Borrowing at the Social Science Library

A student searching for items on a library PC

Who may borrow?

  • Current members of Oxford University with a valid (blue stripe) University card may borrow items from the Social Science Library.
  • Bodleian Reader card holders have reference-only access; they may not borrow items.
  • If you are not a member of the University, find out more about applying to join the Bodleian Libraries.

What can be borrowed?

  • Most of the books in the SSL can be borrowed, except copies with the status 'Use in Library Only' on SOLO.
  • The SSL provides at least one ‘Use in Library Only' copy or e-book of all books on taught course reading lists, so that all students can access them when they are in heavy demand. We often provide multiple other copies of the book for borrowing.
  • A book may be ‘Use in Library Only’ if it is rare, damaged, or an older book received under legal deposit.
  • Journals and statistical series may not be borrowed.
  • Equipment and stationery are also available to borrow for use within the library only.

Book conversion service

If you would like to borrow a ‘Use in Library Only’ book, we may be able to convert it to loanable and reserve it for you. Please contact us at with the details of the book you need. This service applies to books on the SSL open shelves only, it may take up to a week to process your request, and books on current reading lists are excluded.

How to borrow

To borrow items, use the self-service machines in front of the Reader PCs or bring them to the library issue desk.

Borrowing allowances and loan periods

Our borrowing policy applies across all Bodleian Libraries that offer lending, including the SSL. Find out more about borrowing from the Bodleian Libraries, including how many items you can borrow, loan periods and automatic renewals.

If you have disclosed a disability, you may be eligible for extended loan periods, increased loan limits and proxy borrowing.

Return items

  • You can return items to the issue desk, or the book return boxes in the library entrance hall.
  • When the library is closed, a book returns box is available in the foyer of the Manor Road Building.
  • You must return items to the library they were borrowed from.


If you have lost a book borrowed from the SSL, please search carefully for the book. If the book is not found, we send you an invoice for a replacement after 21 days. The charge for a lost book is the book’s purchase price. If the book is out of print, the library will charge you a flat rate of £35. Please use our online store page to pay the replacement fee.

Alternatively, you can provide a replacement copy. The replacement copy must be the latest edition and be in good condition. It should preferably be the same format (hardback or paperback) as the copy you lost and not a copy previously owned by another library. If the library is not satisfied with the replacement copy supplied, you will be required to either pay the invoice or provide another replacement copy. We can only accept payment for lost books belonging to the SSL.

Please note that if you subsequently find the book, we are unable to refund the charges, as a replacement copy will have been ordered/added to stock. If you fail to replace or pay for a lost book upon receipt of the invoice, the library will contact your Senior Tutor or Departmental Administrator.