Rules and regulations

Students in the library

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Library and Learning Resources - User Regulations:

Use of Library and Learning Resources at Birmingham City University is subject to the following set of regulations, as agreed by the Library and Learning Resources 'Senior Management Team'.

List of contents:

  1. The Regulations
  2. Access to Library Facilities
  3. Conduct in the Library
  4. Library User's Personal Property
  5. Registration
  6. Borrowing
  7. Special Categories of Material
  8. Inter-Library Loans
  9. Care of Books and Library Materials
  10. Copyright
  11. Library Closing
  12. Emergency Procedures

1. The Regulations

The regulations aim to ensure that users can make the best use of Birmingham City University's library resources and to ensure fairness.

2. Access to Library Facilities

2.1 Library card

2.1.1 Your University ID card is the key to accessing library services. For BCU staff and students, your library card is your BCU ID card.

It is your personal property and responsibility. You should not allow any other person to use your card. You will be held responsible for all items borrowed with your card even if they were borrowed by or on behalf of another user.
Should your card be used by anyone other than yourself to gain access to any of our libraries, the card will be held by the Library until you claim it.

If your card is lost or stolen you should inform Library and Learning Resources immediately. You will be held responsible for material borrowed on the card until Library and Learning Resources is informed officially.
You must carry your University ID card with you at all times and be prepared to show it on request.
Services may not be provided without it.

2.1.2 Acceptable alternatives must include:

  • Two official proofs of name with at least one of these providing proof of address.
  • One form of ID with photograph.

2.2 Access to Reference and Borrowing facilities

2.2.1 All current members of the University may use the libraries for reference and study.
Optional space bookings are in place and Curzon and Mary Seacole Libraries. Visit to access the booking system. 

2.2.2 All current members of the University, whether staff or students, full or part-time, are entitled to reserve and borrow from the libraries.

2.2.3 Borrowing rights for teaching staff and research, postgraduate, part-time, distance and placement students from other Universities and reference access for full time students as defined in the SCONUL Access Scheme is under review. Please see the library website for up to date details.

2.2.4 Alumni access is available.

2.3 Electronic Information Services

The Library Search platform is available without restriction. Only current members of the University have access to our electronic resources.

3. Conduct in the Library

3.1 To keep our students and staff safe in our Libraries we are following University policies. You must adhere to instructions, notices, guidance and respect other users at all times.

3.2 Face coverings are strongly encouraged inside University buildings.

3.3 Library and Security staff have authority to maintain good order in the library. If you behave in an unacceptable manner, or infringe the regulations, Library Management may suspend you from its use.

3.4 You are expected to behave professionally and to treat the library environment, the library staff and other users with respect and courtesy. Should any incident be reported, Library and Learning Resources may pursue the matter under the University Student Disciplinary procedures.

3.5 You should be silent in the silent areas.

3.6 You are not permitted to smoke or vape in the Libraries. The University's 'Smoke Free
Arrangements' cover all types of burnt and smoked products including cigarettes, tobacco, e-cigarettes and non-tobacco cigarette products.

3.7 Only drinks in sealed containers may be consumed in the libraries. Food is not permitted in library spaces. All rubbish must be placed in the bins provided.

3.8 You should switch your mobile phones to silent at all times. Holding a phone conversation in a designated silent study area is not permitted in the Libraries.

4. Library User's Personal Property

4.1 Neither Library and Learning Resources nor the University accepts responsibility for the loss of any personal property left in the libraries.

4.2 You may not leave property on chairs and tables to reserve a place in your absence. Any such property may be removed by University staff to make room for other Library users.

5. Registration

5.1 Students should have access to their library account as soon as they are in receipt of their University ID card.

5.2 University staff will automatically register when they are issued with a University ID card.

5.3 Visiting teaching staff will be required to produce evidence of their post in the University, for example, a letter from their Faculty.

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6. Borrowing

6.1 Borrowing entitlement

6.1.1 Staff and students may normally borrow up to 20 items at any one time.

6.2 Recording of loans

6.2.1 All material borrowed from a University library must be issued and returned via the self-service machines or by a member of Library staff. Receipts, where given, should be retained.

6.2.2 It is an offence to vandalise any library items. It is an offence to remove library material that has not been issued officially. The following actions may be taken:

  • Proceedings under the University Student Disciplinary procedures.
  • Prosecution for criminal damage to property.
  • Charging for damage caused to publications.

6.2.3 Items you borrow will renew automatically unless someone else has reserved them. Items excluded from this include Inter-Library Loans obtained from other libraries and Vocal and Orchestral Sets; you must return or renew material on or before the date due for return to avoid fines accruing on these items.

6.2.4 It is your responsibility to make certain that material borrowed is returned to the Library.

6.3 Period of loan

6.3.1 Loan period information is available on the library website.

6.3.2 Fines may be charged if items reserved by another borrower are not returned by the given due date.

6.3.3 Library materials on loan may be automatically renewed provided the item is not a day loan or overdue and that it has not been reserved by another library user. 

6.4 Overdue books

6.4.1 If you retain overdue items you will be invoiced by the University for the cost of replacing the item.

6.4.2 Library borrowing rights may be withdrawn in certain circumstances, for example, when you have incurred fines on reserved items. If you have lost your borrowing rights, you will be unable to borrow library materials until you return overdue items.

6.4.3 It is a condition of enrolment and re-enrolment that you accept full responsibility for the payment of all fees you incur while registered as a student at the University including Library fees and services. By signing your enrolment form you indicated that you accepted this responsibility and agreed to be bound by the University’s regulations.

6.5 Return of library material at the end of each session

6.5.1 You may borrow library materials for the summer vacation provided that you are returning to continue studying on an organised course.

7. Special Categories of Material

7.1 You must use reference material, including print journals, in the libraries only.

8. Inter-Library Loans

8.1 In addition to the general rules governing the loan of library materials, items borrowed from other libraries may also be subject to special conditions imposed by the library which owns them. You may also be charged for the renewal of inter library loan items.

9. Care of Books and Library Materials

9.1 You are responsible for all library materials taken out on your ticket. Annotation and marking of library materials is prohibited.

9.2 You should report the loss or damage to material at once to the University Library concerned, and you may be asked to pay for the replacement or repair of the item.

9.3 In no event will Library and Learning Resources be liable for any indirect, incidental or consequential damages which arise out of the use of or inability to use software accompanying books.

9.4 If part of a set of items is lost or damaged, the replacement cost of the whole set may be charged.

10.1 You should ensure that any copying of material done on Library photocopiers is carried out in compliance with current Copyright Acts, the terms of which are outlined alongside all photocopying machines. Users of electronic services should ensure that any material obtained is required solely for their own use for non-commercial research or private study, and they will not supply a copy to any other person.

See our copyright guidance.

10.2 Under the EU directive on Copyright any copying for commercial research purposes has been removed from the so called "exceptions to copyright". If you require a copy for research for commercial purposes, you must pay a copyright royalty as well as pay the cost of making a copy.

11. Library Closing

Library and Learning Resources reserves the right to close libraries at times other than those published, for example, in periods of adverse weather conditions, emergencies or other external factors beyond the University’s control.

12. Emergency Procedures

Birmingham City University has established procedures to deal with emergencies. For your own safety and the safety of other clients, please obey instructions issued by Library and Learning Resources staff either face to face or via the public address system.

If the building fire or evacuation alarms are activated, or if requested to exit an area by BCU Security, you must leave the building.

Library and Learning Resources expect all our users to behave responsibly and immediately exit the building / area.  If these policies and guidelines are not adhered to BCU reserve the right to permanently withdraw access to our buildings.

Last Reviewed January 2024

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