Answered By: Gwen Jones
Last Updated: Oct 24, 2023     Views: 6538

SCONUL Access is a national scheme that allows current academic staff, postgraduates and part-time, placement or distance learning undergraduates from participating institutions to register with, and borrow physical books from, other university libraries. Full-time undergraduates can apply for a card which allows access for reference only.

The University of Liverpool Library is a member of SCONUL Access. 

Please note that IT facilities and access to electronic journals and databases are not included in the scheme and the availability of some collections may be restricted at the discretion of the Library.

Please be aware that the University of Liverpool libraries are closed to visitors in the lead up to and during busy examination periods. This is usually for part of January and after Easter break throughout May until the beginning of June. Please get in touch in advance if you are planning to visit around these times. See University term dates for further information.

If you fall into any of the above categories you can apply online for SCONUL Access membership. Your application will be referred to your university library for approval. Once approved you will receive an email stating your membership type and explaining what you need to do next. Please keep this email and read it carefully. 

Once you have received your approval email from SCONUL you need to register for membership with the library you wish to use.

In order to register for SCONUL membership at University of Liverpool library, please either visit during Helpdesk open hours if you would like to register in person. Please bring your SCONUL approval email (you can present this on your smart 'phone if you prefer) and your home university ID card. A library staff member will complete a short online registration form with you and take a photograph for your membership card. Or. if you prefer, you can apply remotely using our Online Application Form

Your library account will be created when your membership card is produced. Please allow up to one week for this although it may be ready sooner. You will be notified by email when your library card is ready for you to collect. Please collect your card during Helpdesk open hours

Our SCONUL borrowing entitlements are as follows:

  • Band A: Staff and research students, can borrow up to ten physical items
  • Band B: Part-time, distance learning and placement students, can borrow up to ten physical items
  • Band C: Full-time taught postgraduates, can borrow up to ten physical items
  • Band R: Institutions are able to offer reference access to any groups of Library customers not covered by the other bands.

For bands A, B and C items are auto-renewed every four weeks unless requested by another customer. The only exception to this are Library Use Only books which can be used within the Library for reference purposes only. These are clearly labelled with a yellow sticker. 

Full-time undergraduates are not offered borrowing privileges under the scheme but are granted reference access to those member libraries which offer Band B and Band R.

For information on how SCONUL defines each of these groups of users, see the SCONUL Access website.

University of Liverpool students who are using other libraries through SCONUL Access should enquire about their entitlement at the library they are visiting.

As an institution we are part of the SCONUL Summer Vacation Access Scheme. This allows all undergraduate and taught postgraduate students visitor access to any library which is a member of the scheme over the summer vacation without the need to register for SCONUL Access membership. All you require is to show your University ID card when visiting. The scheme is for reference only, for undergraduates and taught postgraduates.

Oxford University is not part of the SCONUL Access Scheme but is part of the Summer Vacation Scheme.

Cambridge University will accept membership for both schemes for undergraduates (Band R access).

We recommend, though, that you confirm that your University library is a member of SCONUL and check the vacation dates and library opening hours of the library you wish to visit in advance.

You can still apply for full SCONUL Access membership for year round access if you wish. This is particularly advantageous if you wish to visit at other times of the academic year, or if you would be entitled to borrow under the full SCONUL Access scheme.

SCONUL access is only available to active University staff and students. Retired University staff are not eligible to apply for SCONUL access.

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