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Borrowing, reserving,
and returning resources

Information about borrowing and returning items from the Library.

Borrowing items

Use our Library catalogue to find items you would like to borrow.

Library catalogue

If something is not immediately available, you can reserve it. You may also find that many items are available electronically and are generally accessible instantly.

There are self-issue points throughout Fountains which you can use to borrow items. You need your student ID card to use the self-issue points.

It is your responsibility to make sure that items you have borrowed are returned on time. You will get a weekly email telling you whether your library items have renewed or not. If they have not renewed, they must be returned so other people can use them. You will be charged fines from the date a library item becomes overdue. Information on fine charges is in the Overdue or lost resources section.

If you are not sure how to find and borrow items, watch our welcome video.

Loan lengths, renewals and borrowing limits

All loanable books:

  • Can be borrowed for 2 weeks
  • Are automatically renewed every 7 days unless a reservation is placed on the item (at which point you will be notified it must be returned)

After an item has been renewed 26 times, you will also be asked to return the item to the Library.

The total number of items you can borrow depends on your borrower status. Your allocation includes any Inter-Library loans.

Borrower group Allocation
Undergraduate students (including undergraduate short courses) 25
Taught postgraduate students 30
PhD students and University staff 35
External borrowers (including NHS staff) 10

You can find out what items you have out, when they are due, and how many renewals you have left by checking your Library Account.

Postal loans

If you are unable to travel to campus, live outside York City, are on placement outside York, or are registered for our Accessibility Support service, you may be eligible for postal loans.

Find out more on our postal loans page.

Postal loans

Returning resources

If an item is requested or has reached the limit of 26 renewals, you will be asked to return that item. You can do this on the York campus using our returns machine on the Ground floor of the Library.

If you are not able to travel to our campus to return items, and are in the UK, you can send us your books for free:

  • Go to then enter your email address and generate a label
  • Package up your books, attaching the label carefully to the package
  • Note that packages will only be accepted up to 10kgs and 60cm x 50cm x 50cm
  • Take your package to any CollectPlus location and send it back to us
  • Do not forget to keep your receipt, you will need this as evidence of your return

If you have difficulty returning items, please ask for assistance at the Information Services desk. Phone us on 01904 876 696, or email us at

Overdue or lost resources

If items are not returned by their due date, you will receive overdue notices by email, and you will be charged £1.00 per day per item.

Please be aware that accruing fines of £10.00 or more will suspend your borrowing privileges. This means you are no longer able to borrow items and any current items you have on loan will no longer auto renewHowever, you can clear fines quickly and easily. Where fines total £2.00 or more, payments can be made online using your library account. Just navigate to the Charges tab in your account.

If items aren't returned within 14 days of their due date, you will be invoiced for the replacement costs and any accrued fines. Instead of paying replacement costs, you may provide a replacement copy that is:

  • An equivalent volume to the missing title, either the same edition or a later one
  • In good condition (no annotations, highlighting, physical damage)
  • An edition by the same publisher as the original
  • Not one previously in stock at other academic libraries or colleges that has their identification stamps or labels still on it

Please note: You are sent reminders and notices by email, so it is important to keep us informed of any changes to your email address.

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