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All you need to know about library membership, borrowing and loans

What is auto-renewal?

Auto-renewal means that when you borrow an item from the Library the loan is automatically renewed on a rolling basis. How often an item auto-renews depends on its loan type. For example, renewals are attempted every three weeks for standard loans and every 7 days for one week loans

Who and what does auto-renewal apply to?

It applies to any item checked-out on or after 1 September 2021, except those borrowed as a result of an inter-library loan request.  It applies to all library members, including members of staff, but differs slightly for external members*.

*See 'How do auto-renewals differ for external members of the Library?' 

How long does a loan continue to auto-renew?

An item will continue to renew until: 

  • You finish with it and return it to the Library or
  • Someone else requests it or
  • Your library account is frozen* or
  • You complete your course and your library account expires.

*See 'What happens if I don't return a requested loan on time?'

What about items I borrowed before 1 September 2021?

Items borrowed before 1 September 2021 are due back on or before Friday 1st October 2021. 

You may borrow the same items again, provided they have not been requested by anyone else, but to instigate auto-renewal you must bring them to the Library, check them in, and then check them out again. Just renewing the loans - online via your library account or using a self-service machine - will not instigate auto-renewal, meaning you will need to remember to manually renew your loans at the end of each loan period.  

If there are extenuating circumstances preventing you from visiting the Library with your library loans before 1 October 2021 please get in touch.

What happens if someone requests an item I have on loan?

You will be notified, by BGU email, and will have 7 days - from the due date stated on the email - to return it to the Library. For this reason, please check your BGU email account regularly, or set up auto-forwarding to your personal email address. 

Minimum loan periods apply. For example, you will not be required to return a one-week loan if it has been on loan to you for less than one week. 

What happens if I don't return a requested item on time?

Once an item is recalled you will receive a series of reminder emails at your BGU email address. If you do not return the item within 7 days your library account will be frozen. This means you will be unable to borrow or request library resources and any other items you have on loan will not renew. Your library account will be unfrozen as soon as you return the outstanding item/s.

Importantly, once your account is unfrozen you must manually renew all of your other loans to re-activate auto-renewal on your account (see instructions below).

Can I still visit the Library if my library account is frozen?

Yes. You can visit and study in the Library and use online resources whilst your library account is frozen.

What happens if I manually renew items instead of waiting for them to auto-renew?

They will renew for the normal loan period, from the day you renew them. For example, if you manually renew a standard loan the due date will jump forward 3 weeks. However, if you try to manually renew an item that has been requested by someone else, the due date may end up being sooner than if you had waited for the auto-renewal. We therefore advise you to avoid manually renewing loans, unless your library account has recently been unfrozen*.

*See 'What happens if I don't return a requested item on time?'

How can I check what I have on loan?

At any point you can login to your library account to see what you have on loan. For instructions on how to do this click here.

How do auto-renewals differ for external members of the Library?

If you are an external member* of the Library each of your loans will auto-renew a maximum of 5 times, at which point you will be required to return them.  In addition, if an item you have on loan is requested by someone else your library account will be frozen as soon as the due date passes. It is unfrozen as soon as the requested item is returned. Whilst your library account is frozen you cannot borrow or request additional library resources and other items you have on loan will not renew (automatically or otherwise).

*Members of the Library who are not current students or members of staff.

Are you still charging fines for overdue library loans?

No. As of 1 September 2021 we will no longer charge fines for the late return of library loans.  Fines accrued for late returns prior to the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020 have been waived, and should no longer be visible in patrons' library accounts.

Why have you made this change to the way loans are renewed?

We believe it is fairer and more equitable than the previous system; you don't have to remember to renew your loans regularly and you can keep items as long as you need, provided they are not requested by anyone else. We were also keen to move away from a system based on financial penalties.