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Accessing Resources

Library Essentials

Undergraduate student borrowing

How many items can I borrow and for how long? 

  • Check with the library you are borrowing from how many items you can borrow.
  • Most items are on loan for 7 days. As long as no-one else requests that you return the item(s), they will automatically be renewed.
  • If the book you have out is requested by someone else you must bring it back within 3 days. If it goes overdue you will be fined £1.00 per day by most libraries. Items can't be requested during vacations.
  • Some college libraries don't have automatic renewals and your books will need to be renewed manually by logging into your Library Account. Note that some colleges have unique borrowing policies, please see 'libraries with unique borrowing policies' below for details.
  • Many faculty and departmental libraries have short loan items (either 1 day or 4 days) which can't be renewed. Short loans are helpful for keeping copies of the books you need for your weekly work circulating quickly. If you are late returning these you will be charged £1.00 per day
  • The maximum number of items you can borrow in total across the libraries is 200.

What happens if I place a request? 

  • An email notification will ask the borrower to return the requested item within 3 days. However requests will never be due back on a weekend or a bank holiday so the request would be due on the next working day. 
  • If a requested item is not returned within 3 days it becomes overdue and will begin to accrue fines.
  • If you have 2 or more overdue requests your card will be blocked from borrowing at any Library until the requested items are returned.
  • When the requested item is returned you will be notified and it must be collected from the Library within 2 days. Some Colleges may reserve the item for you for longer.


  • Only overdue requested items or short loans will be fined.
  • Fines are charged at a rate of £1.00 per day, and will accrue for up to 60 days.
  • Some libraries do not charge any fines even for overdue items.

Borrowing history

Your current loans and borrowing history can be viewed by logging into iDiscover and selecting My Library Account. You can also view any requests you have placed and any books you have borrowed which have been requested by another person. 


Master's/PhD's/Staff borrowing

The rules are the same as above, except most items are on loan for 28 days. As long as no-one else requests that you return the item(s), they will automatically be renewed.

More information is available in the Borrowing LibGuide

Libraries with unique borrowing policies

The following libraries have their own local policies for borrowing which may differ from the policies covered in this guide:

Libraries which have similar policies to others in the university (but not automatic renewals)

Libraries whose policies are individually locally determined


Items borrowed from libraries without automatic renewals need to be renewed manually via your library account or by contacting your college library staff. Please check with the library to find out how long items can be borrowed for, how many times you can renew them, and what arrangements are in place for vacation borrowing.

Items borrowed from departmental and faculty libraries and the UL will continue to auto renew even if items borrowed from your college library do not.

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