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Book borrowing

Printed book borrowing, returning books, course reading lists and library restrictions and charges explained

Our Learning Resources Centre (LRC) bookshelves are available 24/7 for browsing and self-issue. 

Plan ahead: You need your physical ID card to borrow a book. Your digital ID card will allow you into the LRC, but you cannot borrow any items using it.

Request a scan
Free postal return service
Inter-library loans
Access to reference items in the closed stack collection

Finding the location of books in the LRCs

  • Watch this short video: 'Finding a Print Book using Library Search'
  • You can access Library Search on your own device or search for books on one of our LRC information points.
  • Make a note of the LRC where your book is shelved and the Dewey decimal number.
    • At College Lane LRC you will typically find books on Health and Life Science, STEM subjects, and Art and Design
    • At de Havilland LRC you will typically find books on Business, Law, Education, Humanities, and Sports Science.
  • You can find the book numbers listed at the end of the book aisles.
  • Use Library Search to find books, e-books, journals, and other information sources. How to find books and e-books in Library Search
  • Sign up to the Library SkillUP module for help in searching effectively across different sources to find relevant information for your assignments.
  • Take a break from your studies and explore our reading for pleasure collection both in the LRC and online on the Libby library reading app.  Find out more:

Your course reading list

  • You can access your module reading list via your Canvas module for all your essential, recommended, and background reading for your course
  • Your reading list is basically a selection of books and other resources chosen by the module teachers to help you. 
  • You can find out more information about reading lists including a short video showing you how to access your reading list on our Library SkillUP site here: Module reading lists and wider reading.

Borrowing books

You will need your physical University ID card, which also acts as your library card, to use the self-issue machines: 

  • Place your ID card on the reader at the front of the self-issue machine. 
  • Please note you cannot use your virtual ID card (via HertsMobile app) to issue books.
  • Or select the blue 'Borrow' button and follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Place the items(s) you want to borrow on the 'Place books here' shelf.
  • Await confirmation that the item(s) have been issued, select the 'Done' button, and take your books away.

Please note the standard loan period for all items will be 2 weeks (with the exception of laptop loans):

  • Items will auto-renew every 2 weeks up to 10 times unless reserved by another user.
  • Staff and PGR student loans will renew every 2 weeks for up to one year unless reserved by another user.   
  • You can have a maximum of 25 loan items at any one time.

Please note that if you are unwell and unable to visit the LRC you can access the extensive digital book and journal collection available via the Online library on StudyNet and you can request a scanned copy of a print book chapter or journal article if an electronic version is unavailable:

Returning loan items

Books can be returned to either LRC using the self-service machines:

  • Select the Return button and place the item(s) you want to return on the 'Place books here' shelf.
  • Await confirmation that the item(s) have been returned, select the 'Done' button, and place the returned books either on the returns trolley or in the black box as per the on-screen instructions.
  • You can view your library account on the self-service machines and you will receive an automatic email within the hour confirming your items have been returned.
  • If your books cannot be checked in on the machines, please put them in the black boxes next to the self-service machines and you will receive an email confirming when your items have been checked back in.
  • If you are off-campus or living at home here in the UK and are unable to travel to campus you can use our free UK postal return service.

Please note that if you are unwell or unable to return your item on the due date please contact the Helpdesk on 01707 284678 or so that your loan can be extended. 


Please ask a member of staff if you need support accessing any of our services.

For specialist disability support please contact the Student Wellbeing Team:

Late return of items

  • We do not issue fines for the late return of loan items.
  • When an item becomes overdue your library account will be locked until the item is returned.
  • You will not be able to place any reservations or borrow any items while your account is locked.
  • Lost items should be reported to the Helpdesk.
  • If loan items are overdue for a significant length of time, we will add replacement item charges to your account.  More information is available on our Library restrictions and charges page.
  • You can view your library account via the "Online Library" in StudyNet

Please note that if you are unwell and unable to return your item on the due date please contact the Helpdesk on 01707 284678 or so that your loan can be extended.

