This page gives information on joining the University of Reading Library, using the SCONUL Access scheme, for students and staff from other universities.
Membership of SCONUL Access only confers access or membership privileges at the University of Reading Library. It does not give access or membership privileges at any of the University's departmental resource centres.
Members of the University of Reading wanting to use this scheme should go to our SCONUL Access page for University members.
Can I use this scheme?
You must be one of the following, at an institution participating in the SCONUL Access, with a valid library card for your institution:
- Research Student
- Part-time postgraduate
- Part-time undergraduate
- Distance learning student
- Placement student
- Full-time postgraduate (at some member institutions)
Full-time undergraduates are entitled to reference access only
Please note, not every institution supports all the above categories for membership of the scheme. Please check with your home institution library that they will be able to sponsor you.
If you are a student or member of staff from a university which is not a member of SCONUL Access (which includes any university outside the UK and Ireland) then you will be unable to use the scheme.
What will I get when joining the University of Reading Library?
When you join Reading through the SCONUL Access scheme you will receive an External borrowers card. This will enable you to borrow:
- five standard loan items
- these will be issued for 3 weeks
- they can be renewed up to 5 times if not required by another user.
You will not be able to borrow 7-day or 6-hour loan materials, or journals.
You will not be able to access our e-resources, although you should be able to access your own institution's resources and the Internet via the University's Guest Networks.
Membership lasts for the three years or the duration of your course or contract, whichever is the shorter, but may be renewed if your course or contract continues.
You are subject to the Library rules and are responsible for any debts or charges incurred. If necessary, any unpaid debts or charges will be reported to your home institution.
What do I need to use the scheme?
To apply for membership at Reading you must:
- be a member of a higher education institution which is a member of SCONUL Access
- be registered at your home institution library and have a current library card
- have valid SCONUL Access membership
How do I apply to join University of Reading Library?
Once you have arranged SCONUL Access membership via your home library, complete the Reading SCONUL Access application form (PDF)
To register, either:
Come to the URS Building
- Come to the Ground Floor Information Desk in the URS Building, Monday – Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, 09:00 – 17:00 or Fridays 10:00 – 17:00 and bring
- your proof of your SCONUL Access membership
- your library card from your home institution (for identification purposes)
- We will issue you with an External borrowers card and you will be able to borrow immediately (see details above of how many books you will be able to borrow)
Contact us to make alternative arrangements
- If you cannot visit the URS Building during the above hours please contact the Library (email: email@example.com) to make alternative arrangements
- You will be informed when your card is ready for collection.
- It can be collected from the Ground Floor Information Desk at the URS Building.
Please consult our Opening hours before your visit. You may also wish to check our catalogue to make sure we have the items you need. Items with the location "Closed Access" or "Off-site Store" should be requested before visiting the Library as these are not immediately available on our open shelves.
- More information about the scheme and which libraries are members can be found on the SCONUL Access website
- Enquiries about the scheme should be directed to Nick Hollis, Library User Services Manager
Children in the Library
There are restrictions on access for children. Please see Children in the Library for full details.
Library - Access for wheelchair users is provided at the main entrance of the Library through the doors to the right of the revolving door. The exit is through the door to the right of the revolving door. There are three lifts serving all the floors of the Library.
URS Building - The main entrance of the URS Building is accessible for wheelchair users. There are two lifts serving all floors.
Please note that there are no parking facilities on the Whiteknights campus, unless you are an orange badge holder.
Restricted access during the summer University Examinations period
Please note that during the summer University Examinations period from the beginning of April until mid-June, you will need your External borrower card to access the Library and URS buildings after 17:00 on weekdays and throughout the weekends.
During the refurbishment period it will be possible for External borrowers to return and borrow books from the Library between 09:00-22:00 each day. Items can be returned via the external book drop to the right of the Library entrance outside of these hours.