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Members of the public

Criteria for joining the Library

Membership and borrowing rights may be granted, at the discretion of the University Librarian, to members of the public aged 18 and over who live or work in Reading.

An annual subscription costs £120 (including VAT). Discounted to £60 (including VAT) for graduates of the University of Reading and Bulmershe College, Friends of the University of Reading, retired staff and teachers at partnership schools.

Academic staff and some students at universities which are members of the SCONUL Access scheme may be eligible to obtain borrowing rights free of charge. Please see our SCONUL Access page for further information. Members of libraries within the M25 Consortium may be eligible for reference membership via the Access25 scheme. Please see the Access 25 scheme webpage for further information.

Membership benefits

Library membership will entitle you to:

  • an external borrower membership card providing you access to the building and enabling you to borrow items.
  • access to all our printed materials
  • ten standard or term loan items
  • these can be borrowed for up to six weeks unless recalled by another person
  • a PIN to access self-service facilities on the catalogue system, such as renewing your loans, placing holds (on standard loan items only), and viewing your account
  • guest Wi-Fi access* for the duration of your membership (on request only)

*Wi-Fi access is provided via Eduroam and guest access is only available within the Library building. Anyone with access to this network via their own institution should be able to connect on arrival without requiring guest access.

Membership conditions

  • you will be fined 80p per day for items that have recalled and are overdue
  • you will not have access to e-resources, computers or printers
  • you will be asked to provide photographic identification (such as passport or driving licence#) and personal information about yourself for your Library record
  • you will agree to abide by the Library Rules.

#If you do not have any photographic identification then we ask that you present two recent printed forms of identification which must confirm your name and address e.g. current council tax bill, or a bank statement, or utility bill dated within the last 3  months.

Applying for membership

  1. Complete our online application form.
    Printed copies are also available from the Welcome Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library.
  2. If approved, you will be invited to register and to pay the appropriate fee detailed above.
  3. Registration in person is available at the Welcome Desk, 09:00 - 17:00, Monday to Thursday, Saturday & Sunday and  Friday,10:00 - 17:00 during term time. During vacation, hours may vary but ordinarily are Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00. If you cannot visit during these hours please contact the Library User Services Team (email: or telephone: (0118) 378 8770) to make alternative arrangements.

See our Privacy notice (PDF) for information on what personal information we collect, hold and share in order to provide Library services to you and your rights in respect of the data we hold about you. 

Further information

Please see these links for further information: