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SCONUL Access – University of Reading

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Due to the current public health situation the SCONUL Access scheme has been suspended until further notice.

The SCONUL Access Scheme gives reciprocal access and borrowing rights for staff and students of most Higher Education institutions in the UK and Ireland. 

This page gives information about the SCONUL Access Scheme for members of the University of Reading. If you are from another institution and you wish to use our Library please see SCONUL Access: information for students and staff from other universities.

Can I use this scheme?

SCONUL Access provides borrowing for:

  • Staff – on permanent or fixed term contracts
  • Research Students – students registered for a PhD, MPhil or similar qualification awarded purely by research
  • Part-time and distance learning students - on courses running for a minimum of one year and leading to a higher education award
  • Placement Students - on placements of six weeks or more
  • Full-time taught postgraduate students – at some member libraries only

Full-time undergraduates – are not offered borrowing privileges but are granted reference access to some of the participating member libraries. See our guide to Using other libraries for details of other schemes.

Associates and External Borrowers – are not entitled to any benefits from the scheme

Membership bands

Depending on your status you will be allocated a membership band: 

Your status

SCONUL Access Band

Staff Band A 
Research students Band A
Part-time postgraduate Band B
Part-time undergraduate  Band B 
Distance learning  Band B 
Placement  Band B 
Full-time taught postgraduate  Band C
Full-time undergraduate   Band R - Reference only

Not all universities who are members of the scheme accept users from all user bands.

Go to the SCONUL Access participating libraries page to check whether your membership band is accepted by a library you are interested in joining. Just select your status and home institution to view a map or list of libraries offering access.

What can I get under this scheme?

You will be able to access and borrow from participating libraries if you are eligible to join.

To find out which libraries you are eligible to use go to the SCONUL Access participating libraries page and select your status and home institution to view a map or list of libraries offering access.

IT facilities and electronic library resources are not normally included in the scheme and there may be some limits imposed on the types of material that can be borrowed.  

What do I need to use the scheme?

  • You must be a current member of the University of Reading Library in one of the categories in the table above 
  • You must be in good standing with the Library i.e. have no debts or be barred 

How do I join the scheme?

  1. Go to the SCONUL Access participating libraries page and select your status and home institution. You will then see a map or a list of libraries you could use.
    Note: Not all libraries are members of the scheme, and not all members of the scheme accept all types of users. Each library participating in SCONUL Access chooses which types of users to accept under the scheme. The SCONUL Access participating libraries page will only the display the ones you can use. If you are unsure please contact the Library.
  2. After selecting a Library you wish to use, click on the "Apply for access" button on the institution details page and fill in the online registration form. Note: if you can't see the "Apply for access" button try using a different web browser, there have been problems with the display on Internet Explorer 8.
  3. Your application will be reviewed by Library staff. Please allow up to seven days for your request to be processed. 
  4. You will receive an email authorising registration at libraries you are eligible to join.

How do I join the library I wish to use?

  • Check the website of the library you wish to use for opening hours and any local conditions e.g. times of registration or need to supply a passport-size photograph.
  • Take both the email authorisation and your Campus/Library Card when you register
  • They will issue you with a library card.
  • Abide by the rules of the library you wish to use - you will be responsible for any fines or replacement costs incurred.

Further information

  • More information about the scheme and which libraries are members can be found on the SCONUL Access website

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