Managing Your Library Account Managing Your Library Account

When items issued to your account are requested by another user we will always contact you to let you know. Below you'll find information we hope will be helpful in answering any questions or concerns you might have about the requesting process.

Here are our top three tips;

What if I still need the item? While you will need to bring the item back, remember, you can scan sections of a book using any of the printers on campus so you can continue to refer to the important sections:

Can’t bring the item back within 3 days? Email us at or call us on 01603 59(2993).

What happens if I don’t bring the item back within 3 days? You won’t be able to borrow or renew anymore library material until the requested item is returned. If we need to buy additional material for the user who is waiting, you may also be charged for the cost of this.


Why can I no longer borrow material I need for teaching/research purposes for longer than 7 days?

Although the normal loan length for most items is now 7 days, with automatic renewals the item is effectively on loan ‘indefinitely’ - until requested by another user. This is to ensure everyone gets fair access to the resources they require for their research and study.

The request function replaces the old ‘recall’ system, where items out on a longer loan could be recalled at any time by another student or staff member.

How will I know if an item I have on loan has been requested?

Although all items will renew automatically, this won’t happen if the item is requested by someone else. On the due date we’ll email you to explain that your automatic renewal has not taken place as the item has an outstanding request on it. We appreciate that it may not be possible for you to return the item that day, so we give you a Grace Period of 3 days to bring it back. Your account will remain usable – you’ll be able to borrow new items and, if needed, automatic renewals will still take place on unrequested items on your account.

These changes have been made to ensure that everyone gets fair access to the resources they need for their research and study.

What if I am unable to return a requested item within the three days?

If you are unable to return an item which has been requested within the Grace Period of 3 days, it’s important that you contact the Library Helpdesk as soon as possible, so staff can talk through the options available to you.

Email us at or call us on 01603 59(2993).

What about loans during the vacation?

Vacation loans will continue to apply to all normal loan items, during Christmas, Easter and summer vacation periods. Items borrowed at these times will be due back during 1st week following vacation and will not be subject to recall.

This Christmas, vacation loans will be available from Tuesday 10th December and will be due back from Wednesday 15th January. Vacation loans apply to all Normal loans (7 day loans); High Demand and locker keys are excluded.

Automatic renewals will recommence on Wednesday 15th January.

Requested items returned over the vacation:

You may still place requests during the vacation, but please be aware that items may not be returned until after Wednesday 15th January. Any Items returned during the period when no library staff are duty (24th December – 1st January) will not be processed until Thursday 2nd January.

If you need a book that is out on loan, we'll try our best to get you a copy - please contact Library Helpdesk on or by phone on 01603 59(2993).

Why can I no longer “recall” an item?

The Request function now includes a recall function, once the person who is using the item has had it for a minimum of 7 days.

Will I be fined for not returning an item?

We are no longer charging punitive fines on overdue items. When items reach their due date, they will renew automatically and ‘indefinitely’ – unless requested by another user.

You will then be contacted by email, and asked to bring the requested item back or to contact the Library helpdesk if this is not possible. If we have not heard from you within 10 days of a requested item going overdue, we will raise an invoice for the cost of purchasing a new copy of the item. This will allow us to ensure that the requester has fair access to the item they need. Contact the Library Helpdesk as soon as possible to talk through your options - or by phone on 01603 59(2993).

What’s the best advice for managing my library account when I am going to be off campus?

We have put some tips together for making the most out of the print resources you have on loan - We also recommend looking for alternative formats such as eBooks, which can be easily accessed off campus. 

We encourage you to return items as soon as you have finished with them. If you have an item on loan which has been requested, we will email you to ask you to return it. Make sure you have a plan for how to return an item to the library, particularly if you’re going to be away from campus.

Why didn’t my book renew?

  1. The book was requested by somebody else - If somebody else has placed a request on a book then you will be unable to renew it, and it must be returned as soon as possible.  We understand that you might not have finished with it, but please try to be understanding of other borrowers’ needs and return requested items as soon as you can.  We’ve put together some advice on how to get the best out of Library materials while you have them


  1. Your account has been frozen - If we emailed you a few days ago about a different book which wasn’t renewed and you didn’t return it within three days, your account might be temporarily frozen.  There are also a few other reasons why your account might be frozen, the best thing to do is get in touch with the Library Helpdesk if you think this is what’s happened.

What is the Grace Period?

If something doesn’t renew, we’ll notify you at 9am on the day it’s due.  We appreciate that it may not be possible for you to return the item that day, so we give you a Grace Period of 3 days to bring it back.  During that three days you’ll be able to use your account completely as normal, including renewing other books or borrowing new material.  If the item isn’t returned during the grace period, your account will be frozen.

Why have you frozen my account?

Because of automated renewals, in most cases a book will only go overdue because it has been requested by somebody else.  We no longer charge overdue fines but it is necessary to incentivise the return of material in another way.  The main consequence of being frozen, is that you cannot borrow additional items.  When you come to campus to borrow a new book, simply bring back the requested one too and ask us to reset your account.

What does it mean if my account is frozen?

If your account becomes frozen because you didn’t return a requested item, you won’t be able to borrow books or renew books you have on loan until that requested item is returned.  As soon as the requested item is returned, you can ask us to reset the account for you.

If your account is frozen for a different reason, you’ll need to discuss next steps with a colleague at the helpdesk. Your access to the Library building and IT account are not affected by this block.

Why are you invoicing me?

We will only invoice you if by not returning the book within the grace period, it is then preventing others from accessing materials.  If we have asked you to return something that someone else needs, and you don’t return it, we may need to buy a new copy so that we can fulfil the request of the person who is waiting.  If you are unable to return an item for any reason, ensure that you Contact the Library Helpdesk as soon as possible to talk through your options - or by phone on 01603 59(2993).

If, by the time it gets to this stage, the item is no longer needed by the other borrower, we’ll renew the book for you and reset your account.