Joining the Library

Members of the University

All staff and students are automatically registered with the Library when they start at the University. Your University ID card allows you to enter the Pilkington Library in Loughborough and the London campus main entrance. You will also need your ID card to borrow books.


Graduates of the University may apply for an Alumni User Card free of charge for the first five years. After five years, you can choose to pay either £10 per annum or to make a one-off life membership payment of £100 to continue your membership. Membership enables you to borrow up to eight long loans at a time.

Applications can be made in person at the Library Help Desk or by contacting us at

Retired staff/permanent staff in the Students Union

Retired members of University staff and permanent staff in the Students Union may apply in writing to the University Librarian for an external borrowing ticket, which is usually provided free of charge. These tickets enable you to borrow up to four long loans at a time for up to four weeks each. 

SCONUL Access visitors

Members of academic staff or research students (i.e. a PhD or MPhil student), full time postgraduates, part-time, distance learning or placement students (undergraduates and taught postgraduates) at a college or university that is a member of the SCONUL Access Scheme can obtain a free external borrowing ticket. Please present your SCONUL Access email (validated by your library) and a valid Staff/Student ID card from your institution at the Library Help Desk so that the external ticket can be created. These tickets enable you to borrow up to four long loans at a time. 

Local colleges, schools and businesses

Teachers at Loughborough College or the RNIB College can request a staff borrowing ticket without charge on production of an employer's letter of introduction.

Schools may also apply for an external borrowing ticket for £50 + VAT per year.

Accredited tenants of the Technology Centre and other companies clearly associated with the University may obtain external borrowing tickets for free on an annual basis.

Companies may apply for an external borrowing ticket for £100 + VAT per year. Additional tickets can be obtained for £50 + VAT per year. 

Members of the public

Members of the public over the age of 18 may use the Library free of charge for reference. You will need to sign in at the Reception Desk on arrival and sign out when leaving the building. Please note that the Library reserves the right to restrict access to external users during peak times so we advise you to check before you visit. 

Members of the public under the age of 18 must be accompanied at all times by a parent/guardian or teacher to use the Library.

You can buy an external borrowing ticket for £50 per year from the Library Help Desk. These tickets enable you to borrow up to four long loans at a time for up to four weeks each.

Alumni Access to London Library

Please note that the following conditions apply for your alumni access:

  • Access is restricted to Monday-Friday 9am-7pm
  • You will need to show your alumni card and photo ID to reception every time you visit
  • You will need to sign in and out at reception (your ID card will not get you through the barriers)
  • Your alumni access is free for 5 years – if you wish to continue it beyond that then you will need to pay a membership fee
  • The University reserves the right to further restrict or deny access during busy periods as necessary

Your alumni access entitles you to:

  • Borrow up to 8 books at a time from the Library, using the self issue machines
  • Access the study spaces on campus (within the restricted hours laid out above)
  • Guest wifi

Your alumni access does not entitle you to:

  • Any access to online resources through the university
  • Any IT access to computers, printers etc.

Access to the London campus outside of normal operational hours can be arranged in exceptional circumstances only.