Library services for distance and part time learners

All the services and facilities provided by Library Services are available to distance learning students. This page provides information and links to those services which you may find most useful.

24/7 instant messaging

Just Ask, our instant messaging service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Overnight, chats will be answered by staff at our partner libraries.

Find books, articles and resources

FindIt@Bham enables you to search thousands of online resources and find out what printed material we have. Sign in to get full text where it is available and to check what you have on loan and what you have reserved.

Access other UK university libraries

As a distance learner, you can join the majority of UK Higher Education libraries through the SCONUL access scheme.

Access print books and articles

If you need access to our print material, we can send books to you through the post or scan book chapters and articles.

Subject support

Academic Skills Advisors can answer your enquiries, help you find resources on your subject, train you in the use of online databases, journals and ebooks, the creation of citations and bibliographies, and more.

Recalled loans

All items will be issued to all our borrowers for a week in the first instance (unless it's a high demand item* - see below) and renews automatically every day so that the item is always due back in a week. If another borrower reserves an item you have on loan, it will no longer automatically renew. You will receive an email to let you know, and further emails to advise you that the item has been reserved and is now due back. You should check your University of Birmingham email regularly or put in a request to the IT Service Desk to redirect your messages to the email account you normally use, as well as regularly login to your account on FindIt@Bham to check when your loans are due back.

If you have trouble returning a reserved item on time, please get in touch with us and we will do our best to help you.

*When collecting an item you have reserved, it will be a week loan unless at the time you collect it, other borrowers have already reserved it. The item will become a 48-hour loan (the 48 hours does not include weekends or University closed days). If this presents problems for you, please speak to a member of staff and depending on demand, we might be able to extend the loan for you. This is done on a case by case basis.

Library webpages

Further information and guides can be found through our main website. We recommend consulting the Research Support and Teaching Support pages. Online resources we provide include course notes and training videos for reference management software as well as subject and database guides.


Professional Services