Borrowing

There are over 100 libraries in the University of Oxford system and lending policies differ among the libraries. Please see the Libraries pages for more information on the policies of a particular library.

The following FAQs provide some general advice about borrowing across the centrally managed Bodleian Libraries.

Who can borrow from Bodleian Libraries?

Only members of Oxford University will usually be entitled to borrow items, although others may be admitted on a reference-only basis to libraries that lend (see the Admissions section for more information).

I’m a member of Oxford University, can I borrow from ALL Oxford University libraries?

No. Students will typically have borrowing rights at their individual College Library and also have borrowing privileges across a range of central libraries collectively known as the Bodleian Libraries. To check your borrowing privileges please see relevant sections on the website of the library you wish to use or select the 'Information' link from the list of Oxford Libraries.

How many items can I have on loan?

Loan entitlements vary among libraries. Each library publicises this information on their website.

How do I know if something can be borrowed?

Not everything can be borrowed. The loan status of an item will be indicated on SOLO.

How long can I borrow and item for?

Loan periods vary among libraries and can vary between term and vacation. Each library publicises this information on their website.

Do disabled readers have extended borrowing privileges?

Readers who have disclosed their disability may benefit from extended borrowing privileges where appropriate. See the Information for Disabled Readers pages for more details.

How do I know when my book is due back?

You can check your loans and due dates from MyAccount on SOLO. See the SOLO LibGuide on how to manage your account.

Will I get fined if I return the book late?

The majority of Bodleian Libraries charge the following level of fines which apply to all categories of readers with the exception of waivers which have been agreed due to individual circumstances.

  • 20p per day for standard loans
  • £1 per day for short loans (those items loaned for shorter periods than the standard loan period)
  • 50p per hour for overnight loans

Once the total fines incurred across Bodleian Libraries reach £10, they must be paid (in full or in part) for the reader to continue to borrow. If you are having difficulty settling your fines then please discuss with your College Senior Tutor.

Fines can be checked on SOLO My Account. Please note My Account does not include any fines currently accruing on books which are overdue and not yet returned.

The following libraries are exempt from the standardised fine tariffs: Continuing Education Library, Health Care Libraries, Latin American Centre, Said Business School (for distance learners only), Tylor Library.

How do I pay my fines?

Fines can be paid in any Bodleian lending library by cash or cheque. Libraries can accept payment for fines owed to other Bodleian Libraries but can only accept payment for lost books if the book was originally borrowed from the same library. Libraries cannot waive fines owed to other Bodleian Libraries.

Paying fines online

Fines and lost book charges can also be paid online using a credit or debit card. Go to the University Online Stores page and select fine payments page of any one of the libraries to which you owe fines. Please note that:

  • The minimum online payment is £2.
  • You will need to know the amount you have to pay before visiting the site. If you are unsure please contact the library first or check the Fines & Fees section of SOLO My Account.
  • You will need to set up an account on the University Online Store during the process.
  • Payments for lost books must be made separately from payments for fines. Lost book payments can only be made on the payments page of the library from which the book was borrowed.
  • Fines will not automatically be cleared from your account as this can only be done by library staff during library opening hours.

What if I can't find a book?

You will be charged for any items you lose. Some libraries will also charge an admin. fee.

How can I renew my books?

You can renew your items from MyAccount on SOLO. Once you have renewed your items you will see the new due dates. See the SOLO LibGuide on how to manage your account.

Online renewals will not be possible if you have reached the maximum number of renewals possible, the item has been reserved, or if your fines have reached £10. You should contact the library concerned to discuss this if you think there may be a problem.

The book I want is on loan – what can I do?

You can place a hold on the book – no one will be able to renew the book until a copy is returned for you. See the SOLO LibGuide for how to place a hold.

Can I have access to books in ‘Closed Stack’?

Yes, you can request closed access material to available reading rooms. For information on how to place a request see the SOLO LibGuide. See Closed Stack Requests FAQs for further information.

Closed Stack can indicate bookstacks in libraries as well as offsite repositories, the largest of which is the Book Storage Facility that holds 8 million items.

Can I return books to any library?

No, the books must be returned to the library at which they were borrowed.

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