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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:

  • Staff
  • 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 give you access to the Library.

In addition, if you have Band A, B, or C membership this will enable you to borrow:

  • ten standard loan items
  • these will be issued for 6 weeks
  • they can be renewed up to 5 times if not required by another user.

You will not be able to borrow journals.

If you have Band R membership you will be able to access the Library but not borrow.

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 WiFi network.

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, fill out our online application form.

To complete your registration, either:

Come to the Library

  • Come to the Library Welcome Desk  which is open 09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 - 17:00 on Friday during term time. During vacation, hours may vary but ordinarily are Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00
  • 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 Band A, B, and C members 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 Library during the above hours please contact the Library (email: to make alternative arrangements
  • You will be informed when your card is ready for collection
  • It can be collected from the Welcome Desk in the Library.

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.

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

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

Access information

Children in the Library

Children/Under 18s are welcome in most areas of the Library. Please see our Family Facilities information.

Disabled users

The main entrance of the Library is accessible for wheelchair users with push pads for assisted opening. There are lifts serving all the floors of the Library.


Please note that there are no parking facilities on the Whiteknights campus, unless you are an orange badge holder.