Broaden your Library Horizons with SCONUL

Calling all University Staff and Postgraduates!

Would it help your research to be able to access and even borrow books from other higher education libraries across the UK and Ireland?  Did you know a scheme exists to allow you to do this?

The Society of College, National and University Libraries or SCONUL aims to promote awareness of academic libraries and our role in supporting research and teaching As part of this they help foster collaboration and encourage reciprocal borrowing rights between member libraries.

What does this mean for you?

Members of staff or postgraduate student at the University of Exeter are entitled to apply for free SCONUL access to the Libraries of any other institutions who, like us, are also part of the scheme. This can get you through the door of institutions that are not open to public and in many cases SCONUL visitors are also allowed to enroll and borrow a limited number of books.

How do I get access?

  • You need to apply online via the SCONUL access webpage
  • Select your user category (e.g. Part Time Postgraduate) from the drop down list, then select ‘University of Exeter’ as your home institution.
  • The site will then display which Universities you are eligible to access. Click on ‘see results as a list’ to scroll through the drop down list, or click on the map tab and enter a postcode to search for accessible institutions in a particular area.
  • When you have found the details of an institution you want to visit click on ‘Apply for Access’ then fill in and submit the online form.
  • You will then receive two emails: the first is a “Library Access Application Notification” email confirming that your application is being processed. The second email should approve your request and welcome you to the SCONUL scheme.
  • Print out the second email and take this, along with your Exeter UniCard to each institution you have been approved to visit and staff there will enroll you.
  • The small print: you must abide by the regulations of any library you join under SCONUL Access. Please be aware they may not allow you to borrow from all of their collections (e.g. loan of periodicals or short loan items may not be possible). Additionally during the busiest periods – such as summer exam time – some institutions may restrict access to SCONUL users so it is worth checking with in advance them before travelling.

What about a full-time Undergraduates?

Borrowing access from other Libraries is unfortunately restricted to the following categories: University staff, postgraduates (taught or research) and students who are officially registered as part-time or distance learning students. However full-time undergraduates are entitled to apply for a Reference Only SCONUL card which could still give you vising access to many Libraries which would not otherwise be open to you. Please apply for a Reference card online, using the same procedure outlined above.

We hope many of you will want to take advantage of the SCONUL Access scheme and enjoy the  wider research opportunities it presents.

Where will your SCONUL travels take you?


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