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Rules & Regulations

Rules concerning membership of the library, fees and general rules for use of resources.


Admission and Fees

Current members of the University:

  1. Registered students of the University.
  2. Members of University staff.
  3. Members of Council.

Former members of the University:

  1. University Alumni may have consultation and borrowing rights relating to the Library’s stock on payment of an annual fee.

Members of other UK higher education institutions (HEIs):

  1. The Library is a member of the SCONUL Access Scheme, and staff and students of other HEIs may register with the Library and have access to consultation and, in some cases, borrowing facilities, in accordance with the terms of that scheme.
  2. Where the Library has reciprocal agreements with local HEIs, academic staff and students of those institutions may use the Library under the terms of the relevant scheme.

Members of the public:

  1. Members of the public may apply for either consultation only access, or for both consultation and borrowing rights. A fee is payable for borrowing rights.

Others to whom The Librarian may grant borrowing or consultation rights:

  1. Members of organisations affiliated to, or which have a special relationship with, the University.
  2. Support workers or helpers accompanying a registered user of the Library.

The Librarian has discretion to grant borrowing and / or consultation rights for limited periods without fee.  In exercising this discretion, The Librarian will take into account the level of existing demand on the Library and its ability to maintain the level of service available to its regular users.

All registered members admitted to the Library are required to sign an undertaking to abide by the Regulations and Rules of the Library.  An approved University Smartcard must be brought to the Library on each visit, and must be produced to enter a Library building, to borrow books, and at any other time on request of a member of Library staff.  All library members are responsible for any use made of their cards and, for external members, any accompanying password.  A charge may be levied for the replacement of lost cards.

Further details regarding joining the Library may be obtained from the Library’s website.

Use of Library facilities and borrowing

  1. The Librarian has discretion to restrict certain categories of material held by the Library from being borrowed. These may include items such as reference works, theses, manuscripts, items of special value or rarity, specific issues of print journals, or materials in the Short Loan collection.
  2. Specific regulations govern access to theses deposited in the Library (see Regulation 23).
  3. Advance notice (at least twenty four hours) should be given where access is required to the Library’s Special Collections of manuscripts and printed materials.
  4. Copying, recording or downloading from materials or services supplied by the Library must comply with the terms of current UK copyright law, and with any licences governing the use of such materials and services. The Librarian has the right to refuse or withdraw copying privileges and to suspend access to any services where there is reason to believe that a breach of copyright or licence conditions has taken place or is likely to take place.
  5. Individuals using library equipment such as laptops, microfilm/fiche readers, sound and DVD equipment will be held accountable for any damage other than fair wear and tear.
  6. Loan periods will vary for books, depending on demand, and may be adapted to take account of vacations. In exceptional circumstances extended loan periods may be negotiated for specialised material.
  7. Books should be returned to the issuing library by the date given in any notifications.
  8. A book on loan may be recalled by the Library at any time, and the book must then be returned to the Library on or before the closing time on the date given in the recall notice.
  9. Information regarding loan entitlement for each category of borrower are available from the Library.
  10. An overdue charge may be levied for a day or part day for failure to return items from the Short Loan collection or books which have been recalled to the library from which they were borrowed. This also applies to items obtained on inter library loan from another library.  Failure to pay overdue charges may result in the suspension of borrowing privileges (see Regulation 15).
  11. Individuals who fail to return recalled or overdue books may be invoiced for the full cost of replacement (see Regulation 17). Should an individual return items after an invoice has been issued, then they may be required to pay the overdue charge on the relevant item(s), or alternatively the charge levied by the lending library in the case of items borrowed on inter library loan.
  12. Items borrowed by an individual must not be passed on to others, but should be returned to the relevant library and then re-issued through the normal process. Individuals may not borrow items in anyone’s name but their own.
  13. Members of the Library other than staff and students are responsible for keeping the Library informed at all times of the current address and contact details. Students should ensure that their contact information is up to date on the student portal.


  1. The reserving of seats is not permitted. Books and other items left on tables and chairs may be removed by library staff.
  2. Items left in the Library at closing time will be cleared away. The Library accepts no responsibility for personal belongings left unattended.
  3. Advance warning of the closing of the Library will be given over the public address system. Everyone using the Library at these times must vacate the premises by the advertised closing time.
  4. Mobile phones should be switched to silent mode, and any telephone calls should be made using the designated areas, so as to avoid disturbance to others.
  5. Library Lockers: Applications for the use of Postgraduate lockers in the Philip Robinson Library may be made through the Library Help desk on Level 2 of the Philip Robinson Library. Keys are issued in return for a refundable deposit.  All lockers in both the Philip Robinson Library and Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms, including Short Loan lockers, may be inspected by library staff.  Lost keys will be charged for at a rate set by the Library, currently £20.
  6. Notices may be displayed in the designated areas, and the Library reserves the right to remove any notices which have been put up anywhere other than in these spaces.
  7. Standard University fire evacuation procedures apply in the Library buildings.
  8. Use of computing equipment in the Library is governed by the University IT regulations.

Updated August 2023.



These regulations were approved by University Senate on 9 November 2010.

Minor amendments were approved by Senate on 21 September, 2022.

