Members of the public
Our primary aim is to support teaching, learning and research undertaken by members of the University. Services to the wider academic and local community are provided where this can be achieved without prejudice to the primary clientele. Members of the public are welcome to use the University Library for reference and private study (except during the University Examinations period - details below) . This gives access to all our printed materials. It will not give access to e-resources.
On visiting the Library you will be asked to provide photographic proof of identification, personal information about yourself and agree to abide by the Library Rules (PDF).
RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS
Monday to Friday after 17:00, and Saturday & Sunday (outside the examinations period)
If you intend to visit after 17:00, Monday to Friday, or on Saturday & Sunday, you will need to contact us at least 24 hours before your visit. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of which evening/day you will be visiting and we will arrange for Security staff to give you entry.
You will not be able to enter the Library during the above times if you have not contacted us in advance.
University Examinations period - April until mid June
During the summer University Examinations period access for members of the public is restricted to weekends only. This must be arranged in advance.
Please email email@example.com at least 24 hours in advance with details of which day you plan to visit and we will arrange for Security staff to give you entry.
Access Monday to Friday is not possible during the Examination period.
There are restrictions on access for children up to the age of 18. Please see our page on Children in the Library for details.
It may be possible to borrow by joining as an External user, if you meet the designated criteria.
Criteria for joining the Library
Borrowing rights may be granted, at the discretion of the University Librarian, to bona fide scholars for whom Reading is the local university. Bona fide scholars may include:
- graduates of the University of Reading
- lecturers from other institutions in the Reading area
- members of the Friends of the University of Reading
- professionals working and living in the Reading area, eg teachers at local schools keeping up with their subject
- researchers and writers living in the Reading area
An annual subscription costs £90. Discounted to £45 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.
Applying for borrowing rights
- Download the External borrowers application form (PDF).
Printed copies are also available from the Welcome Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library.
- Send the completed form to the Library User Services Team (see Contact and support for our postal address) or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- If eligible, you will be invited to register and to pay the appropriate fee detailed above.
- Registration in person is only available at the Welcome Desk from 09:00 - 17:00, Monday to Thursday or 10:00 - 17:00 on Fridays. If you cannot visit during these hours please contact the Library User Services Team (email: email@example.com 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.
You will be given an External borrowers card which enables you to borrow:
- five standard or term loan items
- these can be borrowed for up to three weeks unless recalled by another person
- you will be fined 80p per day for late returns
Using self-service features on the catalogue
When you register you will be given a PIN which you can use to access the self-service features on the catalogue system, such as renewing your loans, placing holds (on Standard loan items only), and viewing your account.
If you forget your PIN, just contact us for a reminder, but please be prepared to quote your Library card number.
- We can help with general enquiries, although long or complicated enquiries will be handled only if time permits.
- Please make any enquiries during the following hours: 09:00 - 17:00, Monday to Thursday, 10:00 - 17:00 on Fridays.
- Limited staffing during the evenings and weekends means that staff on duty can offer only minimal assistance to visitors.
Please see these links for further information: