Borrowing and Managing your Library Account
This page explains borrowing, requests, and returns. Please see Library Collections for finding items on iDiscover and in the Library.
You can borrow 12 items from Magdalene College Library and up to 200 items across all of the University Libraries.
To borrow items take them to the self-service machines on the Ground Floor or First floor. Press ‘Borrow’, scan the barcode on your University card and then place your items one by one on the pad. Make sure each item in the list turns green before adding the next.
If the security gate sounds when you exit an item hasn’t loaned properly so please come and see us at the desk, or send us an email out of staff hours.
A manual borrowing form is available next to each machine if you have any problems. Please fill this out and place it in a returns box and staff will update your account.
Items are loaned to you for 7 days at which point they will automatically renew for a further 7 days as long as a request (see below) has not been placed on them. This will continue throughout the year until a request is placed or you choose to return the items.
Board Games are borrowable for short loans during term time.
Some items are Reference only which means they can be read in the Library but not borrowed. These items will have a red sticker or ‘not to be taken away’ sticker on the spine.
Click and Collect can be used to ask staff to retrieve items with a ‘Reserve store’ location. It can also be used by students who have disclosed a student support document to ask staff to retrieve any item in the Library.
To return items please bring them to the self-service machine on the Ground floor. Press ‘Return’ and place the items on the pad. Please double-check every item appears on the list. You can then place them in the Returns Box adjacent.
There is an additional returns box in the entryway if you are in a rush but please note that staff will only empty the box once each morning so please return requested items to the box by the staff desk or hand them to us.
Please return items regularly if you are no longer using them so that they can be made available for the next person.
If an item is on loan to another person and you need to borrow it you can place a request to trigger a return. Due to autorenewals the item could have been on loan for a while and is no longer in use so please don’t worry about using requests.
If the item is in high demand and you think we need an extra copy you can let us know by using our quick Recommending Items Form.
To place a request you need to login to iDiscover using the text button in the top right of the banner. When logged in a ‘Request’ button will appear under the ‘Get it’ heading for the item.
Once a request is placed the item should be returned within three days. It will then be loaned to you and you will receive an email when it is ready to collect from the reserved book shelf on the Ground Floor. If it is not collected within the week the item will be returned and re-shelved.
If you have an item which has been requested and it is not returned within three days it will count as an overdue request. If you have 2 of these on your account you will be blocked from borrowing across all University Libraries until they are returned.
Managing your Library Account
To manage your account via iDiscover you can login by, clicking ‘Menu’ (top right corner) and then ‘My Library Account’.
When logged in you can view your current loans across all libraries, any requests you have placed, and any fines or blocks you have incurred. You can also check your account using the self-service machines.
A monthly statement will be emailed to you giving you a snapshot of your loans. This is not a notice to return items but please do review it and bring back any items you are no longer using. If anything still appears on your account which you think you have returned please email us email@example.com or speak to us at the staff desk.
Using the UL and Faculty Libraries
In addition to your College Library it is likely that you will need to use the University Library and relevant subject faculty libraries for study spaces, or borrowing. The Cambridge Libraries Directory lists all the libraries in Cambridge with links to their websites.
Whether you can borrow, and how many items, will vary at the different Libraries. There is a Borrowing Libguide which explains how the Cambridge library system works. You cannot use another College Library for studying or borrowing.
The University Library provides guidance for new students and offers inductions. It has also produced a short video that introduces Cambridge Libraries.