University LibraryLondon

Accessing other libraries

Accessing other libraries

The Library is a member of several schemes that gives Loughborough staff and students better access to other libraries.


This is a scheme that enables academic staff, research students (PhD/MPhils), full time postgraduates, part-time, distance learning and placement students to join and borrow from around 170 participating higher education libraries in the UK and Ireland. This includes many in London.

To join, complete the online application on the link below.

This application will then be validated and you will receive an email from SCONUL Access within 2 working days.

Take your SCONUL Access email and your Loughborough ID card to the library/ies you wish to join. Some libraries may also require you to provide a passport photo - please check with the library you are visiting beforehand.

Please note: Any fine or outstanding query at participating libraries must be cleared. If not, borrowing from Loughborough can be suspended and fines/charges will be transferred onto your Loughborough Library account.

If you have any queries about the SCONUL Access scheme, please do not hesitate to contact the Customer Services Manager.

SCONUL Summer Vacation Access

Loughborough students will normally be allowed to use other university libraries for reference purposes during the summer vacations under the terms of the SCONUL Summer Vacation Access.

The British Library

Students & staff can apply for a readers' pass to use the British Library's reading rooms, if they cannot find the information resources they need either at their own university library or at any others to which they have access. Please check with your Librarian first to confirm that the resources you need for your studies are not available at Loughborough.

All applications will be subject to the British Library's Admission criteria, and you will be asked to supply proof of signature (credit card, passport, driving licence) and address (utility bill, bank statement, driving licence) before a reader's pass can be issued. It is also a good idea to take your student/staff card to show to British Library staff.

Accessing other London libraries

Once you are signed up to the SCONUL access scheme, you will be able to access some of the many other London libraries available to you.

If you’d like to search their collections before you get to the library, the easiest places to look for access to other London collections are:

  • Library Hub Discover – this shows the combined collections of many academic libraries (you can restrict by London region in the advanced search)
  • Search25 – this searches the catalogues of most academic libraries in London to show you holdings
  • Individual library catalogues (e.g. if UCL is near you, then you can search their catalogue)

It may sometimes be quicker for you to borrow books from other London libraries (where possible) than to get postal loans from the main campus.

General hints on using other libraries

  • Always carry your university ID card
  • Check opening hours and facilities before visiting, especially at weekends and in vacations
  • Access to electronic resources and databases will not normally be permitted by other libraries
  • You will be bound by rules and regulations of any libraries visited