Book reservations

Reserve any loanable item from our bookshelves.

  • Login to Library Search on StudyNet using your University username and password.
  • Search for a book using Library Search or via your course reading list, available in your Canvas module.
  • You won’t be able to request laptops, journals, or non-loan items from the archive.
  • You can also reserve items that are not available on the open shelves but do appear as loanable items in Library Search, such as DVDs
  • Click on the link to the print item and on the book item details page select the ‘Reserve this item’ link.
  • Select a collection location of College Lane or de Havilland LRC and click on ‘Place reservation’.
  • Once you have submitted your request, we will process the item for you and send you an email and a Herts Mobile notification (if you have signed up for notifications) when they’re ready to collect.
  • We will try to make the item available for collection as soon as possible.
  • Please note that if your requested item is already out on loan to another user it will take longer for it to be made available to you.
  • Once you have received confirmation that your item is ready to collect it will be placed on the reservation shelves in your selected LRC.
  • Remember that you will need to self-issue the item before you leave the LRC.


  • You have 5 calendar days to collect your reserved item before it is returned to general circulation and your reservation is cancelled.
  • The ID (Library) card used to self-issue the reserved item must match the library account the item was reserved on. 
  • If you are unable to collect a reserved item because you are unwell or unable to travel to campus, please contact the Helpdesk

Keeping track of your library loans

Request a scan

  • Our 'request a scan' service complements our existing enhanced eBook access and may be especially helpful to students on placement, final year and postgraduate students working on dissertations and research, and students who are unwell or requiring additional accessibility support.
  • If an electronic version of a library book is unavailable, you can request a scanned copy of a print book chapter, if we hold a physical copy in the LRC (Learning Resources Centres). Copyright restrictions will apply.  

Free postal return service

If you are unable to return loan item(s) to campus that are due back, please follow the instructions below to use our free UK postal return service:

  • Go to
  • Enter your email address and click the 'submit' button.
  • A PDF postal delivery label will be emailed to you from (check your spam folder).
  • Download and print the label, following any relevant instructions in the email.
  • Package your item(s) securely in a jiffy-style envelope or box to ensure safe transit.
  • There is a weight limit of 10kg per package so please repeat the process for a second package if required.
  • Securely attach the label.
  • Take your package(s) to one of 7500 local stores offering the CollectPlus service. To find your nearest store visit
  • Please keep your proof of posting receipt.
  • You will be able to check your library account at  Please allow 10 working days to allow for delivery, item quarantine on arrival, and processing by library staff.

If you are no longer living in the UK, please contact the Helpdesk

Inter-library loans

If an item is not held at the University of Hertfordshire, an Inter-library loan can be requested.

Access to reference items in the closed stack collection (including printed theses)

Reference-only items kept in the closed access stack at the College Lane LRC have to be requested in advance using a Closed access retrieval form. They can be used only in the LRC and must be returned the same day as they are issued to you.  Please download the form and open as Adobe PDF before completing and submitting it. 

  • Click on the Online Library on the top menu bar of StudyNet 
  • Type your search in the Library Search box 
  • Once you have found your item, either click on the location link or on the title link, select the Access information for Closed Access Collection link and complete the Closed Access Retrieval form.
  • All items must be collected Monday to Friday after 10:00, the day after submitting your request.
  • All items must be returned, Monday to Friday before 17:00 the same day the item is collected.
  • When collecting or returning items please call the Library and Computing Services Helpdesk and wait at the LRC Welcome Desk where a member of staff will meet you.

More information

If you need further help or assistance, please contact the Library and Computing Services Helpdesk

Please note that we no longer have any CDs for loan and that DVDs have been removed from the open shelves to the closed stack.
You may still borrow DVDs by searching on Library Search and requesting a reservation.


Contact Us

Helpdesk - Library and Computing Services

Library and Computing Services

Today - Open 24 Hours
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.