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Rules for the use of the University Library

Library mission statement:

The purpose of the Library is to support teaching, learning and research in the University, by developing and promoting access to information resources; and also to contribute to the wider world of scholarship and to the transfer of knowledge, by collaborating and co-operating with other organisations.

Note: The main purpose of these rules is to safeguard the common interests of all readers and to enable the Library to carry out its functions and deliver its mission as efficiently as possible.

Rules framed by the University Librarian in respect of the Library have the force of Regulations for Conduct.

Use of all computers and IT facilities within the Library must comply with the Rules for the use of University computers and data networks.

Access and Membership:

  1. Library opening hours are determined by the Librarian. They may be changed from time to time and notice of any alterations will be given on the Library website.
  2. Library users must leave the Library by the advertised closing time. 
  3. The following are eligible to join and borrow from the Library:
        a) Members of the Academic Staff
        b) Students formally admitted to a course of study of the University and leading to a Degree, Diploma, or Certificate
        c) Other members of staff of the University
        d) Members of reciprocal borrowing schemes (e.g. SCONUL Access)
        e) Other persons whose applications have been approved by the Librarian.
    A fee may be charged for borrowing by external degree students and by some categories of borrower in classes (c) and (e).
  4. The Library reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone without a valid Campus Card or Library Card. Only valid Card holders will have access to the Library during the University Examination period and may be required to produce their card to confirm identity. Visitors without a valid Card may access the Library for reference purposes outside of the University Examination period by booked appointment, provided that they have signed an undertaking to abide by the Rules. There may be restrictions on the use of electronic information sources as a result of licensing agreements.
  5. A card will be issued to each registered Library borrower. The card must be used to access the Library.  The card is not transferable and must be shown on request; you will be responsible for all items borrowed using it and any associated fines which may result from their late return. A charge will normally be made for a replacement card. 
  6. All members, other than students and staff, are responsible for informing the Library of any change of address. Lost Library cards must be reported to the Library. Lost Campus Cards should be reported via the online report form to the Campus Card Office.
  7. Library visitors may be accompanied by children (under 18s) for whom they are responsible. Under 18s are not allowed up to, or on, the 5th Floor.  Unaccompanied under 18s are not permitted entry at any time.  Currently enrolled University of Reading students below the age of 18 are exempted from this rule.
  8. Animals may not be brought into the Library with the exception of assistance-dogs.
  9. Modes of transport (e.g. cycles and scooters) may only be brought inside the building in a folded-down state and must remain folded at all times. They must not create a health and safety hazard (e.g. trip hazard). E-transport (e.g. e-scooters) may not be charged within the building.


  1. No Library material shall be removed from Library premises until its issue has been properly recorded. Materials borrowed shall be returned within the stipulated loan period and their return properly recorded at the Library. Items are returned in the Book Drop or Book Sorter at the user's risk and are regarded as the responsibility of the borrower still, until the return has been properly recorded. Further loans will not normally be permitted to a borrower who has one or more overdue items.
  2. Any material borrowed may be recalled after seven days of being issued if it has been requested for use by another reader. It must be returned as specified in the recall notice.
  3. Some categories of library material may only be borrowed with special permission, for example: Items from the Reference collections; Material labelled Not to be removed from the Library; University of Reading Theses.


  1. Library users must take care of Library materials and must not deface them in any way, including by highlighting, underlining, writing or drawing in them or by removing any part of them. Bottles of ink may not be brought into the Library.
  2. Library users are required to behave considerately and shall respect the study needs of others including the rights of others to work quietly. Silence shall be maintained in silent study areas. Quiet study shall be maintained elsewhere, except in areas designated for group study. Mobile phone use is permitted everywhere except the quiet and silent study areas, however they should be in silent mode throughout the Library.
  3. Areas designated for group study are permitted for study purposes only and users should ensure that noise levels are kept to a respectful level.
  4. Activities, behaviours or actions that disrupt the study of others or undermine the Library’s mission are not permitted.
  5. Library users must not do anything that causes a health and safety hazard including but not limited to, obstructing thoroughfares or fire exits.
  6. Hot and/or fast food may not be brought through the access gates of the Library and may only be consumed within the Café. Non-alcoholic drinks in lidded containers are allowed anywhere in the building. Alcoholic drinks are not permitted in the Library unless expressly authorised by the Librarian (or their delegate) (for example as part of a University event). Library staff may remove and dispose of any food or unlidded drinks left unattended  on tables or desktops.
  7. Smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes, is not permitted anywhere in the Library premises, nor within 10m of the building.
  8. Library users are responsible for the security of their own property. They must, if requested, submit their belongings for inspection as they leave the Library premises. Personal possessions must not be left unattended at any time or they may be removed and treated as lost property. 
  9. Study space may not be ‘reserved’ by leaving personal belongings unattended at desks whilst the owner leaves the building.
  10. Library users using their own laptop computers and other devices do so at their own risk and are responsible for the safety and security of their equipment (including cables). They should be mindful of the safety of others by avoiding trailing wires. It is the responsibility of the owner to have such equipment tested for electrical safety, and use is conditional upon the owner’s acceptance of responsibility for damage to University property caused by their equipment.
  11. Library users may not sleep in the building at any time.

Legal Issues

  1. No Library material may be reproduced for commercial purposes nor used for any other commercial purpose without the Librarian’s consent. 
  2. Personal details of Library users may not be disclosed to other users, nor shall any person use the computerised facilities of the Library to obtain or process data except in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. Library staff may however disclose information on the loans of individual users for the purposes of disciplinary procedures.
  3. Copying, scanning and printing facilities are provided on the condition that the Library users making photocopies do so in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. If a person using a Library photocopier infringes the provisions of the Act, that person will be deemed wholly responsible for the infringement.


  1. Any member of the University staff may act, as appropriate, to uphold the Library rules. 
  2. Fines, at rates determined by the Librarian, will be charged on overdue recalled items.
  3. Damage to Library materials or property including the defacing or removal of pages will be regarded as an offence under the Regulations for Conduct. A Library user who damages, fails to return (or returns in a damaged condition) any material shall be liable to pay the cost of replacement or repair, at the discretion of the Librarian.
  4. In enforcing the Rules the Librarian has the power to investigate and impose penalties: see Student Disciplinary Procedure section 6. Penalties may include withdrawal of Library services and/or facilities and may result in exclusion from the Library. 


Updated November 2023