Borrowing in the Science Libraries

Only members of Oxford University holding blue-topped cards are entitled to borrow.

  • Books on the open shelves at the RSL that do not have a yellow "library use only" sticker on the spine are available for borrowing.
  • Some borrowable items in the RSL have a red sticker which identifies an overnight loan.
  • Material from the Alexander Library of Ornithology collection cannot be borrowed.
  • Material from the Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy collection cannot be borrowed.
  • Journals cannot be borrowed.
  • The majority of offsite material will be reference only.
  • The maximum number of loans which can be taken is 15, which is the same for all categories of borrower.
  • Only three Short Loan items may be borrowed at once.
  • Senior members of University science departments may apply for privileged borrower status

How long can I keep a book?

Normally, books can be borrowed for 7 days in term time and loans can be renewed up to 9 times as long as another reader has not reserved them. Books borrowed in 8th Week or during the vacation will be due back on Tuesday of 1st Week of the next term.

  • Short loan books. These are identifiable by a red label on the spine. They are due back at 10am the following day (or one hour after opening on Saturday and Sunday) – this applies in both term-time and during vacations.
  • Reference books. These cannot be borrowed and have a yellow label on the spine saying “Library Use Only”.

Borrowing books from the RSL

Take any books that you wish to borrow from the Radcliffe Science Library to the self-issue machines or the Lending Services Desk in the Entrance Hall.

Lending Services close 10 minutes before library closing time

Returning books to the RSL

Return books to the Circulation Desk in the Entrance Hall. There is also a drop-box outside the Main Entrance for returning books when the library is closed.

RSL out-of-hours drop box 

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 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.

How can I renew my books?

You can renew your items from MyAccount on SOLO.  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.

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.

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 order for the reader to continue to borrow.

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