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Our services: Borrow from us: Return

From borrowing to returning, loan periods to details of charges for late returns - this guide has all the information you need about borrowing from us.

Returning items

Books should be returned to the Library you borrowed them from. For information on how to return items to the ISC Library, visit our ISC Library guide.

Book drop 

Please return books by posting them into our external book drop located to the left of the main entrance of Bill Bryson Library. This means you don't need to access the building to return your books. 

If you are unable to post your books into the book drop for any reason, visit the Help and Information Desk inside the Library - you must not leave books outside the Library as you are still responsible for them and their safe return.  

Self-service returns  

How to use the self-service returns machine: 

  • Head to the self-service machines in our Returns area on Level 2, opposite the Help and Information Desk
  • Rest the spine of the item in the “V” and push it forward so the barcode label is under the red line. Listen for the “thud” sound 
  • Check the message on the screen and either:  
    • Place the book in the Green Bin (“Normal return”)  
    • Place the book in the Orange Bin (needs further attention from staff)  
  • If you would like a receipt, press the “Print receipt” button once you’ve returned all your items.  
  • Provided you have checked the book in and it needs no further attention from staff, it should be removed from your account immediately. If you discover an item is still on your account, please let us know.   

The barcode should be on the front cover of the item; if not, look inside the back cover. If you have any problems checking your item in, please take it to the Help and Information desk. Staff will not be routinely checking items in, so please make sure you use the correct machine and the correct slot/bin.   

If you have any issues using our returns machines, please take your items to the Help and Information Desk.

Free postal returns 

Available to all UK-based staff and students not currently living in a DH postcode.

We are offering a free postal returns service to all UK-based staff and students who are not currently living in a DH postcode, allowing you to return any items to us without having to travel to the Library.

How does it work? 

To use this service, simply visit the Royal Mail web portal to prepare and print your own postage label at home or generate a QR code. Please ensure that each parcel you send weighs less than 3kg (you can send more than one parcel) and is packaged securely and robustly with the use of appropriate parcel packaging to avoid any potential damage.   

You can then take the parcel to any Post Office branch or a Customer Service Point attached to any Royal Mail Delivery Offices to be posted; if you selected the QR code option, Royal Mail staff will print the label for your parcel at this point.   

Your parcel will then be tracked by Royal Mail until it is safely returned to us. The items you return may not be removed from your library account immediately. Please continue to check your library account and if they are still there 10 days after posting, please contact us through our live chat service.

If you have any questions about this process, or have books to return but are not currently in the UK, you can contact us through our live chat service or by emailing main.library@durham.ac.uk.

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