Using Other Libraries

SCONUL Access scheme

Aston University is a member of the SCONUL Access reciprocal scheme, which allows users to use or borrow books from member libraries.  The scheme covers most of the university libraries in the UK and Ireland. The following Aston University Library users, can register to join the scheme:

  • Full-time postgraduate / postgraduate research students

  • Academic staff

  • Part-time, distance learner or placement students

(Please note: Aston University full-time undergraduate students are not eligible for SCONUL Access membership, but may be able to use other libraries on a reference only basis under the SCONUL Vacation Access scheme - see below for further information.)

How to register for SCONUL Access membership

To join SCONUL Access you will need to fill in an application form online at: http://www.sconul.ac.uk/sconul-access  You must supply your Aston University email address and your Aston University ID number (or Library barcode) on your application form.  Once you have received an email approving your application (this should be within 5 working days), print this out and take it to the library you have applied for (remember to take your Aston uniCARD with you too).  Check the SCONUL website for any further conditions of registration for the library you wish to attend.

What to expect from your SCONUL Access membership

Becoming a member of another university library will not normally mean that you get the same privileges as the university’s own staff and students, and the number of books you can borrow will vary.  You will be assigned to a SCONUL Access Band A, B or C, depending on your status and this will determine your borrowing rights. 

SCONUL Vacation Access scheme

Full-time undergraduate students may have reference only access to SCONUL Access member libraries during vacation periods only. However, this is up to the individual libraries to decide, so please ensure that you contact the Library you would like to visit in advance, to see whether access will be granted.  If access is granted you will need to present your uniCARD and possibly further ID also, on arrival. 

Access to the British Library
The British Library is open to all undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers and staff.
If you wish to join the British Library, you will need to take along proof of identity and home address (a bank or credit card, passport or driver’s licence, together with a utility bill or bank statement).
To find out more about this, the UK’s national library, please visit http://www.bl.uk 

To contact the British Library phone +44(0)20 7412 7677 or email Customer-Services@bl.uk

You may wish to consult the British Library catalogues before you visit so that you make the best use of your time there. http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelprestype/catblhold/all/allcat.html

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