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Think Recall! Your guide to summer borrowing

The end of term is fast approaching! If you’re taking off for the Summer then from all of us at the Library, have a great time and enjoy the break! But don’t forget our Libraries will be open every day throughout the summer and that our loan rules continue to apply as normal throughout the vacation period.

What does this mean for you?

This means for the many students and staff who arrive or choose to stay in Exeter during holiday periods we are here and open to provide support, study space and the resources you need. If you are going away from Exeter you are welcome to take books with you (although we advise against taking Library resources abroad) but do keep in mind that you will be responsible for renewing any items you borrow regularly throughout the vacation. You can do this online by logging in to your Library record.  Please remember also that books can still be recalled by other library users.

How do recalls work? 

If a book on loan to you is requested by another Library user, you will get an email informing you of this and providing a new date by which to return it. So it is important you check your email regularly if you are borrowing stock during the holidays. Recalled books cannot be renewed and may be due earlier than the original due date. With normal loan books, you should get a week within which to return the item. This should be sufficient time to return the items by UK post if necessary and you are welcome to do this.

Our recall policy exists to ensure fair access to our stock for all library users, so don’t forget if the books you need are on loan you can recall them at any time of year. Learn more about how to place reservations here.

As always if you need help, or have any questions about managing your library record do please get in touch: 

Don't forget to return any books you won't be using before you leave Exeter

Make your summer stress free by returning any books you won’t be using before you leave Exeter

5 Top tips for stress-free borrowing during the Summer:

  • Go electronic: our digital collection now exceed our print holdings: you can access over 100 research databases, more than 30,000 electronic journals and many thousands of e-books via the electronic library. All our electronic resources are available off campus, and with e-books there’s no need to worry about recalls or overdues. So check the e-library first and don’t take hard copies away with you this summer unless you really need to.
  • Return any books you don’t need before you leave Exeter. Please don’t leave Library resources locked up in your room or office over the summer, it isn’t fair to take them out of circulation if you’re not using them either and they could get recalled by other borrowers.
  • If you do take our books away with you, be sure to renew them regularly (every 4 weeks for Normal Loans). Express Collections items continue to issue for 24 hours at a time and it is inadvisable to take these away from Exeter.
  • Think Recall! Any item you borrow can be recalled by another user so please check your email regularly and be prepared to return items by post if necessary.
  • Keep in touch! If you have any questions about recalls, renewals or anything else, please get in touch as soon as possible. We’re available to help 7 days a week throughout the vacation period.

Access Past Exam Papers Online

A great way to prepare for your exams is to have a look at some of the past exam papers for each of your modules. These can give you a flavour of the tone of the questions and the sort of topics you are likely to encounter. Did you know past papers are readily accessible online? There are currently over 9,000 past papers available for you to view in the University of Exeter Past Exam Paper Archive: click here to access it (you will need to authenticate with your usual university username and password).

Once you’ve logged in, you can search the archive by college, module code or title keyword. Papers can then be viewed as PDFs.

A screenshot of the archive search screen

A screenshot of the archive search screen

Know how to request books from Penryn?

To request books located at Penryn Campus Library, you need to do the following:

  • Find the item on the library catalogue

Penryn item

  • Click on the link “View record details on Penryn Campus Library catalogue” – this will connect to the Voyager catalogue for Penryn
  • Click on the link on the right hand side “Request for Streatham user”
  • Log in using your IT username and password
  • At the bottom of the page giving details of the book, press the “Submit Request” button
  • You will receive an email to say your request has been successful

Penryn catalogue 2

  • A message will appear on the screen if it is not possible to borrow the item. This will appear for reference books, DVDs and journals which are not borrowable from Penryn.
  • Once the book has arrived here, you will be notified by email. Please pick this up from the library desk on Level 0



Know how to check your bookings online?

1.  Access your record by clicking on the Patron Record button via the library catalogue: http://lib.exeter.ac.uk/search~S6and logging in with your University username and password.


2.  To check bookings, click on the blue link ‘items booked for future use’ in the left-hand corner box under your name.

Bookings image paint NEW

3.  Click on the link to show the time of your booking and allows you to cancel any bookings from this page.


4.  Click on the title on your booking to show the classmark of your booking in the library catalogue.

Know how to renew your books online?

