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General Library Guide: Library Services

Your guide to our Libraries and the services we provide

The library and computing facilities are available for more than 100 hours per week during term-time, including late opening until midnight 7 days a week. This guide contains essential information to help you to use our services. If you are having problems using the Computer Labs or Libraries or need advice on using any of our resources, please ask for help from the IT Support or Library help desks; it's what we are here for.

Getting Help

For subject support including help with eresources please contact your subject support Librarian. Find out who your subject support Librarian is here: Contact a Librarian

The My learning/Learning support pages in the portal are your gateway to our online resources; use them to learn how to use online resources, renew loans, reserve books and find IT help and advice. Detailed help is also available from the Library online Moodle course iPROGRESS accessible via the portal.

General Library Guide

How many books can I borrow?

You can borrow up to 20 library items (books or other resources) at one time. Most items can be issued on our self-service machines, but certain items (such as inter-library loans obtained via the document delivery service) will need to be collected and issued from the Helpdesk. Borrowing requires your student or staff ID card, which is also required for entry to the library.

When will they be due back?

Standard loans are loaned for four weeks.

7 day loans are loaned for one week to full-time students, two weeks to part-time students.

Can I keep them longer?

All items on your account will be automatically renewed unless another user has reserved the item. You will need to return the item by its due date.

If one or more of your items cannot be renewed, a message on the screen in red will explain why. Allow yourself time to return an item that cannot be renewed, for instance if someone else has reserved it; don't leave renewals until the end of the day they are due for return.

When an item you have on loan is reserved, we will email you to inform you. You can use My Account on your university's LibrarySearch to see your current loans. It is your responsibility to keep track of what you borrow, but ask staff if you need any help with this.

Please note, overdue fines cannot be waived if you fail to receive a courtesy notice for any reason (including system failure); it is your responsibility to keep track of the dates your loans are due for return.

Make sure you receive email messages by checking your University email inbox daily. If you prefer, you can set up your University email to automatically forward messages to your 'home' email account.

How do I return books?

Books borrowed at Stockwell Street Library and other campus libraries

Most books and other items can be returned to any of your university's libraries using the self-service machines. At Stockwell Street Library, this is done via the book sorter, located on the ground floor.

Please note that books borrowed through our Document Delivery service must be returned to the Library Welcome Desk.

Charges are levied for the late return of books - it is very important to ensure that you return or renew your books in time.

Can I reserve books?

You can place reservations on books from other campus libraries. You can also reserve books that are out on loan to other readers through LibrarySearch. An email is sent out to the current borrower to return the item. Once the item is returned the Library notifies you by email when it is ready for collection.

Which books may not be reserved?

Any material which are on the shelves at your home site library.

How many reservations can I make?

You may reserve up to 5 books at any one time.

Important Information

You need to check your email or Library account to find out whether your reservation is ready for collection.

  • Reserved books are held for 7 days.

Canceling reservations

We encourage you to cancel any reservations you no longer require, for the benefit of the next person in the queue.

This can be done in two ways:

  • Through My Library Account
  • At the Library Welcome Desk

Please see this page for information on library charges: Library Charges

Have your say on how we build your Library Collections

Library Services are in the process of developing a collections policy that describes how we build and maintain your learning resources. Our collections comprise of print and electronic resources including books, journals, and databases.

We want your input on whether you feel our policy:

  • Reflects the type of library collection you expect from us;
  • Offers transparency on how we develop our collections;
  • Outlines our processes in a clear, jargon free manner.

Please take a look at our consultation policy and email your comments, thoughts or criticisms to Cathryn Peppard ( or Nadine Edwards (

We are also happy to meet with people in person or arrange to discuss your thoughts over the phone.

Most items are four-week loans or 7-day loans. Some items are reference, which means that they can only be used in the library.

Four week loans

Students may borrow for 4 weeks, unless the item is reserved by another borrower in which case the loan will be automatically restricted to 1 week.

7 day Loan

Full-time students may borrow for 1 week and part-time students for 2 weeks, unless the item is reserved by another borrower, in which case the loan will be automatically restricted to 1 week.

Overnight Loan

Audio-visual material only. Items are due back by 12pm the next working day. 


For use in the library only, shelved with the lending stock.

Student computing

There are computers with printing facilities at each campus; most of these are located in or near libraries. Computers with assistive software and adjustable furniture are available; more information about these and other ILS computing services can be found by following the link from our portal tab, or going direct to

All libraries are wireless-enabled; help to connect with your laptop can be found on Computing Support web pages at

What happens if I lose my Greenwich Gateway Card?

If you lose your library card, you must report it straight away to the Security Desk, so they can disable it. You will need to go to the Student Centre to obtain a new ID card.  There may be a replacement charge for it.

Your Greenwich Gateway Card (university ID card) is required to use any library or computing facility. You cannot borrow books without it. Your card should be carried with you at all times on campus.

It is a disciplinary offense to use someone else's ID card, or to allow someone else to use yours.

Never borrow books for another person to use. You are responsible for everything borrowed on your account, including fines for late renewal or return, and replacement charges for any item not returned.

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Computing Support

A wide range of electronic information services are provided, many available for use off campus, and 1000+ PCs are available for on-campus use. We provide laptop drop-in zones, photocopying and printing, and self-service machines for the issue and return of books. Our staff in both the computer labs and libraries will do all they can to assist users who need help in using the facilities.

Card-activated photocopiers are available in all libraries and scanners are available in main computing areas; you must observe Copyright Law when using these and guidelines are posted nearby to advise you. Other facilities such as colour printing, plotters and DVD writers are also available; ask your computing helpdesk for information about the location of these at your campus, or check your campus's online computing support pages.