libraries to the Sidgwick Site dropboxes, and University Library books to their dropbox, and we’ll update this page when that changes.

Postal returns (including freepost for 2020 and 2021 graduates)

Books from all Cambridge libraries (including Selwyn Library) can be returned to the University Library at:

Reader Services (Book Returns)
Cambridge University Library
West Road

This is to allow you to send all your books back in one parcel, whether by post or by courier.

If you are a recent graduate, member of staff or visiting scholar in the UK who has now left the University and are unable to return to Cambridge, you can request a pre-paid returns label to return your books by freepost. Individual parcels must not go above 20kg in weight and must not be larger than L 61cm X W 46cm X D 46cm. You can ask for more than one label if needed.

If you are outside the UK, you can use this service to return UL and subject library books, but not college books.
You will not be able to access a pre-paid label, but will be able to claim a refund on your postage. If you have Selwyn books to return, please contact us separately.

We would recommend you take a picture of the items you are returning before you send them, for your own records. This would be particularly useful should any parcels be lost or damaged in transit.

The Bartlam Library is open from 7am until 2am during term and from 7am until midnight during the vacation.

Library staff are working in the library and from home. If you have an enquiry of any kind, please email the library and we will get back to you as soon as we are able.

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