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Borrowing from the Libraries

We've put together some quick guidance to help you borrow items from the libraries at UAL and other institutions, including:

  • Who can join and how much you can borrow
  • Borrow, return and renew
  • Fines, account blocking and lost items
  • Borrow from different libraries
Student scanning a book on a borrowing machine

Who can join and how much you can borrow

Who can borrow

  • All students enrolled on courses lasting 10 weeks or longer
  • Students enrolled on pre-sessional courses
  • Staff with permanent or fixed term contracts
  • SCONUL members with borrowing access (Bands A, B and C)

Alumni can use UAL libraries for reference - find out more.

How to join

  • If you're a student - you're automatically a member.

  • Staff need to fill in the Library Registration Form - Staff(PDF 329KB). You'll need your line manager's approval.
  • If you're a SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries) member, bring your institutional ID and SCONUL acceptance email when you visit. Find out more

How many items you can borrow

  • Undergraduate students (BA, BSc and FdA): 15 items
  • Postgraduate and research students and staff: 20 items
  • Further Education (Foundation and Pre-Sessional): 10 items
  • Short Courses (10 weeks or over): 10 items
  • SCONUL bands A, B and C: 3 items
  • Visitors, Alumni and SCONUL band R: Reference only.

How long you can borrow for

  • You can borrow most items for either 3 weeks or 1 week.
  • Some items are reference only.
  • Library Search will tell you how long you can borrow an item for.
  • Check what you’ve borrowed and when it’s due on Your Account.

Borrow, return and renew

Self-service borrowing

  • You can borrow items using the self service machines in each library.
  • You'll need your UAL ID card with you to borrow items.
  • Some laptops, IT accessories and reference items cannot be borrowed at a self service machine. If you want to borrow or return any of these items, you'll need to use the library information desk.


  • You can return items at any UAL library.
  • Use the self service returns machines or the 'book drop box' if the library is closed.
  • There is no 'book drop box' at Wimbledon. At the London College of Fashion, books can be left in a library box at reception.
  • If you cannot come in,you can return items by post - please send by recorded delivery. See our locations.


  • 3 and 1 week loans are renewed automatically up to 10 times. After 10 renewals, you need to return items and re-borrow them if you still need them.
  • Equipment loans are not renewable.
  • If you've ordered something from a non-UAL library, request a renewal at the UAL library you collected it from.
  • You'll receive renewal confirmation emails and alerts. Log in to your account to check.

Fines, account blocking and lost items

Fines for overdue loans

  • 3 week loan: 10p per day
  • 1 week loan: 20p per day
  • 1 day loan: £1 per day
  • 3 hour loan: 50p per day

Once your fines reach £10, they must be paid (in full or in part) for you to continue borrowing.

Log in to your account to check your due dates and whether you owe any fines.

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

Account blocking

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 7 days after the due date
  • You have long outstanding overdue loans
  • Your library membership has expired.

Check your UAL email account for emails from the library with further details of any problem with your account.

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

Lost items

If you have lost a library item:

  • You will be charged the replacement cost of that item.

  • You will also be charged fines if the item was overdue, according to the usual fine rates.

Borrow from different libraries

Requesting items from another UAL library

You can reserve items from any UAL Library, and request that they are sent to another UAL library. You can do this by logging in to Your Account and reserving the item.

Please note: it may take up to 2 working days for an available item to be sent from another site library.

No borrowed copies of that item will be renewed until one is returned for you.

Suggesting new library stock

If the item you want is not available in UAL Libraries, you can recommend that it is purchased

Please use the New Items Suggestion Form to suggest that library staff purchase items not already in stock.

We support the ArtsSU Liberate My Curriculum campaign and always welcome suggestions for texts that make our collections more inclusive.

Ordering items from other libraries (interlibrary loans)

You can place an interlibrary loan (ILL) request to borrow the item from another library. Please see our guidance on Interlibrary loans.

You may be able to visit another university library which holds a copy of the item under the SCONUL Access scheme.

Staff and postgraduate students may also be able to borrow from other university libraries.

Find out more about the SCONUL Access Scheme.