How many books may I borrow?

Please see: 'May I borrow books from libraries?


For how long may I borrow books?

Please see: 'May I borrow books from libraries?'


How do I know when my books are due back?

For most borrowed items you will normally get an e-mail the day before your books are due back. You can also check your library account on SOLO at any time by logging in with your Single-Sign On (SSO) password and going to 'My Account'. 


Where should I return my books?

Your books should be returned to the library from which you borrowed them.


Can I return my books to any library?

No. Books should only be returned to the library from which you borrowed them.


Where can I find databases for a literature search?

If you need to find papers and books on a particular topic, you can search a bibliographic database. You can find databases by browsing the subjects A-Z on Oxford LibGuides or by using 'Subject' tab in OxLIP+   Subject Librarians can advise you on appropriate databases and how to use them. See: 'How librarians can help'.


How long will a closed stack request take to arrive?

Please see "How do I order 'closed stack items' which includes information about delivery times.


For how long may I keep a closed stack book in the library?

Books requested from closed stacks normally stay in the library for 7 days. However, you can renew the book up to 9 times to keep it for longer.


How do I know when my closed stack book has arrived in the library?

You will receive an e-mail to tell you when your book has arrived.


How many books may I request from closed stacks?

You can normally request up to 10 items at a time to any one library.


Can I order closed stack books to any library?

No. You can order closed stack books to nearly all of the 29 Libraries within the Bodleian Libraries group.  However, you can not order books to College Libraries.    You can choose which library you want a book to arrive at when you place a hold.


Can I order closed stack material to my College Library?

No. College libraries do not receive closed stack material.


Can I borrow closed stack books?

Generally no. The majority of closed stack material is for reference only.


Why can't I borrow closed stack books and Bodleian books from the library?

In many cases the library only holds a single copy of a particular book in closed stacks. By making books reference only we can ensure that books are always available for everybody to consult in the library.


Can I borrow books from other College Libraries?

No, you may normally only borrow books from your own college library. Should a college library hold something that is genuinely not available in the University's libraries, then it will normally admit external readers who are not members of its college. Such admittance is only by prior arrangement with the college librarian and on a reference basis. Borrowing may be permitted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of library staff.Please contact the library in advance of any proposed visit by letter, e-mail, or telephone; if readers "just turn up" they are unlikely to be admitted.  To find contact details please look up the relevant college in the Library A-Z (opens external website).   For further information, please see the statement from the Committee of College Librarians (Link to: Statement from the Committee of College Librarians).


What is SOLO?

SOLO is Oxford's library catalogue. You can use it to find books and journals on your reading lists and see which libraries in Oxford have copies. See: 'How do I find my books and journals?' to find out more.


What does 'short loan' mean?

If a book is marked on SOLO as being 'short loan' it can usually only be borrowed for 2 days.


What does 'overnight loan' mean?

You may see some books on SOLO marked as being 'overnight loan'. Some libraries, such as the Radcliffe Science Library, lend some books on an overnight loan basis. These books normally need to be returned to the library shortly after opening on the day after the book is borrowed.


What does 'confined' mean?

If a book is marked on SOLO as being 'confined' it can only be used in the library, it is for reference only and cannot be borrowed.


What does 'on order' mean?

If a book is marked on SOLO as being 'on order' it means that we have purchased copies of the book and are waiting for these to be delivered.


What is a 'hold'?

A hold is used in the SOLO catalogue to either reserve a book which somebody already has out on loan or order a book from closed stacks. To find out more see: 'How do I reserve books already out on loan?'.


Why has SOLO not let me renew my books?

This may be because you have library fines totalling over £10, have reached the maximum number of renewals for the book or the book may have been reserved by another reader.


Why are there so many libraries?

Oxford is a very large University with an equally large library collection! Different subjects are served by their own libraries. College libraries provide additional books, journals and study spaces for their own students. Although there are lots of libraries in Oxford, you'll probably find you only need to use a few of them to find everything you need.


What is the difference between Single Sign-On (SSO) and my library password?

To understand the difference between these passwords, see our password section: 'What passwords do I need?'


Which libraries are open 24 hours?

None of the city centre Bodleian libraries at the university are open 24 hours. Your college library may provide 24 hour access. Check our list of libraries to find details of opening hours.