Borrowing Items

Students can borrow up to 6 items. The duration of the loan depends on the type as follows:

  • Standard Loans: maximum of 4 weeks.
  • Short Loans (Yellow dot on spine of book or on barcode label inside book): 1 day. If the Short Loan is issued on a Friday, it must be returned on the following Monday.
  • Reference Works (Red dot on spine of book or barcode label inside book): These are to be used in the library only and are not available for loan. This includes all journals, dictionaries and encyclopaedias, dissertations and theses.

If you would like to renew a loan, please inform staff before the due date. If you do not inform staff of your intentions to renew the loan, it may be treated as overdue and you might be expected to pay a fine.

There is a limit on how many times a loan can be renewed:

  • Standard loans- can be renewed twice, if not requested by another borrower
  • Short loans- can be renewed once, if not requested by another borrow

If you already know which items you would like to borrow from the Library, you can request them by emailing

Library staff will have the items ready for your collection at the Library helpdesk. You will receive an email confirmation of this.

Inter-Library Loans

If you cannot find the resources you are looking for, it is possible to use the British Library’s On Demand service to acquire a copy. The information below should help with any questions you might have regarding this facility. If you have any further questions about inter-library loans, please ask a member of Library staff.

When should I use the service and does it cost?

You can apply for an ILL if you require a book, journal or journal article, that is not held by the College, as long as it is for private study or research for a non-commercial purpose. We recommend that you check that the item you need is not available in a local library (by local, we mean the Public Library, University of Abertay, University of Dundee and University of St. Andrews) or your request will not be accepted by the College.

The ILL service is free to College staff and students. If your request is rejected, you can still use the British Library’s On Demand service yourself but you will be responsible for the costs. Information on current pricing can be found on the British Library’s On Demand website. 

How do I apply for the loan of a book?

To apply for a loan of a book, you will need to:

  • Email the College Library at
  • Provide as much information as you can. The following information would be helpful:
    • Title of Book
    • Author(s)/Editor(s) of Book
    • ISBN
How do I apply for a journal article?

To apply for a journal article, you will need to:

  • Email the College Library at
  • Provide as much information as you can. The following information would be helpful:
    • Title of Journal
    • Volume Number, Issue Number and Year of Journal
    • Title of Article
    • Author(s) of Article
    • Page Numbers of Article (if known)

Since journal articles sourced from the British Library are supplied as encrypted pdfs (a method known as secure electronic delivery), you will need to register for the BL’s On Demand service. in order to access the requested article. You should be able to access the article on any of the College PCs, but if you wish to access it on a personal device, you will need to have a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed (v10 or above).

You can access an information document regarding secure electronic delivery here (Note: Shireen, a pdf will be supplied)

How long will the item take to arrive and what happens next?

When an order is placed, you will be notified of the estimated delivery time. As a guideline, with their standard service, British Library Imaging Services will aim to process your order within 15 working days of receipt of the order. Print copies of a document may take less time depending on the number of orders that the British Library has to deal with.

After placing your order, you will be made aware when the item is ready for collection- unless you have requested a digital version.

Some physical copies of items are only allowed to be used within the College Library and cannot be taken away. This is part of the terms and conditions as set out by the British Library. This doesn’t happen often, but you will be informed if your requested item falls into this category.

How long do ILL loans last?

Books obtained through inter-library loan are issued for 4 weeks. There will be a notification on the item specifying when it must be returned to us. It is advisable to return all ILLs promptly as a fine may be charged by the owning library and this will be passed on to you. Unfortunately, it is not possible to renew inter-library loans at this time. Sometimes there can be a high demand for items and you may receive a recall notice earlier than the due date for the item.