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Access to other Libraries

You may wish to make use of other libraries in the UK, either to find information that we do not have, or to take advantage of study space close to where you live or work.

Please refer to individual library websites for further information about opening times and services available.

Find out what’s in other Libraries 

SCONUL Access Scheme  

British Library 

You may wish to make use of other libraries in the UK, either to find information that we do not have or to take advantage of study space close to where you live or work. 

  • Most libraries have online catalogues, so you can search for items before you go. Once you've located the information you need, you should find out if you have permission to visit. 
  • If you are not entitled to visit the library in person, but you still need to consult material held by that library, you could obtain the material using the Inter-library Loan service. 

Find out what's in other libraries 

There is no single online catalogue for all UK libraries, so you will need to search several different catalogues to track down the information you need. Many libraries allow visitors to use their print resources, but not their electronic materials, so check this before you visit. 

  • Using JISC Library Hub Discover access to details of materials held in many UK national, academic, and specialist libraries. 
  • Hertfordshire Public Libraries catalogue 
  • British Library catalogue. The British Library (BL) is the national research library of the UK. 
  • WorldCat claims to be "the world's largest network of library content and services". It can be used to locate and search the catalogues of libraries local to you. 
  • The European Library provides a single point of access for information about the functions, services, and collections of major European national libraries. 

University of Hertfordshire membership of the SCONUL Access Scheme 

Find out more on our University Website.

The SCONUL Access scheme is a reciprocal scheme that enables staff and students to visit, consult print books and journals, and sometimes borrow material from higher education libraries in the UK and Ireland.

  • Please note that full-time undergraduate students cannot take items out on loan.
  • There are links to the websites of all the member libraries on the SCONUL Access website so you can check their catalogues and find out about opening hours, contact details and exact locations, etc. 

You must reapply for library access if your approval has expired

  • Check that the institution you want to visit is participating in the scheme as some that previously participated in the scheme have not been able to rejoin at this time.
  • You are not guaranteed access to an institution because you previously used it.
  • Check before you visit! 
  • Do not visit an institution until your new application has been approved.
  • Check what access and borrowing rights the institutions you want to visit offers. Typically, SCONUL access members (bands A, B, and C) will be able to become members and have borrowing rights, whereas band R do not and may be classed as ‘visitors’. 

How do I apply for SCONUL access to other participating institutions?

If you wish to apply for borrowing privileges under this scheme, then please:

  1. Apply at the SCONUL website and select SCONUL Access.  Select 'University of Hertfordshire' as your home institution.
  2. Once your application is approved, we will send you an email confirming your band and expiry date
  3. Check and complete the application requirements for the library you want to visit.

If you are a University of Hertfordshire student or staff member we are responsible for considering and processing your application. Please be patient and allow us time to deal with your application.

Please check the website in detail for information about the Scheme

  • before you contact your library
  • before you contact a library you wish to visit or before contacting SCONUL.

Please remember access granted under the Scheme is a privilege and not a right.

There may be restrictions on access to electronic resources of other libraries (due to copyright law), and on using computing facilities, but you may access UH subscribed e-resources on your laptop/device via eduroam. 

British Library 

Access to the British Library (BL) is provided to those who have reached a point in their research where no other library can adequately supply all the information required, or who can demonstrate a legitimate need to use items in the collection to further their research.

  • The BL building at St Pancras has reading rooms for humanities, social sciences, science and technology, business, rare books, music, manuscripts, intellectual property, the Oriental and India Office collections, and maps.
  • Click the link to find out more about British Library's catalogues and collections. 
  • To access the BL collections you need to apply for a reader's pass. You can apply in person but you should read the information there about the services offered and eligibility for a pass, and check the opening times of the Reader Registration office before you visit.
  • You must also provide suitable identification - check the Registering for a reader's pass web page as above. You can request materials in advance of your first visit but note that everything has to be consulted on-site, no borrowing is permitted.  

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Please refer to the LCS Service Status page for updates on service availability. Online and telephone support is available 08:00 to 18:00 Monday - Friday with telephone support only available outside of these times.