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Accessing Resources

Borrowing from Cambridge Libraries

Welcome to Cambridge Libraries

There are over one hundred libraries within the University. If you are a student you will have access to many subject libraries as well as the main University Library. You will also be a member of your college library, which is for college members only.

Students and staff will usually need their blue University card to access and borrow items from libraries.  Contact the relevant library directly to check whether you are eligible to register to borrow from a library. 

COVID 19 NEWS: Update 13 September 2021

  • Recalls will be switched on for Michaelmas Term on 5th or 6th October.

  • During vacation periods there are no recalls so items which you take home for the vacation will not be recalled by someone else. If your books normally auto renew they will continue to do that throughout the vacation period.

  • Fines are currently being waived for Faculty, Departmental and University Library items  - this will happen automatically on a daily basis. If you have a query about a fine please contact the relevant library.

  • The monthly 'borrowing' statement will next be sent out on October 2nd 2021. Note that this statement is 'for information only'

Key messages about borrowing from Cambridge Libraries

  • Most loans (not short loans) will auto renew, and it'll be done for you by the system. No need to worry about doing it yourself. Note that some colleges have unique borrowing policies.
  • If someone requests the item you have borrowed please bring it back within three days.
  • If you need an item that's on loan to someone else, you can use the 'request' option in iDiscover to ask for it to be returned. Not sure how to do that? Help available here.
  • Some items from the University Library need to be fetched from a closed store before you may be able to borrow them - use the 'request' option in iDiscover.
  • Check your library account via iDiscover regularly.
  • Follow @CamLibsUpdates for important messages about borrowing from Cambridge Libraries.
  • You will receive a statement on the second day of every month which shows a snapshot of what items you have on your account, including overdue items and fines.
  • Fines can be paid through the online fines payment system accessed from your library account. 
  • Ensure that you use check your Cambridge email account for notices which will tell you if you need to return books or if they are overdue.

Sometimes you may be blocked from borrowing. Find out more about possible blocks here.

Borrowing may be affected between 10.00 pm (Saturday) to 4.00 am (Sunday) due to maintenance.

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