Borrowing and renewing books

How do you borrow books?

Borrow books using the self-issue machines in the Service Hall, 4th floor.

Watch a YouTube video showing you how to use a self-issue machine.

The number of books you can borrow at any one time will depend on your borrowing allowance.

If an item doesn’t scan, it might be because it’s:

  • for “Reference use only” within the Library
  • you might have reached your loan limit
  • or you may have a fine on your account.

Checking your loans receipt will ensure your books have been correctly checked out. The receipt also shows when each item is due back. If you experience any issues, staff at the Service Desk will be happy to help.  Please note that fines are charged for the late renewal or the late return of books.

Most books have a four week loan period. Some of our more popular ones have one or two week loans. Reference items, journals, theses and books over 100 years old are ‘Reference only’, for use in the library.

You can also borrow books via our Postal Loans service.

Can you borrow books without a Library card?

No. For security reasons, you do need your Library card to enter the Library, and to borrow items.

How do you renew books?

  • You can do this online by logging in to your library record, you will need your membership number to do this.  Please check that all your books have been renewed successfully and do please take note of the return date.
  • By telephone during opening hours on 020 7862 8500, press option 3. (You don’t need your membership number to do this.)
  • By telephone using the out of opening hours automated service on 020 7862 5835. You do need your membership number to do this. You can’t use this service if your account is already blocked.
  • In person at the Service Desk on the 4th floor.
  • Using a Self Issue machine on the 4th floor. When renewing your books, please scroll down the screen to make sure all items have been renewed. Your receipt will give your new due date(s) and indicate if the renewals have been successful.
  • Carrel occupants can issue 20 books to the carrel. These are for use within the carrel and are issued for one week at a time. Books may be renewed online, or at the Service Desk using the carrel name and membership number displayed on the carrel key fob.

Books returned or renewed late incur fines. It’s your responsibility to return or renew them on time. While every effort is made to contact readers, we cannot confirm or guarantee delivery of Library reminder notices.

Why can’t you renew a book?

  • Another reader has requested it.
  • There are fines or charges over £10.00 on your Library card.
  • You were using your carrel allowance and your carrel occupancy has expired.
  • You have another overdue book on your account that has been recalled for use by another reader.
  • Your membership card has expired.

If your card has expired, but you are continuing your course, please visit the Membership Desk with the correct ID and staff will be able to renew your books.

Having outstanding books or fines on your library account may delay the receipt of your final results and graduation.

If you have any problems renewing items, or if you wish to pay your fines in order to renew your books, please visit the Service Desk, or telephone the library on 020 7862 8500, press option 3 during opening hours (you don’t need your membership card with you to do this). You can also pay outstanding fines online via the University of London Online Store.

Please remember that fines are charged on all overdue Library books.