Using our Library

Using our Library

Rooms and Spaces

All library sites have Project or Group Study Rooms and spaces for quiet and silent study. More information on facilities in the Medical Library is available on the Rooms and Spaces pages.

Wireless Network

WiFi is available in the Medical Library and most University academic, administrative and residential buildings on the Foresterhill campus.

Eduroam provides staff and students with authenticated access to Aberdeen’s network. Visitors from other participating institutions can also connect to the Eduroam network when visiting Aberdeen by using credentials provided by their home institution. IT Services provide an online wireless help service and also provide support from the Service Desks.

CityConnect WIFI provides a free WiFi service for visitors to the Foresterhill Campus. A portal page allows visitors to register via their social media account (Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter) or via a simple form. Once they’ve registered, visitors will pick up the Aberdeen-city-connect network. There is more information on the Aberdeen City Council WiFi access web page.

PC Classroom and Clusters

Information about computer and other IT facilities in the Medical Library and our other libraries is available on the library Computer Facilities web pages.

IT Service Desk

There is an IT Service Desk (MedIT) in Room 1:122 in the Polwarth Building providing support of, and assistance with, University of Aberdeen IT services, software or hardware for those based at the Foresterhill campus. For further information including opening times, please see the IT Service Desk pages.


Issue Desk

The Issue Desk provides the full range of standard library services. These include loans, heavy demand issues, returns, recalls, reservations, inter-branch requests and inter-library loans. A box is placed outside the Library for return of Heavy Demand books before the Library opens. See our factsheet Library Provision in Medicine for more information about our range of services.

Enquiry Desk

The Enquiry Desk is situated on Floor 1 by the Issue Desk. It is open from 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday during term time for help with searching the online databases, using and troubleshooting RefWorks and any other library-related queries.

Print Budgets

You can top up your print budget and check your balance online using the PrintManage system.

  • On classroom PCs, access printManage using the Desktop shortcut.   
  • On personal laptops/PCs, go to and switch user to use another account.

Choose to make a payment of £1, £2, £5, £10, or £20. You will need to login to the system using your University username (e.g. u01lib01) and password.                                                            

Photocopy Cards

Members of the public may purchase a re-usable 'count-down' card at the Issue desk which may be used in any  MFD. Please note they can only be used for photocopying.

Inter Library Loan Requests

The Inter Library Loans Service helps staff and students obtain material that is not held by the University Library. Through the Inter Library Loan network, the Library is able to borrow items and obtain copies from other libraries in the United Kingdom and abroad. Books, reports, theses, and issues of periodicals or articles may be requested.

You will need an Inter Library loan voucher before you submit your request.

Payment (by voucher) is required, in advance, for every request made. You can buy ILL vouchers at the Medical Library Issue desk. They may also be available through your departmental library representative. NHS Grampian staff should apply for inter library loans through the NHS Grampian Library and Knowledge Service at the Royal Cornhill Hospital.

Information for Disabled Users


  • Access via the Polwarth Building on the Foresterhill Campus (map)
  • Ramp at the Cornhill Road entrance
  • Ramp at the entrance near the Suttie Centre
  • Lift on the main staircase of the Polwarth Building to all floors (the Library is on Floor 1)
  • Lift in the Medical Library to all floors, but very narrow doorway
  • Four floors with no internal steps; the Basement fire exit is very narrow and unsuitable for wheelchairs
  • Induction loop for hearing-impaired at the Issue Desk
  • Accessible MFD (multi-function device for photocopying and scanning)
  • Accessible toilet for disabled staff and students available outside the Auditorium, Polwarth Building, very close to the Medical Library


An Assistive Technology Booth is available on the Floor 1. This single occupancy room is available for use by disabled students. It provides assistive software for those who need it. The booth has swipe-card access for authorised users online booking is available for the booth. Further information is available on the Assistive Technology web pages.

Two PCs with enhanced software and height-adjustable tables are available on Floor 1. Priority access is given to disabled users.

The library factsheet Accessible library facilities and services has more information for disabled students.

Medical Books and Journals


Main Collection

The main current book stock including pamphlets and folios is shelved on Floor 3, the top floor of the Medical Library. They are arranged in the Dewey classified sequence which is used throughout the University Library. New books are added to our collection every month. For a complete list, go to the New Aquisitions page.

The Medical Library Shelving Guide is a useful subject guide. Paper copies of this guide are also available in the library.

The Ground Floor contains all older book material. Medical Directories, Medical Registers, older pamphlets and the audio-visual collection (tapes and slides) are shelved at the end of the book section on this floor.

Heavy Demand Collection

The Heavy Demand collection is shelved on the first floor of the library. The material in Heavy Demand is mainly books on the lecturer’s recommended reading list. For more information on Heavy Demand items, go to the Types of Loan tab on the Borrowing from our libraries web page.

Reference Books

Reference books are shelved on the first floor; this includes Electives and MSc theses. These items cannot be borrowed but may be consulted in the library.


Print Journals

Medical journals have a shelfmark beginning F Per 610 and are shelved in alphabetical order. Journals from 1995 onwards are shelved on on Floor 2, and journals published before 1995 are on the Ground Floor. The current year’s journals are stored in cupboards on the right hand side of Floor 2 with the most recent issue on display on the front of the cupboard.

Journals are issued on 24 hour loan and may be renewed by phone or online if they have not been requested by another user.

Electronic journals

We subscribe to a large number of full-text e-journals in Medicine and Biomedical Science, they are available via Primo.


Useful Web Links

NHS Knowledge Network

The NHS Knowledge Network is available to all NHS Scotland staff and to a range of NHS partners including most medical students at the University of Aberdeen.

It provides access to many journals which the University of Aberdeen does not subscribe to. Some of these journals are freely available, but to get the full benefit of the service you will need to apply for an OpenAthens username and password. Members of the following groups may be eligible -

  • Staff - anyone who works directly for or is a contractor with NHS Scotland, including those providing training to NHS staff.
  • Students - undergraduate or postgraduate students working or training with the NHS.
  • Partners - all individuals and organisation that provide services and support to the work of NHS Scotland.

To find out more and to apply for a password, follow the >Sign-in/Register link at the top right of the Knowledge Network home page.

Please note that University of Aberdeen computer usernames and passwords will not work. Please refer any questions to our NHS colleagues at Cornhill Library. Contact:

tel: 01224 557485


MIMS is a database of prescription and generic drugs, clinical guidelines and patient advice.

British National Formulary (BNF)

The BNF provides UK healthcare professionals with authoritative and practical information on the selection and clinical use of medicine. To access BNF content, register as follows -

  • Go to MedicinesComplete
  • Choose the NHS or Non-Commercial option
  • Select the top two options (BNF and BNF for Children)
  • Select the appropriate boxes at the bottom of the page, then click Proceed

Online Database Tutorials

Follow the links for online tutorials, webinars, user guides and other training resources from the publishers of these databases.

Come to our Enquiry Desk to find out more about how to search for information in medicine and biomedical science. We can also help with referencing, citing and troubleshooting RefWorks.