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Coronavirus - library services news

How your library service can support you.

The government has announced that from the evening of Tuesday 23 March, people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work. As a result of this the University will now be closing all of our buildings to all but essential staff with immediate effect. This includes our libraries. You can find full details and regular updates on our website.

Bringing your library to you

We've been working hard to ensure that our library services and resources are online, and to minimise disruption for you as much as possible.

Many publishers are starting to make more material free-to-access online, so check the online library catalogue to see if the material you need is available.

All other online services, including tutorials, are also being made available online so please check back for updates.

Frequently asked questions

How do I return my books?

As the library is closed, we are unfortunately unable to accept returns at the moment.

Please carry on renewing any books you have on loan until there is facility to return them. We will keep you updated via social media, university newsletters, and other email communications.

This also applies to any final year students who need to take items on loan home with them. Once the library has reopened you may be able to post books back to us.

If you have any questions regarding the return of items, please get in touch with us via library chat and we will advise further.

How do I renew my books?

Loans will need to be renewed online via your account link above and extended periods will be given. In addition, we have stopped issuing new library fines so you will not incur new fines as a result of being unable to return overdue books or materials. If you have borrowed an inter-library loan, please keep this until further notice. We will contact you with renewal dates as soon as they are arranged with the supplier.

Need to find out your borrower number and PIN?

  • Your borrower number is the eight digit student/staff number on your ID card plus the issue number, for example 1234567801
  • You can reset your PIN here

An item on my account is reserved, what do I do?

We have cancelled all reservations on the system except for a very small number which are required by our digitisation service. If this applies to you, please contact us via the live chat service and we can renew the item for you manually.

Can I return an inter-library loan or collect a new one?

If you have an Inter-Library Loan out at the moment, please retain the item until further notice. Please do not attempt to return it to campus, either in person or by post.

If your loan is due for return or renewal, please do not worry. We are working with our suppliers to renew items, and we will advise you of the new return by dates as soon as possible. No renewal fees or fines will apply until further notice.

If you were due to pick up an Inter-Library Loan, we regret we can no longer provide access to the item. Please do not attempt to collect your Inter-Library Loan in person at any of our library sites. This applies to both loans and printed copies of journal articles/ book chapters. You may resubmit your request once the service is back to normal.

Can I request an inter-library loan?

We regret that we are unable to supply print materials, including full books and other print items, either for loan, reference only access or retention.

We may be able to supply journal articles and a book chapters in electronic format only, delivered to your university email address, subject to availability. As many of our suppliers are also operating reduced services, it may take longer than usual to supply your requested item.

Please note that due to copyright restrictions we cannot supply more than one article from any one issue of a journal, or more than one chapter from a book. You may notice a change to our usual request form. If you are unsure how to complete it please contact us by email and we will help.

Can I contact the library if I need help?

Our virtual enquiry service is online 24/7. If you have any questions about anything library-related, please get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

Our staff are working remotely - if you need to contact specific colleagues then please do so via email.

I am not a member of BCU, can I join/visit the library?

Our buildings are currently closed and there is no access for staff, students or external library users. As a result, we have currently suspended applications for membership.

Can I request for something to be digitised?

Although we are unable to access the physical library stock at present and the British Library is running a reduced service, we still may be able to fulfil your book extracts/chapter requests from a variety of other sources. Please contact us at and we'll do our best to help.


Any questions? Chat, email or text us using the link below.

Please continue to check your BCU email address and this page for updates.

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We'd love to hear from you, whether you've got a question about the information on this page or want to get in touch about something else.

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