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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. 

  • For most libraries, recalls will be switched off during the Christmas and Easter vacation periods.  Please note at the University Library there is no vacation borrowing over the summer long vacation.

  • 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.

  • The monthly 'borrowing' statement will be sent out at the beginning of every month. 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 libraries have unique borrowing policies, please see 'libraries with unique borrowing policies' tab for details.
  • 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 any fines.
  • Fines: from 06/09/22 and for members of the University, you may only encounter fines if short loan collection items are overdue. Most libraries no longer apply fines but always check the local library you have borrowed from for clarification if you are unsure and check 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 10pm (Saturday) to 4am (Sunday) due to maintenance.

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