  1. Admission to and use of the University Library service is conditional upon observance of its Rules and Regulations. The Rules and Regulations apply to all sites managed by the University Library, including the divisional libraries in Law and Medicine, and the Team Valley Research Reserve.
  2. Library Rules are determined by The Librarian, in consultation with Library Advisory Group. Rules concerning borrowing arrangements and announcements of changes affecting the use of the libraries and library services are publicised via the Library website and through a range of other media.
  3. Throughout the Rules and Regulations, the term ‘book’ is deemed to include any information resources owned, held or licensed by the Library. The term ‘services’ includes any systems by which the Library provides access to information, whether within a library building or remotely.
  4. All members of Library staff are empowered to enforce the Rules and Regulations.

Admission to the Library

  1. All Registered students, Members of staff and Members of Council are entitled to use the Library. Other groups and individuals may be admitted at the discretion of The Librarian.  Payment of a fee for access to the Library and its services by external users may be levied as set out in the Library Rules. The money collected from fees will be retained and used for Library purposes.
  2. All registered members must produce an approved University Smartcard on each visit, in order to enter library buildings or to borrow library materials. Members must be prepared to show their Smartcard at any time when requested by a member of Library staff.
  3. Bags, cases, parcels and other items of personal property brought into the Library must be presented for inspection if requested by a member of Library staff. The Library accepts no responsibility for personal property brought into the Library, and reserves the right to exclude or remove any item which might cause an obstruction.
  4. Animals may not be brought into the Library, except for assistance dogs.

Use of the Library and its services

  1. A quiet environment suitable for study must be maintained as far as possible throughout library buildings, other than in areas specifically set aside for discussion and group work.
  2. Food and drink may only be consumed in library areas specifically designated for this purpose.
  3. The marking, defacing, mutilation or damage to books or equipment provided by the Library is strictly forbidden.
  4. No book may be removed from the Library unless Library issue procedures have been completed. The Librarian has discretion to restrict certain categories of material held by the Library from being borrowed. These may include reference works, theses, manuscripts, items of special rarity or value, specific issues of print journals or material in the Short Loan collection.
  5. Members are responsible for the return of any book which is recorded as being on loan to them. This responsibility ends only when the item is checked-in, and those who fail to return books will be required to pay for the cost of their replacement.
  6. All members of Library Staff may inspect any books in the possession of any person leaving the library, and anyone found attempting to remove a library book without complying with library borrowing procedures may be reported to The Librarian.
  7. The Librarian has authority to levy overdue charges for the late return of books. The rates of overdue charges will be set by The Librarian in consultation with Library Advisory Group and will be publicised on the Library's website and through a range of other media. Funds collected from overdue charges will be retained and used for Library purposes. Failure to pay overdue charges levied in accordance with Library Rules may lead to a suspension of borrowing privileges.
  8. Any Library user may be required to make good the cost of damage to, or loss of, books on loan to them or being used in the Library, or of any damage to other Library property.
  9. When a book on loan is reported as lost or is not returned when requested by the Library, it may be re-ordered and the borrower required to pay the cost of replacement. If the copy belonging to the Library is subsequently found, no refund of the cost will be made and both copies will be retained by the Library. If the lost or damaged book was part of a set the user may be required to pay the cost of a new set if this is the only way to replace the lost part.
  10. Any student who fails to fulfil obligations in respect of Library overdue charges or replacement costs of library books will be regarded as being in debt to the University.
  11. The access or borrowing rights of any user who persistently fails to observe Library Rules and Regulations may be limited or withdrawn by The Librarian. In the case of students, the University's Student Disciplinary Procedures will be applied.

University Theses deposited in the Library

  1. One copy of each thesis for which a higher degree has been awarded will be deposited in a condition suitable for preservation in the University Library. An electronic version should be supplied, preferably as a PDF file, to your Graduate School which will then forward it to the Library.
  2. Each thesis will be made available for consultation six months after it has been deposited in the Library. Printed versions will be kept in the University Library and the electronic copies made publicly available on the e-theses repository.
  3. Printed copies of theses were received until 2020. Where we hold a printed copy it shall not be permitted to leave the University Library or a library to which it has been issued on inter-library loan.
  4. Restricted access to a thesis may be extended beyond the standard 6 month period if the request is supported by the Supervisor/Head of School or Institute and the Dean of Postgraduate Studies for the relevant Faculty. This restriction will be granted if it meets one or more of the following Freedom of Information Act exemption criteria:
    • Some or all of the material is due for publication, or publication is actively being sought
    • Release of the material would prejudice substantially the use of the results and related commercial interests
    • The material includes information that was obtained under a promise of confidentiality
  5. A thesis with an extended restriction will remain embargoed until the Library has been advised via the relevant Graduate School that either the Supervisor or the Dean of Postgraduate Studies has given approval for its release. This restriction will be granted if it meets one or more of the Freedom of Information Act exemption criteria described in 23 above. In very exceptional circumstances longer embargo periods may be applied.
  6. A thesis which is restricted for general consultation may nevertheless be consulted at any time, without the author's permission, by the supervisor of the thesis or by the Head of the School or Institute concerned.