Have you heard of the SCONUL access scheme?
The Society of College, National and University Libraries or SCONUL exists to promote awareness of academic libraries and our role in supporting research and teaching. As part of this mandate they help foster collaboration and encourage reciprocal borrowing rights between member libraries.
Have you ever wished you could access – even perhaps borrow books from – other higher education libraries across the UK and Ireland? The SCONUL scheme may be the answer you need….
Calling all University Staff and Postgraduates!
Members of staff or postgraduate students 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 enrol and borrow a limited number of books.
How do I join?
- 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 Undergraduates?
If you are a part-time undergraduate or an officially registered distance learning student: then you will be entitled to borrowing access from many participating institutions, please follow the instructions above to submit your application and remember to select the appropriate category (e.g. part-time undergraduate) from the list.
If you are a full-time undergraduate: unfortunately you will not be able to borrow under the scheme but you are still entitled to apply for a Reference Only SCONUL card. This can give you visiting access to many Libraries which would not otherwise be open to you and so is still worth doing. Please apply for a reference card online, by using the same procedure outlined above but selecting “full time undergraduate” from the category list.
We hope many of you will want to take advantage of the SCONUL Access scheme and enjoy the wider research opportunities it presents.
And don’t forget, if you are a taught student planning to travel to visit another library you may be able to apply for a Library-funded travel bursary – more info here!
Where will your SCONUL travels take you?