Secondary Schools

Secondary Schools

Schools Service 

At the University of Aberdeen we have one of the largest library collections in the North-East of Scotland, a wonderful resource that senior secondary school pupils and teachers are welcome to make use of. 

With over 400,000 books on the shelves of The Sir Duncan Rice Library (TSDRL) alone, our Modern Collections span everything from Archaeology to Zoology, and from Zoroastrianism all the way back to Accountancy. Additionally, our Taylor Library (covering Law) on the Old Aberdeen campus, and our Medical Library on the Foresterhill campus, are available for use. 

Please Read Before Visiting


The Schools Service is available to teachers and 6th Year pupils studying for Advanced Highers. Unfortunately the restriction to 6th Year pupils applies due to the demands on our stock and study spaces from University students and staff. 


Library staff assistance 

Library staff can only provide minimal support during your visit and will be unable to provide instruction in using any electronic resources. The electronic resources available through the Schools Service generally have extensive online help pages which can be used. 


To access our printed resources 

Before visiting please: 

  • Whether visiting as an individual or as a group of Advanced Higher pupils and accompanying teachers/support staff please arrange this in advance with your School Librarian. The School Librarian will contact our Information Centre:  

  • Monday – Friday, 09.00 – 17.00 

  • Phone: 01224 273330 

  • Email: 

  • Booking for the separate Walk-In Users Service which provides access to selected electronic resources can also be arranged. At busy times of the academic year we may be unable to host multiple visiting groups at the same time. 

  • Ensure that appropriate photographic ID is available for all school pupils and accompanying academic/support staff. Appropriate ID includes:  

  • Photo driving licence, travel pass, work pass 

  • Passport 

  • School ID for senior pupils, or a Young Scot card 

  • Carry out an initial search of Primo to check that suitable material is likely to be available when you visit. See our guide to Primo for help with your searching. 


If you anticipate borrowing materials please: 

  • Contact your school librarian to check that your school has current membership of the library. Membership is free - if your school is not a member the school librarian can set this up in advance of your visit by contacting staff at our Information Centre, details above. 

  • Ask your school librarian to print off and sign the Schools Borrowing Form, one form for each person planning to borrow. Bring these signed forms with you when you visit. 

  • Check any borrowing limit with your school librarian. (There is a charge of £1 per item paid for by the school after the visit). Remember - borrowing can only be actioned against forms countersigned by the school librarian. 


To access our electronic resources 

If you intend to access the separate Walk-in Users Service which provides access to selected licensed electronic materials please: 

  • Read full details of the Walk-In Users Service on our website 

  • All users of the service must register and accept the Terms and Conditions for use. This takes approximately 10 minutes when you first visit – apologies, this cannot be carried out in advance. 

  • Ensure that appropriate photographic ID is available for all school pupils and accompanying academic/support staff. Appropriate ID includes:  

  • Photo driving licence, travel pass, work pass 

  • Passport 

  • School ID for senior pupils, or a Young Scot card 

  • Bring a memory stick so that selected full-text items can be loaded for your personal study. It is not possible to print documents from the Walk-In Users PCs. 


Checklist ….. 

  • Have you spoken with your school librarian? Check that your school has membership with the University of Aberdeen Library. 

  • Is it worth visiting? Check in Primo, or on our Walk-In Users Service pages, to make sure we have suitable materials for your studies. 

  • To access the library. Does each pupil and accompanying teacher/support staff have appropriate photographic ID? 

  • Borrowing books? Does each pupil planning to visit have a Schools Borrowing Form signed by the school librarian? 

  • Using the Walk-In Users service to access e-materials? Remember to bring a memory stick to store relevant items that you find.

Printed Resources

Borrowing entitlement 

  • Each individual with a signed Schools Borrowing Form is entitled to borrow up to 3 items. However, your school may have set a lower limit than this as costs are involved. 

  • Items from our 4-week loan and long loan collections are available within the service. These make up the majority of our modern holdings. 

  • Items held on 3-day and Heavy Demand loan periods are restricted to University staff and students. 

  • Borrowing is not free. A fee of £1 per item will be charged to the school, although not at the point of borrowing. School Librarians should contact our Information Centre for further information:  

  • Monday – Friday, 09.00 – 17.00: 

  • Phone: 01224 273330 

  • Email: 

Subjects covered 

The majority of our books and journals are intended for use by academics and University students and may not necessarily be appropriate for all Advanced Higher subjects. A proportion of our stock will be in foreign languages. Despite this we do have material suitable for Advanced Higher study. 

If you are studying any of the following Advanced Higher subjects you should be able to find materials in our collections to support your studies: 

Accounting, Art History, Biology, Business Management, Chemistry, Computing, Economics, Education, Engineering, English, French, Geography, German, History, Mathematics, Modern Studies, Music, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies Education, Sociology, Spanish. 

Pupils studying other Advanced Higher subjects will also be likely to find suitable materials in our collections. See below to learn how to search our collections, to find out if we do have relevant material for you. 

Searching for books 

Before visiting please carry out some initial searching in Primo, our online library catalogue, to check that we have books on the topics that you are interested in. See our guide to Primo for help with your searching. When using Primo please be aware of the following: 

  • You can search for particular titles or authors, or do a broader search for subjects. 

  • Some features are available only to University students and staff. 

  • You will be unable to access our subscribed electronic resources through Primo although some e-resources may be available through our separate Walk-In Users Service. 

  • Plan your search terms - spend 5 minutes thinking of relevant search terms as topics can be expressed in different ways. 

  • Use the Advanced Search option for more focused searching. 

  • After performing a search select “Available in the Library” at the top of your list of results to limit the results to only those that you can borrow, and to remove any electronic books from your results list. (To access any electronic books you need to use the Walk-In Users Service)

Where can I find books on...?

Below is a quick reference table detailing the locations of some subject areas within TSDRL. A more detailed list of subjects is available in this library guide.




Accountancy 657 Floor 5
Art History 709 Floor 4
Biology 570 Floor 5
Business Management 658 Floor 5
Chemistry 540 Floor 5
Economics 330 Floor 6
Engineering 620 Floor 5
Geography: Physical 551 Floor 5
Geography: Human 304.2 Floor 6
History 900 Floor 3
Mathematics 510 Floor 5
Music 780 Floor 4
Physics 530 Floor 6
Politics 320 Floor 6
Psychology 150 Floor 7
Religious Studies 200 Floor 7
Sociology 301 Floor 6


Identifying books you can borrow

Not all books in our libraries are available for borrowing as part of the Schools Service. It is easy to identify the loan periods by the different coloured tape on the spines of the books. Long loan and 4-week loan items can be borrowed.

Loan Period

Colour of tape

Entitled to borrow?

Long No tape Yes
4-Week White Yes
3-Day Yellow No
Heavy Demand Blue No

Reference books located on floors 3-7 of TSDRL are not available for borrowing. Reference stock is located at the beginning of each shelf sequence on the Floors and is marked with the shelf notation Ref number letters e.g. Ref 910.3 Han, where Ref indicates it is a Reference item, 910.3 indicates the subject, and Han indicates the author. 

How to borrow books

Once you have located up to three books you wish to borrow: 

  • Check you are entitled to borrow them – they will have no tape or white tape on the spine, and there will be no indication of Ref given in the shelf location. 

  • Take the books, and your signed Schools Borrowing Form, to the Information Centre on Floor 1, where staff will issue the books to you. 

  • A copy of your completed Schools Borrowing form will be returned to you, clearly marked with the date by which the books must be returned. 

  • Remember – you are responsible for these items, take care of them. Please return borrowed items to your School Librarian by the due date.  

  • If you have been requested by the University of Aberdeen Library to return any library books earlier than the original due date, and fail to get them back on time, the school will be liable for fines. 


 Photocopying/Scanning our materials 

  • It is possible to photocopy or scan materials when you visit our libraries, while making sure that you abide by copyright regulations. 

  • You will be able to use our photocopier/scanners by purchasing a re-usable "count-down" card from the Information Centre on Floor 1 of TSDRL.  

  • The cost of photocopying is 4p/side for single sided copies and 3p/side for double sided copies. 

  • You will not be able to print from our machines when you visit. 


See our Library catalogue for Open Access material.

Contact Details

For further information on our Schools Service please use contacts below

The Sir Duncan Rice Library, Information Centre

Monday - Friday, 09.00 - 17.00 01224 27 3330
Alyson Petrie Issue Desk Supervisor 01224 27 2580
Ewan Grant Information Consultant 01224 27 2587
Also, the Special Collections Centre is a treasure trove of historical resources and they offer a range of activities and workshops for schools and the wider community. Visit their Schools pages for further information and contact details.