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Borrowing and reserving items

 All new students are automatically registered with the Library. For those starting in September there is no need to visit the Library Help Desk, you can start borrowing at the self issue kiosks whenever you are ready. If you do encounter a problem then please speak to a member of Library staff. 

All new members of staff can join the Library. Just visit the Library Help Desk with your University ID and a copy of your contract of employment and we'll get your account up and running in no time.

Loan Periods and Allowances

Loan Periods

Non-loan: These are core titles which are kept available for reference. They have a red spine label*.

Standard: Most Library stock is now 4 week loan, with auto-renewal up to 6 times. If an item is reserved then it will be recalled after 1 week of borrowing.  These items have a white label or no label*.

Loan Allowances

Undergraduates: 15 items

Taught postgraduates: 15 items

Research postgraduates: 20 items

University staff: 35 items

Fines and Charges

Overdue fines: The Library operates a fines free policy on overdue items with the exception of Recalled Items (see below). Items overdue by 2 weeks and more will not accure overdue fines, but will be assumed Lost and the replacement cost of the books will be applied to your Library account. 

Recall charges: Long Loan items can be recalled, but only after you have had them for 2 weeks. When you receive a recall notice you have 14 days to return the item to us. If the item has not been returned by this date recall charges are applied at £2 per day.

Lost Book Invoices: Items more than 2 weeks overdue will be assumed to be lost and an invoice for the replacement costs will be applied to your Library account. If the item remains overdue for more than 28 days the invoice will be passed to Student Finance and become a University Bill.

Renewing borrowed Items and Automatic Renewals

Standard items are loaned for 4 weeks, and will automatically renew 6 times if they have not been requested by another user. After this period you will need to physically bring the book back to the Library.  If the item cannot be renewed you will receive notification to your Brunel email address.

Audiovisual material is loaned for 1 week and cannot be renewed.

You cannot renew an item if:

  • It has been reserved by another user
  • Your fines have reached the £20 fine limit.

To check what items you have on loan and when they are due back, use the ‘My Account’ feature on the Library web page.  To do this, go to the My Account link on the Library Homepage and log in with your Library card number. Select the 'Checkouts' tab.

Need a reminder?

The Library system will automatically send you monthly account statements showing you recalled items and the new due date, current loans and their due dates, outstanding bills and the status of any reserved items. 

You will receive separate notices via email if:

  • An item has been auto-renewed for the maximum number of times and must be physically returned to the Library

  • An item has been recalled because another user wishes to borrow it.If you receive this notice, you will have 7 days to return the item; on the 8th day you will begin to accrue fines

These reminders are sent to your Brunel email address, but you can also opt to have them sent to you as an SMS (text) message. To receive these speak to staff at the Library Help Desk and have your mobile number added to your account. 

Please note that although these reminders are generally reliable, they are a courtesy service, and you should still keep track of your account - if there seem to be problems then it's important you let us know as soon as possible

Returning Items

Borrowed items can be returned using the returns units adjacent to the Library Help Desk - they will discharge your loans automatically and give you a receipt.

Please follow the on-screen instructions 'posting' one returned item at a time: waiting for the prompt before returning the next item. This returns unit sorts material, speeding up the process of getting material back on the shelves for the next user.

When the Library is closed you can return books through the book drop to the left of the main doors to the Bannerman Centre.

Reserving Items

You could check to see if the item you require is available as an e-resource.  Enquire at the Library Help Desk for more information.    

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, it may be that all the copies are out on loan. You can place a reservation on an item through the library catalogue, which reserves a copy for you and recalls it from the user who currently has it on loan. You will be notified via email (or SMS if you subscribe) that a copy has been returned to the Library and you can collect it within 5 days of the date on the email

Interlibrary Loans

Material not held at Brunel can be requested via our Inter Library Loan service. Journal articles and photocopies from conference proceedings can be sent through the post or via Secure Electronic Delivery. Books and other material have to be collected from the Library.

We try to obtain material from UK sources, the British Library, in the first instance as this is generally quicker but can apply abroad if necessary.

There is a charge for this service - see the link on the left - so please ensure that you have checked the University Library’s resources before applying. You can check:

  • The Library Catalogue;
  • The Library Search, our research engine;
  • The E-Journals A to Z;
  • Our electronic resources;
  • You can also check with the Library Help Desk or your Academic Liaison Librarian about the best research methods & information sources.

You only pay for material that is supplied: there is no charge for failed requests; however, we cannot cancel requests once submitted. We are dependent on items being on the shelf at other libraries at the time we apply and although the vast majority of items are supplied within 2-3 days we cannot give you a cast iron guarantee to supply items within a specified time. Books and monographs are usually sent to the library and we will notify you by email when they are ready to be collected.

Journal articles can be sent electronically by Secure Electronic Delivery or to the address on your library account.
Your local public library may also be able to offer Inter Library Loan services. This may be of particular benefit to distance learners.