Use other libraries with SCONUL Access scheme

Are you going home for the holidays but still want to get some research done? Or are you someone thinking of visiting our Library and want your own access card to make your visits here that much easier?

Then follow the instructions below to see if you could join the SCONUL scheme!

What is SCONUL?sconul logo

The SCONUL Access scheme is a reciprocal relationship between many university libraries across the UK and Ireland allowing members of the different institutions to make use of each other’s libraries.

What access can I get?

Depending on whether you are a full or part-time student, an undergraduate, postgraduate or staff member, you could be eligible for borrowing books or reference access to other SCONUL Access member libraries.

How do I apply?

Go to the SCONUL Access participating libraries page and select your status and home institution.  You will then see a list of all the libraries that you are eligible to use. Select the library that you wish to use and click on the ‘apply for access’ button and complete the online form.

You will receive an email authorizing your registration at all the libraries you are eligible to join.  Simply take your email and University Campus Card along to the Library you wish to access and you will be issued with your own access or library card.

Remember you only need to apply once – you can use the same email to join as many libraries as you want!

Note: Not all libraries are members of the scheme, and not all members of the scheme accept all types of users. Each library participating in SCONUL Access chooses which types of users to accept under the scheme. The SCONUL Access participating libraries page will only the display the ones you can use. If you are unsure please contact the Library.

Further information

If you are a current University of Reading student or staff member looking to use another institutions library please follow the link here.

If you are a member of another institution looking to use the University of Readings Library resources please follow the link here

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services

Keep borrowing over the Christmas holidays!

University Library in snow with fir tree in foreground

The end of the Autumn term is rapidly approaching! Have you checked what our opening hours are over the Christmas vacation? Or do you know when your items have to be returned by over the University closure period?

Opening hours

Autumn term will end on Friday 14 December as the Christmas vacation begins the following day, Saturday 15 December. This means that the opening hours of both University Library buildings will change.

Please note that both Library buildings will be open on the weekends of 15/16 December, 22/23 December and 5/6 January but as self-service only.

The Library buildings will also be closed over the University Christmas closure between Monday 24 December and Tuesday 1 January.

Please see our opening hours page on our website for more information.


With textbooks in increasingly high demand even after the end of term, we’ve made sure our policy ensures fair access to all. It will be ‘business as usual’ with all loan periods remaining the same in vacation as all term. This means that items will not be issued to cover the whole Christmas vacation.

Just keep renewing your loans unless or until someone else recalls them … so keep checking your University account! You can even return loans by post if you prefer. If your account is blocked please contact the Library and we will discuss the situation with you.

This means you can place holds on books on loan in vacations. The threat of fines on non-returned books should help Library users return them for you!

What about Christmas holidays and Uni Closure?

We know the short Christmas break also spans public holidays and the Christmas University Closure period, so we’ve made special allowances. Any journals, 7-day loans or Course Collection items borrowed from Friday 14 December until the Christmas University Closure will be due back on Wednesday 2 January (by 11:00 for Course Collection items).  No items will be due back between Friday 21 December and Monday 1 January.

Happy holidays!

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services

Last call for Store and Closed Access requests!

Last collections before Christmas closure 

If you want items kept in areas not accessible to Library users or members of the public before Christmas make sure that you get your requests in on time!

  • Off-Site Store will need to be requested before 08:15 on Thursday 20 December.
  • Closed Access items will need to be requested before 10:30 on Friday 21 December.

Normal service will resume on Wednesday 2 January with the first Closed Access collection on that day and the first Store collection on Thursday 3 January.

For more information and detailed instructions on how to make Closed Access and Store requests, check out the ‘Requesting items from Store and Closed Access‘ information page.

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services

Library refurbishment: ground floor toilets.

From Monday 22 October 2018 the ground floor toilets in the Library will be fully open to the public.

Ground Floor

The toilets previously assigned as gender neutral will now be male only with a new set of female only toilets placed alongside.

A new gender neutral toilet will  be available for use with a planned baby change table to be installed at a later date. Finally, a new accessible toilet will be opened alongside the rest of our new facilities.

These facilities are located to the right as you enter the building.

Other Floors

Don’t forget that the existing gender neutral and accessible toilets on the 1st and 3rd floors of the Library are still available for use. Check floor plans in the Library or ask a member of staff to point you in the right direction.

More information

Keep up to date with the latest Library refurbishment news on our  Library refurbishment webpage.

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services.


Longer borrowing on loans from Course Collection

man in foreground. Course Collection sign in background.

Since the start of the Autumn term in October 2018, our Course Collection loans have changed following your feedback! By simplifying and streamlining our borrowing arrangements we aim to get students borrowing more items for longer to give students more access to the books they need!

What has changed:

  • Now you can take out Course Collection items OVERNIGHT. So every day of the week, including weekends, any item taken out before midnight is due back by 11:00 the next day. (This is simpler and provides a longer loan period than previously when items could only be borrowed for up to six hours during the day.)
  • Now you can take out three items at once (instead of two, as previously).
  • To encourage borrowers to return loans for fellow students to use, we still charge for late returns, but have one simple fine: £3 per day, up to a maximum of £25.

More information

For more information please see Course Collection webpage.

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services.

Easier borrowing at new Self-Service Points!

Following the re-opening of the Ground Floor and 1st Floors of the University Library Building, you can now borrow and return loans at new, updated Self-Service Points which make the process much easier!

Two of the new self-service machines in the LibraryNew features include:

  • Checkout a stack of books at once. No need to scan each individual item!
  • Email a receipt of checked out items to yourself, no need for printed paper receipts.
  • As soon as you log in, you can check what you have out on loan and any holds available for you.

If you need help, please ask a member of day-time staff to give you a quick demonstration of how the new machines operate.

Please note that our older Self-Service machines are still in operation in Course Collection at Library@URS.

Further refurb information

To keep up to date with the latest study space and Library refurbishment news, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and this Library blog.

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services 



Borrow more Course Collection loans for longer

Girl sitting infront of entrance to Course CollectionIn response to students’ requests, we have changed and simplified Course Collection arrangements so Library borrowers can now take out more loans for longer. We hope students find this easier to understand, more convenient and will borrow more of these short loan items so that, in turn, they might study more effectively and achieve more.

What is the Course Collection?

Whilst most printed material is available for a week or more’s loan in the Library building, we can designate a copy or two of essential UoR reading list items for shorter loan borrowing to the Course Collection in the Library@URS. We hope this will share resources more effectively. However, we felt we could amend rules to suit current students’ needs.

What has changed?

  1. Now you can take out Course Collection items OVERNIGHT. So every day of the week, including weekends, any item taken out before midnight is due back by 11:00 the next day. (This is simpler and provides a longer loan period than previously when items could only be borrowed for up to six hours during the day.)
  2. Now you can take out three items at once (instead of two, as previously).
  3. To encourage borrowers to return loans for fellow students to use, we still charge for late returns, but have one simple fine: £3 per day, up to a maximum of £25.

More information

For further information, see our Course Collection webpage.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator