Borrowing & returning books

Library members may borrow from any library. 

The Sir Duncan Rice Library 

Self-service kiosks for borrowing library material can be found on the Ground Floor, in the Heavy Demand area on Floor 1, and on Floors 3 - 7. 

Other Site Libraries 

Take the items you wish to borrow to the nearest Issue Desk together with your ID card. 

You are responsible for all books issued on your card. Do not pass them on to other people or lend your card to others. 

How many items can I borrow? 

Status 

Number of Loans 

Undergraduate students 

20 

Taught Postgraduate students 

20 

Research Postgraduate students 

30 

Staff (including Honorary and Retired) 

50 

Temporary Services Staff 

10 

NHS Grampian staff 

10 

External Readers 

10 

SCONUL Access 

Heavy Demand Collections 

 

Information on borrowing for other libraries

We can provide loans and photocopies from our collections to libraries in the UK and abroad through the Inter Library Loans Service.

Returning loans

All types of library material, except Heavy Demand items, can be returned to any University library site. Secure boxes are placed outside the doors of the Taylor and Medical Libraries for returning Heavy Demand items before opening time.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library: use the Returns Room self-return machines on the ground floor. There are two internal drop points (like letter boxes) that allow you to return books one by one through a slot. Books are automatically discharged from your borrower record and routed by conveyer belts to sorting bins allocated to each floor or collection. Books are then collected by library staff and taken up to the relevant floors for fast reshelving. See Using the Returns machine video

On the outside wall of the Returns Room is an external book drop slot where you can make returns even when the library building is closed. This allows return of books, when the Library building itself is open or closed, 24 hours and 7 days per week.

Please take the receipt as this is your proof that the item has been returned.

Site Libraries: when returning loans during library opening hours, please give the material to a member of staff at the issue desk. Library material remains your responsibility while it is issued to you so please wait until it is discharged.

Heavy Demand material must be returned to the site where you borrowed it.

Annual Return of Books in June

Prior to the Annual return of Books in June items can be renewed via Primo or in person. Fines for late returns are charged at a daily rate per item. The fine rate, for items overdue at the Annual Return, is 20p per day, if the item was not requested - if recalled or on hold, the fine rate is the normal £1.00 per day.

Renewing loans

Self-renewal can be done from Primo or the library catalogue for 24 Hour Loan and Long Loan items. Long Loan items can be renewed at the end of the academic year, twice in succession.

From Primo

  • Login to Primo using your University computer username and password. The login option can be found on the top right of the Primo home page
  • Click on the My Account tab
  • Select Loans from the My Account page
  • You will see a list of all the books, journals or other library material that you have borrowed and that are currently on loan to you
  • Select the item that you wish to renew (Long Loans and 24-Hour Loans)
  • Click on the Renew command

From the library catalogue

  • Log on to the library catalogue by entering your University computer username and password or your ID number and PIN number. If you log on with your ID number a PIN number is required for this, please ask at any Help Desk for this
  • Select Borrower Record
  • Select Loans to view the list of items you have on loan
  • Select the item you wish to renew then click on the Renew button

3 Day Loan and 4 Week Loan items renew automatically.

We will renew your 3 Day Loan and 4 Week Loan books 9 times as long as they have not been requested by other users and you have no fines. Thereafter, they must be brought back to the Library. If there are no hold requests on them, items may be borrowed again.

Heavy Demand items cannot be renewed. 

If you have any problems, ask at the Issue Desk in the relevant site library.

Requesting books

You can request material that is out on loan, make an advanced booking for an item in Heavy Demand or request an item from another site or store using the Availability tab and Request option in Primo or the Request function from the Holdings screen in the Library Catalogue.

If the item you require is on loan to someone else then, depending on the loan period, the Library will ensure that it is returned and/or reserved for you.

If the item is in a closed access store or at a library on a different University of Aberdeen campus, you can place a request for the material to be delivered to your site library for collection.

You will be notified via your University email account when an item is available for you to collect. Only your University email account will be used. If you do not want to be notified by email you must apply in writing to the University Librarian and Director, Diane Bruxvoort.

Please note: Some older journal volumes that have never been borrowed may not have been individually added to the catalogue. Please refer to the information about the date range held by the library. If your desired volume falls within the available date range but does not appear individually on the catalogue then it can still be requested as normal - on the list of available volumes under the journal title use the 'request' option on the top line (the one without a date or volume/issue number). You will then be invited to enter the volume/issue number you require and it will promptly be added to the catalogue and despatched to the library site of your choice.

Collecting requested items

At the Sir Duncan Rice Library items are self-collection and can be collected and issued via the self-service kiosks within the Heavy Demand area on Floor 1. Items are shelved alphabetically using the first 4 letters of your surname and last 4 numbers on you ID card. Long loan books will be held for for 5 days, 3 days for a 3-day-loan item and 24 hours for restricted loan journals.

At other site libraries requested items are held for collection at the Issue Desk.

Request a long loan or 4-week loan item

In Primo, if the item is currently out on loan or in a closed access store, it will say Request from in red. If you are a member of the University, you can place a request in Primo. If you are an external member, click on Details and click on the Library Catalogue link. 

You can request anything that is out on loan to another reader yourself from the Library Catalogue. When you have located the item you want:

  • click on the Request link on the left of the Holdings screen in the library catalogue
  • enter your ID number + card issue number, followed by your PIN number

We email the person who has the item out and ask them to bring it back promptly, within 5 days. When it has come back to the library we let you know via your University email account and keep the item for you for a week.

If you have any problems placing a request take a note of the barcode which you will find on the catalogue record, take your ID card to an Issue Desk and ask staff to request the item for you. If the item has already been requested for someone else, we can add your name to the waiting list.

Request a short-loan item

Do this yourself from Primo or the Library Catalogue. When you have located the item you want, if it is on loan, you can request to see it when it is returned:

  • click on the Request link on the left of the Holdings screen in the library catalogue
  • enter your ID number + card issue number, followed by your PIN number

You will be notified via your University email account when the item has been returned. You can also check your borrower Record on the catalogue to see if the item has been returned.

Request a Heavy Demand item

Do this yourself from Primo or the Library Catalogue. When you have located the item you want:

  • log in using your computer username and password, or your ID number + card issue number, followed by your PIN number
  • click on the Availability tab, then the Heavy Demand Booking link. Select the date you wish to reserve the item for. 

You may book items up to 3 weeks in advance. Up to 14 items may be reserved over that period - please note that you may not book an item for consecutive days, or reserve more than 2 items per day. 

On the day of your booking, fetch the item from the shelf in the Heavy Demand area – you will need a note of the shelfmark in order to find the item.

Take the item(s) to a Self Service kiosk and issue them. Please check the due date on the receipt carefully – late returns are charged at a rate of 75p per hour.

Please ask staff if you need any assistance with making bookings or finding reserved items.

Intercampus and Closed Access Store Requests

You can request items located in site libraries on different University of Aberdeen campuses or from library stores using Primo or the Library Catalogue.

When you have located the item you want,

  • click on the Request link on the left of the Holdings screen in the library catalogue
  • enter your ID number + card issue number, followed by your PIN number

Staff will fetch the material for you and send it to the appropriate site library the next working day (Monday to Friday only). For collection times, please ask at the site where you collect the material.

Further information on requesting print journal parts from store can be found in the Fact Sheet Journals - How Do I Find a Journal?

24-hour Loan Periodicals will be kept for one day before being returned to their home site library. Other Intercampus and Store material will be held for you for up to 5 days.

Daily delivery of Store material to the Sir Duncan Rice Library is by approximately 16:00, Monday to Friday.

Please note: We do not transfer requested items within the Old Aberdeen campus between the Sir Duncan Rice Library and Taylor Library.

Types of loan

Most library material is available for loan. To cater for differing needs, varying loan periods are used as detailed below.

Fines are charged for late return of all loans - a summary of current rates is available.

Long Loan

Loan Period

Valid until the end of the Summer term, but subject to recall at any time, including vacations. It is important that you always notify the library of any change in address.

Fine Rates

£1.00 per day for recalled items. See also Annual Return of books in June. Contact library staff for details.

Renewals

Recalled items cannot be renewed. Prior to the Annual return of Books in June items can be renewed via the library catalogue or in person.

4 week loan

Loan Period

A white band on the spine identifies books in this category. Books are due for return 4 weeks from date of borrowing, but are subject to immediate recall at any time if required by another reader.

Fine rate

The overdue 4 week loan fine rate is 20p per day, for items that have not been requested. Overdue recalled or on hold 4 week loan items are fined at the normal £1 per day rate.

Renewals

4 week loan items may be renewed unless recalled or on hold by another reader.  You can renew 3-day loan items on loan to yourself via the library catalogue up to 9 times.  4 week loan items will be renewed automatically for you if not requested by another reader (Aberdeen University students and staff).

3-Day Loan

Loan Period

A yellow band on the spine identifies books and journals in this category. Return within 3 days, weekends included e.g. borrowed Wednesday, due back on Saturday. Holds may be placed to reserve these.

Fine Rates

£1.00 per day.

Renewals

3-day loan items may be renewed as long as no-one else has placed a hold on the item. You can renew 3-day loan items on loan to yourself via the library catalogue up to 9 times. 3-day loan items will be renewed automatically for you if not requested by another reader.

24-hour Restricted Loan

Loan Period

Return within 24 hours from the time of issue, weekends included, e.g. issued 4.45pm Tuesday, due back by 4.45pm Wednesday.

Fine Rates

50p for the first hour overdue. 
5p per hour thereafter for every hour the Library is open.

Renewals

Restricted loans may be renewed as long as no-one else has placed a hold on the item. You can renew 24-Hour Loan items on loan to yourself via the library catalogue up to 9 times.

Heavy Demand

Full information on Heavy Demand Collections at our different libraries can be found in the tab below.

Loan Period

  • The main loan period is 1 day, due back 10.30am the next day (or Monday if borrowed on a Friday or over the weekend).
  • You can borrow books at any time of the day as long as they are back by 10.30 the next morning.
  • If borrowing before 10.30am please check the due date and time carefully – if the item is booked it will be due back at 10.30am today. Check the screen and your receipt for the due date and time.
  • A few items are on 3 hour reference. You may borrow the item using the self service kiosks in Heavy Demand but must return it within 3 hours.

Fine Rates

£0.75 per hour if returned after 10.30am

Please note: there is a steep scale of fines for late returns!

Please be warned that the rate of fines for late return of Heavy Demand books is steep, increasing hourly every hour the library is open which is 9.00am - 10.00pm every day during term except Friday (till 8pm) and Sundays, 11.00am - 10.00pm.

Renewals

No phone renewals are allowed.

Renewals must be done in person, with the item present. This is because items must be returned by a specific time during the day and very often the item has already been reserved for another reader. During vacation and under exceptional circumstances we can allow phone renewals. Please phone 01224 272586 for The Sir Duncan Rice Library Heavy Demand or contact the appropriate site library.

Heavy Demand Collections

All sites have collections of material that has been placed in Heavy Demand sections on the recommendation of academic staff or because it is on reading lists and likely to be heavily used.

Loan conditions for Heavy Demand collections vary between sites. A steep scale of fines for heavy demand items applies at all sites - £0.75 per item per hour until the item is returned. The main features of the Heavy Demand collections at the different library sites are listed below.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library Medical Library Taylor Library

The Sir Duncan Rice Library

The Heavy Demand Area on Floor 1 of The Sir Duncan Rice Library contains:

  • Books and photocopies on reading lists likely to be heavily used
  • Books arranged in shelfmark order for you to borrow or consult
  • DVD collection
  • Study places
  • Self-service kiosks for borrowing, returning and fine payments
  • Multi Function Devices for copying, printing and scanning

You can:

  • Borrow 2 items at a time
  • Borrow at any time of the day until 10.30am the following day (or on Monday if borrowed on Friday or over the weekend)
  • If borrowing before 10.30am please check the due date and time carefully – if the item is booked it will be due back at 10.30am today. Check the screen and your receipt for the due date and time.
  • Heavy Demand DVD loan periods are
    • Monday - Saturday 
      10.30am - 3.30pm
    • 3.30pm - overnight (due 10.30am)
    • Saturday
    • 3.30pm - Sunday 12.30pm
    • Sunday
    • 12.30pm - 5.00pm
    • 5.00pm - Monday 10.30am
  • Reserve books up to 21 days in advance from the Library Catalogue. For details of how to request items in advance see the Library Guide How do I use the Catalogue?
  • Reserved items must be collected by 3.30pm
  • Photocopy material, but you must abide by the Copyright Law

If you have any difficulty using the Heavy Demand section ask staff at the desk for help.

 

Medical Library

The Heavy Demand area in the Medical Library is situated on Floor 1 adjacent to the Issue Desk.

The Heavy Demand Area contains reading list items that are likely to be heavily used.

  • Books are arranged in Shelfmark order for you to borrow or consult
  • Study places
  • Soft seating area where food and hot drinks may be consumed

You can:

  • Borrow 2 items at any one time (except reference)
  • Consult 2 items at a time out with the Heavy Demand area. Please take items to the Issue Desk to have them issued to your card
  • Borrow at any time of the day until 10.30am the following day (or on Monday if borrowed on Friday or over the weekend)
  • Reserve books up to 21 days in advance from the Library Catalogue. For details of how to request items in advance see the Library Guide How do I use the Catalogue?
  • Reserved items must be collected by 3.30pm - after that time they may be borrowed by other users
  • Photocopy material, but you must abide by the Copyright Law

Renewing

Heavy Demand items cannot be renewed by telephone. You must bring the item(s) in to the Medical Library. If they have not been reserved they may be reissued to you.

Returning

Heavy Demand items are due back by 10.30 the following day or 10.30 on Monday if items are borrowed on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Medical Library Heavy Demand material must be returned to the Medical Library.

A book drop box is situated at the entrance to the Medical Library for the return of Heavy Demand books when the library is closed.

 

Taylor Library

The Heavy Demand area on Level 1 of the Taylor Library contains:

  • Books and photocopies on reading lists which are likely to be heavily used
  • Books arranged in shelfmark order for you to borrow or consult
  • A limited number of study spaces

You can:

  • Borrow 2 items at a time (except reference items).
  • Borrow at any time of the day until 10.30am the following day (or on Monday if borrowed on Friday or over the weekend)
  • If borrowing before 10.30am please check the due date and time carefully – if the item is booked it will be due back at 10.30am today. Check the screen and your receipt for the due date and time.
  • Consult up to 4 items in the Taylor Library
  • Reserve books up to 21 days in advance from the Library Catalogue. Reserved items are kept at the Taylor Issue Desk until collected. They must be collected by 3.30 - after that time they are available to other users.
  • Photocopy material, but you must abide by the Copyright Law

For more information see the Library Guide Heavy Demand in Taylor Library.

Library fines

Fines Summary 

Loan Type 

Fine Rate 

Long Loan / 4 Week Loan 

£1.00 per day for requested items 

4 Week Loan 

20p per day, if the item was not requested 

3 Day Loan 

£1.00 per day 

Heavy Demand 

£0.75 per hour 

Restricted Loan (24 hour loans) 

£0.50 for 1st hour and 5p each hour thereafter 

Annual Return 

20p per day, if the item was not requested 

 

Please return items requested from you by the due date given - someone else is waiting. If items are not returned by their due date, other users, who have recalled or placed holds on these items, are inconvenienced. To discourage this, the Library levies fines. 

If you have outstanding fines on your record, you will not be allowed to borrow until these are cleared. Students in their final year will not be able to graduate until all debts to the library have been cleared. 

All library notifications (Recalls, Overdues and Collects) are sent to your University email address, and are not sent on paper via the Royal Mail or University internal mail unless you write to the University Librarian and Director, Diane Bruxvoort. 

Remember: you need never pay a library fine if you return your loans on time!