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Our services: Getting started with the Library: Quick guide

Quick guide to using the Library

Take a look at our quick guide to help you get started with using the Library.

Your Campus Card is your Library Card

Remember to bring your Campus Card with you whenever you visit us so you can access our buildings, borrow items and use printing facilities.

Your Campus Card is a personal ID and must not be lent to other users. If you ever lose your card, you must contact CIS for a replacement. (There's a £10 charge to replace your card, so make sure you keep it safe!)

Your study spaces

We offer a variety of study spaces across campus to suit your study needs - check out our Libraries and site information guide for details of each of our study space sites, and our Study spaces guide provides more information about the types of study spaces available.

Searching our library catalogue, Discover 

Discover allows you to search for items across our library, museum and special collections. It will show you any relevant resources, based on what you have entered into the search box, and will tell you how you can access them.

  • If a physical item is available, it will tell you its location so you can find it on the shelves
  • For any electronic resources, click the "Available online" link to take you directly to the item

Your online library account

Your online Library Card account allows you to see all your borrowing activity with us. To view your account, log in to our library catalogue, Discover, click on your name in the top right-hand corner of the screen and it will appear in the drop-down menu.

Once logged in, you can:

  • view your loans and keep track of when they are due back
  • see details of any requests you have made
  • pay any Library charges

Remember to check your Durham University email regularly for messages from the Library, including notifications or updates on any items you have on loan. 

Borrowing from us

You can borrow items from Bill Bryson Library using our self-service borrowing machines on Level 2 - make sure you check the date your item is due back on the borrowing receipt or on your Library Card account.

Undergraduate students can borrow up to 20 items at a time, and postgraduate students can borrow between 30-40 items. Items on loan will automatically renew every three weeks for 12 months, as long as they haven't been reserved by another user. More information on borrowing, loan periods and allowances can be found on our Borrow guide.

Reserving an item

You can reserve an item that is already out on loan - this will stop the automatic renewal on the item so that it is returned to the Library for you to borrow, usually within seven days. This also means that someone else can reserve an item that you have on loan, and you will need to return it to the Library by its updated due date. 

A few things to be aware of:

  • Items can be reserved an any time throughout the year, including during vacations. So, if you have an item on loan over the Christmas vacation and it is reserved by someone else, you will still need to return it to the Library within the seven-day period
  • The only charges we currently add are on overdue reserved items, and these will be added to your account until the overdue item is returned (more information on charges below...)

Making a Request 

We offer a variety of ways in which you can request access to items and resources if we don't have them in our collections. You can make a request for us to buy a new title, to get additional copies of a book we already have or to access items from another library through our Inter-Library Loans (ILL) service.

To find out more, visit our Making a request guide.

Returning items

You can return your items to Bill Bryson Library using the self-service return machines on Level 2 (opposite the Help and Information Desk) or by posting them through the Book Drop outside the main entrance. Visit our Return guide for more information.

Avoid charges

Remember to check your University email and online library account regularly so you know when your loans are due to be returned (currently, charges are only being added on reserved items). 

Charges of over £10 will block activity on your Library account, meaning you won't be able to borrow, renew loans or reserve items. You can view and pay your charges by logging into your Library Card account. Visit our Library charges guide for more information.

Keep up to date

Keep checking our website or follow us on FacebookX (previously known as Twitter), or Instagram for all the latest news and updates.

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