Borrowing from the Libraries

We've put together a series of Frequently Asked Questions which help to explain how to borrow items from the different Libraries.

Who can have Library membership?

The following are entitled to borrow items from UAL Libraries:

• Staff with permanent or fixed term contracts
• All students enrolled for courses lasting longer than 6 weeks
• Sconul members with borrowing access (Bands A, B and C).
• Visiting professors and Emeritus professors

How can I join the Library?

Staff and students automatically become members of the library when enrolled or employed.

Sconul members must bring their institutional ID and the Sconul letter provided when they have applied online:

Visiting and Emeritus professors should apply to the Rector’s office to get a University ID: application form

How many items can I borrow from UAL Libraries?

Loan entitlements vary.

• Undergraduate students and FDA: up to 15 loans
• Post-graduate and research students, staff: up to 20 loans
• Further Education (foundation and Access): up to 10 loans
• SCONUL Bands A, B & C: up to 3 loans
• Visitors, Alumni/Associate/SCONUL band R: Reference only

How long can I borrow an item for?

Not everything can be borrowed. The loan status of an item will be indicated on Library search and on the spine/cover of the item.

Loan periods may vary for different items and can vary between term and vacation, ranging from 3 weeks, 1 week, 1 day, 3 hours or for reference. Opening hours information is on the website.

You can check your loans and due dates from Your Account. See the website for how to manage your account.

How do I borrow and return items?

You can borrow items using the self service machines - you will need your ID card. IT accessories can be borrowed and returned at the information desks in the library.

Most items can be returned at any of the UAL libraries (not just the one where you borrowed the item from). Only Desk Loan items (e.g. laptops and IT accessories, or reserve stock items) and interlibrary loan items must be returned to the Information desk in the Library they were borrowed from.

You should return other items using the self-service returns machines in the libraries or the “book drop box” near the entrance to some of the libraries when they are closed. (N.B. There is no ‘book drop box’ at Wimbledon. At LCF books can be left in a library box at Reception)

If you cannot come in to the University you can return items by post - please send postal returns by recorded delivery. The addresses can be found on the Opening hours and locations webpage.

How can I renew my books? The new autorenewals service

All borrowers will have automatic renewals on any 1 week or 3 week items borrowed after the 2nd September 2016.
Any existing loans borrowed before this date will need to be returned and re-issued in order to start automatic renewals.

Will everything automatically renew?
No. Only 1 week and 3 week items are automatically renewed. 
Equipment loans are not renewable and Inter library loans (non UAL items) renewals must be requested through the ILL team. 

How many automatic renewals are allowed?
The maximum renewal limit is 10 renewals. E.g. a one week loan can be renewed for up to 10 weeks.

Can I manually renew my loans before the due date?
No, automatic renewal means manual renewals are not available. Items need to be returned and re-issued for automatic renewals. 

How do I know if my items have been renewed?
Unless you receive an email to say that they cannot be renewed, 1 and 3 week items will be renewed. You can login to your library account here to check your due dates. 

What happens if the renewal fails?
You will receive an email notice informing you the item was not renewed and should be returned by the due date.

What happens if overdue items are not returned on time?
You will receive your first email overdue notice on the third day after the due date. This will block your account until the overdue items is returned. 

How will I know why it did not renew?
You can check your library account to see if an item is reserved or reached the renewal limit. 

Can I keep an item if it is no longer reserved?
The items need to be returned. Check with library staff to see if they are no longer reserved and you may be able to borrow them again. If not you can reserve one yourself online.

Why is my library account blocked?

Your account will be blocked if:

  • You have fines of £10 or more
  • You have an item on loan which has been requested by another borrower, and you have not returned it within the 3 day grace period after it was due for return
  • You have long outstanding loans and you have not returned them or paid for the cost of their replacement

You will have received an email to your college email account with further details.

You will not be able to borrow any further items from the library until you have returned any outstanding overdue loans and paid any library debts.

Library fines

UAL Libraries charge the following level of fines which apply to all categories of readers with the exception of waivers which have been agreed due to individual circumstances.

Loan typeFines charged
3 week10p per day
1 week20p per day
2 day£1 per day
1 day£1 per day
3 hour 50p per day

Once the total fines incurred across UAL Libraries reach £10, they must be paid (in full or in part) for you to continue borrowing.

You will be charged the replacement cost we will have to pay for any items you lose, including an admin charge of £5.00 per transaction and fines if the items were late.

Can I order/reserve a book from another UAL library?

You can place a reservation on items from any UAL Library – no one will be able to renew the book until a copy is returned for you. (Please note it may take up to 48 hours for an item to be sent from another site library to yours).

The book I want is not available in UAL Libraries – what can I do?

• You can make recommendations to Library staff to purchase items not already in stock. Please use new items suggestion form here.
• You can place an Interlibrary loan request for the item to order it from another library– Please see Interlibrary Loan FAQs.
• Alternatively you could visit another University Library which holds a copy of the item under the Sconul Access scheme.


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