University LibraryStudents

Using the library

Support for part-time and distance learning

We recognise that studying part-time and at a distance has challenges not faced by full time students.  We try to help by offering some services unique to you.

Extended loan periods

As a part-time and distance learner we recognise that you may not come onto campus on a regular basis.  To help you you can borrow:

  • Long Loan items (normally 4 weeks) for six weeks
  • One Week Loan items for two weeks.

Please note:  Any item is still subject to recall. Notices will be sent to your Loughborough University email address.

Q: Is it possible to reserve/request items?

We are willing to check the catalogue to see if items are available and to submit reservation requests on your behalf. All such requests should be made by phone to the Library Help Desk on (01509) 222361 and you should have your borrower card to hand.

You may also request that an item is taken off the shelf for you to collect. We only hold such material for 24 hours.

Q: Can I have books sent to me in the post?

You may have books posted to you for a fee. Books will normally be posted using special delivery. The average cost of sending a parcel special delivery is £4.35 (more for outside the UK or if there are heavy books/more than one parcel ).

  1. Check whether we have the item(s) in stock by browsing the Library Catalogue on the web.
  2. Email the book details and your details to
  3. The book(s) will be sent to you as soon as it is available.
  4. The postage will be charged to your borrower account. The fee should be paid by cheque made payable to Loughborough University prior to ordering additional books.

Q: How do I return my loans to the Library?

You can return your books as normal on the self service machines if you are on campus when the Library is open.

If you need to return books when the Library is closed, there is a red returns box just outside the Pilkington Library entrance.

Students who live at a distance may return items by post to: Pilkington Library, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU. We recommend that you use Recorded delivery post to return your books.

Q: Is it possible to renew my books?

To renew the items you have out on loan, select My Account and then click on Checked out items. A list of all the items you have out on loan will be displayed. You can renew one item at a time by selecting the item and following the instructions. If the system is unable to renew an item it will inform you of the details of the book so that you can return it to the Library.

You may also telephone the Library to renew Long Loan and One Week Loan items provided other borrowers do not require them.

Q: If I'm not on campus, can the Library send me photocopied articles/book chapters?

We offer a fee based postal photocopying service. Copies of journal articles or chapters of books that we have in stock will be mailed to you on receipt of a signed request form. Please note that all photocopying is subject to copyright legislation.

  1. Check whether we have the journal in stock by searching Library Catalogue Plus.
  2. Fill out, print and sign a Photocopy Request Form for each article for copyright purposes.
  3. You will be charged £2.50 per article. Make out a cheque for the appropriate amount payable to "Loughborough University".
  4. Send the form(s) and the cheque in an envelope marked "Photocopy Request", to the Library at the address given on the form.

Online resources

The Library subscribes to a wide range of electronic resources that you can access both on and off campus, including: e-books, e-journals and databases.  As you may not be able to come into the Library on a regular basis, we recommend that you learn how to use the online resources, so that you have easy access to the information you need to support your studies.

If you are studying off-campus, it is strongly recommended you use the University's VPN service. Details on this service and instructions on how to install the VPN on your own devices can be found below.

Studying in the Library

The Library provides a range of different study spaces, so choose the one right for you.

  • Social learning - Open 3 & Group study rooms
  • Traditional silent study spaces - Levels 1 & 2 and Individual study carrels
  • PCs throughout the building & wireless.

Inter-Library Loan service

The Inter-Library Loan service provides members of Loughborough University with access to information resources which are not available from the print collections or electronic subscriptions of Loughborough University Library.  We do this either by borrowing these resources or by getting photocopies or PDFs of them from other libraries around Britain and sometimes overseas.  If there is a book, journal article, conference paper or other information resource that you want, and the University Library does not have it, then you can request it from the Inter-Library Loan service and we will set about getting it for you.

When other libraries lend us their resources they make no allowance for whether or not the reader making the request is a part-time or distance learner and loan periods are the same length for part-time and distance learners as for other readers.  Part-time and distance learners may find it more convenient to request photocopies or PDFs of parts of documents than to request to borrow whole documents.


If you are struggling to find the information you require we recommend that you do not waste your valuable time. Please ask us for help.  If you are in the Library you can obtain assistance from the Enquiry Desks.  If you are off-campus, you can phone or email us.

Accessing other libraries

The University Library is a member of the Sconul Access scheme. 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.

Car parking

Students should normally use the car park to which they have been allocated, but may also use the staff car park opposite the Pilkington Library after 5:30pm and at weekends.