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Love your reading list, but go for more

How to find and access reading for your course and for pleasure.

Your reading list is the gateway to the content you need for your course – we work very closely with lecturers and course leaders to make sure that we have everything you need on our shelves or online.

Items for your course

Check your reading lists in your module areas in Minerva. We’ve put links to your reading, whether they are ebooks or physical books on our shelves. You might also find we’ve digitised sections of key texts for you.

If a book is on the shelf the link will take you to the item record in Library Search. You’ll see which library it is in and its shelfmark – and you can use the locate button to help you find it. It might be confusing at first, so just ask a member of staff wearing a lanyard for help – that’s what we’re here for!

Most of the recommended reading in print is held in the Laidlaw Library – unless you’re a medical or health student, in which case you’ll probably find it in the Health Sciences Library.

Keep checking your list – if your text isn’t online at the start of term it might be available later on, as we’re making more texts available online every day.

If there is something we don’t have in the Libraries that you need for your course, request it using our Suggest a purchase form.

Using Library Search for independent research

Whether you know what item you’re looking for or you’re researching more widely for an assignment, watch this video for pro tips for Library Search to help you find what you need.

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Our Search Help guides will help you to get the most out of Library Search.

Leisure reading

Where’s the fiction section? Our English literature collections and our languages collections hold lots of fiction books from all kinds of genres – have a look, you might find something that surprises you!

There’s also a wide range of ebooks, audiobooks and magazines through OverDrive. Download the Libby app on your device to find, read and bookmark items for later. OverDrive and Libby lets you you’re your reading on the go and offers a range of fiction that we might not otherwise have on our shelves.

You can even more leisure from the Libraries from streaming movies and TV shows with Kanopy, Box of Broadcasts and BFI, DVDs and CDs in the Laidlaw Library, and you can even access newspapers through Nexis.

Borrowing, returning and requesting

You can see full information on borrowing items on the Library Services webpage. Here’s a quick summary of the key things you need to know.


You need to bring your student card with you to borrow books. You can borrow up to 50 books at a time.

You’re guaranteed to keep items you borrow for 7 days. These will automatically renew until someone requests them. If someone requests an item you have on loan, you will receive a recall notice and will have 7 days to return it.

Some items, such as journals and items in the High Demand Collection, have a shorter fixed loan period. These are not renewed automatically so you must return them after the fixed term. Items with these limitations are clearly marked.

You can check your Library account at any time to see what you have borrowed and when they are due back.


You can return items using the book sorter slots at the Laidlaw and Edward Boyle or the self-service machines in Health Sciences and the Brotherton during opening hours.

When library buildings are closed, use the return slot at the Laidlaw – you can find this at ground level on Hillary Place. Take a peek at our Instagram to see what happens behind the scenes through the book sorter slot.

If you can’t get to campus, find out how to return your items by post.

Please return your items as soon as you are finished with them, regardless of whether we ask you to, to allow others the opportunity to borrow them.


If someone has a book that you need, request it using the button in the item record – you’ll need to sign in to Library Search to see the button.

We will recall the book and send the borrower an email asking them to return it as soon as they can and no later than 7 days.

Get in touch

There are lots of ways to get your questions answered.

When you’re in the buildings, look out for green lanyards and purple t-shirts! The people under them will be delighted to answer any questions you might have.

You can talk to us online – contact us by email or through webchat. You’ll know when webchat is available when the “chat now” link appears on the top of the webpages.

We also answer your questions on social media too, follow us on Instagram or Twitter for updates.