Browse & Borrow

Following government guidance, this service is temporarily suspended. Keep up to date with our library service updates.

What is Browse & Borrow?

  • Browse & Borrow is the process that enables readers to access library spaces for independent browsing of open shelf collections, borrowing via self-issue machines, or borrowing at a staffed service point.
  • It is an alternative to Click & Collect as a method for enabling readers to borrow from lending libraries.
  • Readers are admitted to library spaces, but they have not booked a workspace (desk reservations can be separately booked via the Plan and book a library visit page).

How does it work?

  • In the same way as booking Reading Room slots, Browse & Borrow slots can be booked a maximum of 1 week in advance (subject to availability).
  • After making your booking, we will send you a confirmation email containing important information about the new safety arrangements within our buildings.
  • There is no desk allocation. If you have not booked in advance, unfortunately you'll likely be turned away.

Who is eligible to use Browse & Borrow?

  • Members of the University with a valid University ID

What to expect when you arrive at the library

Please show your Browse & Borrow booking confirmation and/or your University Card to library staff before proceeding to the library's open-shelf collections. Please ensure you have read our 'what to expect' information before arriving at the library.

Borrowing: self-issue

Browse & Borrow readers should use self-issue machines in the first instance, to minimise interaction with staff.

Borrowing from a service point

If the library does not have self-issue machines, or there is a fault with the machine, readers will be able to borrow their books at a staffed service point, following social distancing measures and staff instructions.

Which libraries will offer Browse & Borrow?

Libraries will join the Browse & Borrow service in a phased schedule. Updates on the timetable for the service will be added to this page as they are announced. 


Book a time slot

English Faculty Library Library temporarily closed
History Faculty Library Library temporarily closed
Philosophy and Theology Faculties Library Library temporarily closed
Social Science Library Library temporarily closed
Vere Harmsworth Library Library temporarily closed
Taylor Institution Library Library temporarily closed
Sackler Library Service temporarily unavailable
Nizami Ganjavi Library Library temporarily closed

Find out more about our service updates in Hilary term.


If you are no longer able to attend the library, please cancel by clicking the 'cancel your booking' link in your confirmation email to send an automated response.

Return of loans

Items should be returned to the library from which they were borrowed. If this is not possible items can also be returned to temporary loan return hubs. If you are unable to visit a library, you can send books to us using the Royal Mail Tracked service.

Self-isolating students

If you are self-isolating but need to borrow or return items you can:

  • Nominate someone to Browse & Borrow on your behalf - email relevant library to arrange in advance
  • Ask someone else to return loans on your behalf

Page updated: 15 January 2021

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