1.  Access your record by clicking on the Patron Record button via the library catalogue: http://lib.exeter.ac.uk/search~S6 and logging in with your University username and password.


2.  Shows ‘Items checked out’ page when you first login, where you can view materials you have checked out.

3.  Select materials to renew by selecting the boxes in the RENEW column on the left-hand side and clicking ‘Renew Selected.’     To renew all the items on your record, click the ‘Renew All’ button.

4.  Click Yes to renew the selected items.


Check the STATUS column for information on your renewal:

If you cannot renew items, a message will appear on the screen.

If you are successful, a new due date will appear in the STATUS column.

Tips for new students

Welcome to all our new students! We hope you’ve been enjoying Freshers’ week.

LIBRARY sign hanging

Here are a few tips to help you on your way as you start getting to grips with your reading lists and with our extensive range of Library resources.

Start using e-books and journals!

  • The Library is so much more than the print resources you’ll find on our shelves. We also have a wide range of online books and journals and the beauty of these is that you can access from anywhere you have an internet connection.
    • The Library Catalogue is the best route through which to access our e-resources.
    • Search results will show whenever a title is available electronically:

Example search results

    • From the above view you just need to click on the title of the resource to view the full record and then click on the appropriate link to access the resource.
    • Login with usual Exeter username and password and now you’re ready to read!


Get to grips with our self-service systems

We understand that you need to study in a flexible way, and we’re here to support that. This is why the Forum Library is accessible 24 hours a day: Library staff are available 08.00 – 20.00 on weekdays and 10.00 – 18.00 at the weekend but outside of these hours registered staff and students can still swipe in using your Unicards (see our website for full details plus the opening hours of other Library sites). To get the most out of our 24/7 facilities you’ll need to be familiar with our self-service borrow and return facilities. They’re easy to use and all located near the main Library entrance on Forum Level 0 – do check them out and then you can start checking out books, whenever you need them!


Borrowing machine in the Forum Library

Manage your borrowing online 

Did you know you can always keep track of which titles you have checked out and when they are due back by simply logging in to your Library record online, either through the Library Catalogue or via the Library tab on MyExeter. You can also make renewals this way:

    • Once you’ve logged in you’ll see a list of the items you have on loan, together with the date they’re due for return. You can choose to sort by due date, to see which items need to be returned or renewed soonest.
    • To renew all of your items, click Renew All.
    • If you only want to renew some of them, tick the boxes by the titles you want to renew and click Renew Selected.
    • You’ll be asked to confirm you wish to renew these items. Click Yes to complete the process.
    • The Status column should now clearly state ‘renewed’ and show the new due date. If any items cannot be renewed, a message will appear to warn you of this and the status column will show the reason why.
    • Please note that you can’t renew your items online if they are more than 7 days overdue (7 hours for Express Collections items), or if you have unpaid fines of over £10. In these situations you’ll need to contact the Library in order to renew.

 Check out our website

We wish you all fruitful reading and researching!

What’s new in the Forum Library?

As the start of term draws ever nearer we’re gearing up to welcome all Exeter students – both new and returning – into our Libraries. We’ll be sharing more Library tips for Freshers very soon. This update is particularly for returning students.

If you’re coming back to Exeter for your 2nd or 3rd year then first of all a very warm welcome back! It’s worth being aware of a few changes that have taken place over the Summer in the Forum Library. Read on and know what to expect when you use the library for the first time this academic year.

What’s new?

1). New Security System

We’ve got new security gates at our main entrance and we are now operating a one way system. Enter through the gates on the left and exit through the gates on the right. Please observe the signs on the gates and keep this change in mind.


Upstairs on Level +1 there’s also  a change. The doors on this floor are now enter only. Please always exit via the main gates on Forum Level 0.


2.) New machines for borrowing items



We’ve updated our borrowing machines over the Summer. Our new ones are faster: you can now borrow more than one book at the same time without even having to open the covers. Just place your books on the plate, press ‘borrow’, scan your card, then press “Finish” when the items have issued. You can also use these machines to check the books on your record and make renewals but there’s no need to come in just to do that as you can always manage your borrowing online from anywhere you have an internet connection just by accessing “My Library record.

