Borrowing books and journals

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Borrowing

Your University ID card is also your Library card. You can borrow items using self-service machines in the Main LibraryBarnes Library, and Dental Library, or take them to a lending desk.

Please also see our information on borrowing laptops in the Main Library and the Barnes Library.

Returning

Items (apart from laptops) may be returned via the sortation machine in the Main Library, return boxes, on self service machines or at staffed service points, at any site. 

Loan periods and amounts

All items (except high-demand items - see below) are issued for a week in the first instance, then renew automatically each day. The item is always due back in a week until: someone else reserves the item, you have a large amount of fines, or your membership expires. 

If you collect a reservation which has a queue of other borrowers waiting for it too, the item is considered to be high-demand and will be issued to you for two days. It will not renew automatically. You must check your receipt or date-stamp on collecting your reservation. 

Number of loans and length of loan depending on borrower type
 Borrower category Number of items
 Taught full-time single honours undergraduate  16 
 Taught full-time joint honours undergraduate  20
 Taught full-time single honours finalist  20
 Taught full-time postgraduate  20
 Research postgraduate  30
 Part-time, distance undergraduate  16
 Part-time, distance postgraduate  20
Academic staff 40 
Associate staff 16
Support staff 12
External borrower 6

Fines

Fines are charged on overdue items at £1 per working day.

Automatic renewals

Items on loan (except laptops) will renew automatically in the early hours of the morning, by one day, until someone else needs the item and places a reservation on it. Renewals also stop if your fines reach a certain amount, when your membership expires, and when your course finishes.

Example: if borrow a book (which isn't high demand) on a Monday, it will be issued until the following Monday. It will renew overnight, and will now be due back on the following Tuesday. This process continues until someone reserves the item. The renewals stop, and you have a week to return it.

It is your responsibility to keep an eye on the items you have borrowed, checking to see if they have been reserved by someone else. We will send you daily emails to alert you when an item on loan to you is due back, but we strongly recommend that you regularly login to your library account at FindIt@Bham to check your due dates. You will also be able to see if items you have reserved are available to collect.

Please note that if you try to renew items in FindIt@Bham, it will usually return a message saying "Renew failed". This is because it will already have renewed to its furthest extent.

Reserving books

If the book you need is out on loan, you can reserve it via FindIt, our library catalogue.

When the book is returned, you will be notified by email. The item will be held for 48 hours.

If you need longer to collect it, please contact us. The collection time can be extended at our discretion.

Reserved and recalled books

If a book you have on loan is required by another borrower, it will no longer renew automatically. You will receive a reminder email each day. 

Many staff and students use our libraries during vacations, so please be aware that your books might be reserved by another borrower, and have to be returned, at any time. Please do not take books out of the country. 

Distance learners and borrowers with disabilities

Automatic renewals are intended to make life easier. Items are renewed automatically day-by-day until they are reserved by another borrower. Please make sure you regularly check your library account, and emails sent by the library, to see if items you have borrowed have been reserved by another borrower and will need to be brought back. Unless an item is high demand, you will have a week to return an item once it is due back.

Please note that items become two-day loans in order to satisfy demand (see above). We may, in exceptional cases, be able to extend a two-day loan if you feel that your disability or your travel needs as a distance learner prevent you from making use of the item in two days. This is decided on a case-by-case basis, depending on availability of the item, so please speak to staff.