Borrowing from the Library

Changes to how books are borrowed from the university library from 24th September 

To provide a flexible, responsive and fairer service for our users, the university library, working with the Students Union, is implementing changes to the way books and loan stock are borrowed from 24th September 2018.

 There are 3 main changes coming into effect:

  • You can borrow most books for 1 week and these will be automatically renewed for you each week until someone else needs the book and requests it, or after 6 months.
  • You will only be fined if you do not bring the book back when it is recalled by another user, or if you do not return the book to the library after 6 months.
  • All University staff and students can borrow up to 40 books at any one time whether undergraduate, postgraduate or staff

 The benefits are:

  • Replaces 2 week, 3 day and 24 hour loan periods with one simple 1 week loan period making borrowing books far easier and less likely to incur fines.
  • You only need to return books if they are needed by another user
  • Simplifies the rules around how many books can be borrowed thereby avoiding unnecessary confusion
  • Ensures equity of access and consistency for our users


Summer Vacation Loans

Loan StatusLength of Loan
Standard Loan From Monday, 21st May 2018 until Friday, 28th September 2018
Three Day Loan From Wednesday, 30th May 2018 until Friday, 28th September 2018
Short Loan Usual loan periods apply

The number of items you can borrow from the library depends on your user status:

User StatusNumber of Items
Undergraduates (including Language and Learning students) 20 items
Postgraduate (taught) 25 items
Postgraduates (research) 40 items
Staff 60 items
Distance Learning Students 20 items (standard loans only)
Lifelong Learning Students 10 items (standard loans only)
Associate Readers 10 items (standard loans only)
Learn Welsh Students 10 items (standard loans only)
Honorary/Retired/Emeritus 10 items (standard loans only)
Sconul Access (Bands A, B and C) 10 items (standard loans only)
Aberystwyth/Bangor borrowing scheme 10 items (standard loans only)
Summer University Students 10 items (standard loans only)

Borrowing items

You can borrow items from the University's Libraries using your Aber Card.

For books and other library materials:

  • You can use the self-issue machines, located in each library or visit the Enquiry Desk. The self-issue machines are quick and easy to use; full instructions are available next to each machine and you will need your Aber card.

For equipment:

  • Full details of equipment available for loan, booking arrangements and loan periods can be found on the Equipment loans webpage.

Special borrowing arrangements are made for Distance Learning students and PGCE students on placement.

Loan periods

Loan Status or Collection NameLength of LoanDescriptionVacation LoanRenewalReservation
Standard Loan books 14 days **(PGCE students see below)
*see note
  Yes Yes Yes
Videos Standard Loan   Yes Yes Yes
Journals (Periodicals) Not For Loan   - - -
Three Day Loan books (including DVDs) 3 days Red strip on spine Yes Yes Yes
Short Loan Collection books 24 hours (based on library opening hours) Yellow strip on spine No No No
Distance Learning Collection books 4 weeks for distance learning  and continuing education students
10 hours for all other users
Large yellow dot on spine No Yes Yes
PGCE Collection books **variable depending on whether on campus or on placement Green strip on spine (Hugh Owen library) Yes Yes Yes
Theses Not for loan May be read in the Library     No
Reference Material Not for loan May be read in the Library - - No
Equipment loans  3 days Equipment loans No Yes Yes

*NOTE Staff and research postgraduates have a longer standard loan period of six months, but items are subject to recall and the due date will be shortened to 7 days.

Recalled loans

If another user requests the item you have on loan the due date may change to an earlier due date. You will be emailed to advise that this has happened and you will need to return the item by the new date. Fines charged on recalled items not returned by the new due date are higher - see Fines If a recalled item is not returned on time, you will be unable to borrow or renew any other books on your library account. If you have any queries regarding your library borrowing, please contact us as soon as possible.

Renewing loans

You can renew your books:

In order to renew your loans your account must be free of fines totalling £5 or more and you must have returned overdue recalled books. If another user has placed a reservation on an item, you will not be able to renew it and if you do not return it on time you will pay an enhanced fine - see fines information

Returning loans


  • Please use the Book Return machine on Level D, Hugh Owen Library and in the Physical Sciences Library. You can use this to return all items borrowed from each library, except Videos which should be returned at the Enquiry Desks. When the library is closed, please use the Vacation Book Returns box at the main entrance to the Hugh Owen Library.
  • If you are unable to return your books in person to the library, please contact us as soon as possible.

Equipment loans

  • Please return to the Enquiry Desk in the Hugh Owen Library.


If an item you need is out on loan, you can reserve it so that when it is returned it is held at the Enquiry Desk for three days for you to collect. You will be emailed to let you know the item is waiting for you.

Instructions on how to make reservations can be found here

You can check the status of your reservations by logging in to My Account in Primo - the library catalogue


Fines are charged if you do not return your library loans by the due date. For full information on fines and how to pay them, please see this page 

Lost items

  • If you lose an item that you have out on loan please let the Enquiry Desk staff know as soon as possible.
  • You will be charged the cost of replacing the item along with any overdue fines incurred on the item (up to a maximum fines level of £5 per item).
  • Invoices are raised for items that are 30 days overdue and have not been returned to the library.
  • Once an invoice for these costs has been raised you will not be able to borrow any more items until it has been paid.
  • Once an invoice has been raised it becomes a University debt and must be paid in full before you can move to the next year of your course, or before you graduate.
  • Should the item subsequently be found and returned to the library, the replacement cost will be refunded but you will also still be liable to pay overdue fines.

Missing books

If you cannot find a book where it should be on the shelf, and it is neither on the rough shelving or trolleys, ask at the Enquiry Desk at any of our libraries to fill out a mislaid items form. We will search for the item for 4 weeks before passing it on for possible re-purchase. If we find the item we will let you know by email. See also Finding a Book in the Library