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Borrowing, renewing and reserving

Cardiff University staff and students should visit the intranet to find out more about borrowing and renewing items (log in required).

We aim to make our libraries and collections available to all. Find out more about borrowing items from our libraries

For further information, please see the University IT and Library services regulations


How many items can I borrow? 

Items that you may be able to borrow include books, journals, DVDs, CDs, Inter-Library Loans and more.

There are two categories of external membership available:

  • Associate 6 membership includes: honorary title holders; SCONUL (A, B, and C); personal membership; alumni; NHS Wales training grade Doctors and Dentists (non-Cardiff and Vale UHB / Velindre NHS Trust); Dental Technician students (Cardiff Metropolitan and Cardiff and Vale UHB combined course). Please note that Inter-Library Loans are available for personal and alumni members only.
  • Associate 2 membership includes: Welsh for Adults; Cardiff Libraries in Cooperation; NHS Wales (non-Cardiff and Vale UHB / Velindre NHS Trust); Mutual students (Cardiff Metropolitan University, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama); Go Wales Graduate Academy.

Associate 6 members are entitled to borrow 6 items.

Associate 2 members are entitled to borrow 2 items.  

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Borrowing and returning

Bring the books you wish to borrow to the issue desk together with your University ID card or issue them yourself at the self-service machine. You will be given a date when the books are due for return. You will also receive an email reminder of the due date for any books that have a loan period of 7 days or longer. 

You can return books to any library with the exception of 4 hour loans which should be returned to the library they were borrowed from. Books can be returned in book bins at some libraries or at the issue desk in the library.

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There is a charge for the late return of items:

Loan PeriodFine
13 weeks25p per day
28 days25p per day
14 days25p per day
7 days50p per day
3 days£1 per day
1 day£1 per day
Overnight£1 per hour
4 hour loan£1 per hour


The maximum fine accrued over each issue or renewal period will be £10 per item. 

Fines will increase daily until an invoice is sent for the replacement cost of the item and the maximum fine is imposed. 

Find out more about fines.

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You can renew items up to 25 consecutive times, provided they have not been reserved by another person and you do not currently owe more than £10 in fines. 

Renew online via LibrarySearch, in person at the library, by telephone or via the Ask a Librarian Live chat service. See more information on the Library blog.

Don't forget that items may be returned to any Cardiff University library. However, four hour loans and reserved items should be returned to the library they were borrowed from. Some short loan items may not be renewed. 

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You can reserve items which are already on loan using LibrarySearch.

Check your LibrarySearch account or your Cardiff University email account regularly to find out when your reservations are ready for collection. Reserved items are held for a limited period and can be collected from the relevant library.

You may, if it is more convenient, place requests via a staff mediated service which will ensure that any material from a distant Cardiff University library (e.g. between the two campuses, Heath Park and Cathays Park) is delivered to a more convenient location for collection. In some cases this service will be offered for non-short loan material only. You can do this if the items are on loan or available. You can make the request via telephone, email or in person.

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Requesting items from the stores

Older, less-used items are kept in the Library stores. Items held in store are displayed on LibrarySearch with the location 'XStore n : Ask at desk'.

You can request items from the stores by completing a store request form, available from the libraries, or using our online request form. The item will usually be delivered to your chosen library within one or two working days.

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Requesting books from NHS Wales hospital libraries

If you are a member of the Cardiff University library service and wish to borrow a book from an NHS Wales hospital library, please ask your Cardiff University home library to obtain the book for you.  

If you are a member of an NHS Wales hospital library and wish to borrow a book not held in your library, please ask your library to obtain the book for you.

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Requesting items from elsewhere (Inter-Library Loans)

Once you are certain that the item you require is not available or accessible via LibrarySearch, you may be able to request it from another library (Inter-Library Loan). For more information, please visit the Inter-Library Loan web page