We’ve also moved the location of the machines. They can now be found conveniently right by the entrance/exit on Forum Level 0 in the Library Lounge area – so you can check out your books on your way out.


3). Upgraded Returns machines


At first glance you might not notice the difference. Our returns machines are still located in the entrance area on level 0. They may look the same but they are much more efficient. No need now to open each book and have the barcode read, just press to start and pop the items through the slot one at a time.

If you’ve had items checked out for a long time then you may find they are not recognised by the machine when you come to return them. If this happens to you please return items to staff at desk. Outside of working hours please return unrecognised items via the drop box just a few minutes away at Research Commons. This is available 24/7 and can be found next to the Library entrance.


Broaden your Library Horizons with SCONUL

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? 

Library and Research Skills module in ELE

Library and Research Skills ELE module

The Library and Research Skills module in ELE has lots of information to help you to find out about effective information searching and research skills, and discover more about the different kinds of library resources available to you.

The suite of video tutorials provides quick and easy to follow demonstrations of library and research techniques, e.g. finding a book, an electronic book or a journal article on the library catalogue; booking an Express Collections item; accessing and searching particular research databases.

There are also short films introducing you to different library services, spaces and facilities. Take a tour of the Forum Library and other study spaces at the University. Learn how to use the issue machines. Or meet your Subject Librarian team on film.

Simply pick the topic you’re interested in from the picture menu to learn more about referencing, information skills, journals, research databases, using the Internet and much more.

Each College also has its own Library and Research Skills ELE module tailored to your subject needs; navigate to the appropriate one via the ‘Library’ menu.

There are various ways to access the Library and Research Skills module:

Forum Locker Keys

Located by Costa and by the Guild rooms, The Forum lockers offer a range of storage and loan options: borrow a locker key from the Library’s  Express Collections area to use a locker either to store your bag while you are on campus, to safely store and charge your laptop or to borrow a netbook for use on campus – all for up to 24 hours at a time.

Issue your key in Express Collections first then access the locker

We’re pleased that our locker key service has proved so popular over the past 12 months, but whether you’re a locker key regular or a brand new user it’s worth taking a few minutes to remind yourself of how to use this facility and make sure you’re doing so correctly.

You can borrow Forum Locker Keys from our Express Collections area, please remember:

  • You may only borrow 1 key at a time
  • The Locker key must be correctly issued to your library record before using locker
  • The key is issued for 24 hours only and we expect the locker to be used on a daily basis only, and then the key returned

To use the Forum Netbook Locker Keys

  1. Choose a green key, for a locker with a netbook inside
  2. Issue the key to your library record using our self-service machine and get a receipt. The item will be due for return in 24 hours time, e.g if issued at 11.00 on a Tuesday it will need to be returned before 11.00 on Wednesday.
  3. Find the correct locker number in the Forum and unlock, the netbook and charger will be inside
  4. Use the netbook for working (on campus only: remember the device will not work if taken off site)
  5. Return the netbook to the locker, plug charger into power supply and lock it inside
  6. Return the key to Express Collections, using the self-service machine and get a receipt

To use the storage locker (all have power supply), decide if what size locker you need

  • Choose a red key, for a medium/large storage locker big enough to store a backpack (or rucksack)
  • Choose a purple key, for a small storage locker big enough to store a laptop and notebook

and then you need to:

  1. Issue the key to your library record using our self-service machine and get a receipt The item will be due for return in 24 hours time, e.g if issued at 11.00 on a Tuesday it will need to be returned before 11.00 on Wednesday.
  2. Find the correct locker number in the Forum
  3. Use the locker, these all have power if you want to charge phone or other device
  4. Empty the locker when finished and lock it
  5. Return the key to Express Collections, using the self-service machine and get a receipt
Further information can be found on our webpages.

Don’t forget netbooks are also available from St Luke’s Library, please ask at the desk there if you wish to borrow one.

If you have any questions or require further support in relation to borrowing locker keys please speak to Library staff. If you would like to make a suggestion or offer further feedback on the locker key facilities please do .