Skip to main content

Borrowing: Requesting Resources and Inter-Library Loan

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


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak all reservation, inter-library loan, postal loan and scanning services are currently suspended.  To enquire about the availability of a specific book or journal article please use the links on the LibGuides homepage.

More Books

The Library team welcome suggestions and requests for new resources.  The easiest way to do this is via our More Books scheme which allows you to suggest a book for us to buy.  If we think it would be a useful addition to the library collections and it costs less than £40 we'll automatically purchase a copy, and even reserve the book for you when it arrives!  You can also use More Books to request more copies of a book we already have.  Submit your More Books request here.

To suggest resources other than books please contact us at

Inter-library loan

Our inter-library loan service allows you to request books, book chapters or journal articles that aren't owned by our Library. A charge is made for this service. Books supplied on inter-library loan can normally be borrowed for four weeks, but may be subject to earlier recall or restricted to use within the Library. Articles and chapters are supplied as photocopies and are yours to keep. When the item is ready to collect we will notify you by email.  Books must be signed for and collected from the Library, whereas you have the choice of collecting photocopied journal articles or book chapters from the Library, receiving photocopies by post, or receiving an electronic copy (if available) at your BGU email address.

If you are interested in acquiring a thesis please see the information on the EThOS service further down the page.

To submit an inter-library loan request:

Click here if you are a BGU student or staff member and wish to request an inter-library loan for personal use

In the case of book chapters and journal articles it is necessary for you to accept the terms of a copyright declaration in order to submit a request.  You will be asked to do this on the first page of the request form. It is not necessary to accept the copyright declaration to request the supply of a book.

If you are a BGU Staff member wishing to request a copyright-fee paid inter-library loan, to upload to Blackboard or put on reference in the Library, please use the Copyright Fee Paid form in the E-Forms area of SharePoint.

Fees and quotas

An annual quota system applies to inter-library loans.  This is because the cost of the service is heavily subsidised by the Library .  If you use up your quota you can make further requests but each one is charged at £12. Annual quotas apply from 1 August to 31 July and are as follows:  

1st year students: 5 requests charged at £1 each
2nd year students:  10 requests charged at £1 each
3rd year / PGCE / MA / EdD taught phase:  15 requests charged at £1 each
PhD / EdD research phase:  40 free requests
Staff members: Free unlimited requests (work-related items only). 

If a fee is payable the charge will be applied to your library account at the point we process the request; an email will be sent to your BGU email account when we apply the charge. You can pay the charge the next time you visit the Library. However, if the charge pushes the balance of your account over £10 (due to accrued fines or other charges) you will be unable to borrow any more items from the Library until you pay the fine in full.  Alternatively you can send a cheque by post made payable to Bishop Grosseteste University. Card payments can be made over the phone on 01522 583790 during normal office hours.

Other ways of obtaining materials

British Library On Demand is a service which allows you to request articles direct from the British Library. This method can be expensive but it can also be fast. This service is not part of the subsidised document supply service we offer and any use you make of it will not be funded by Library Services.

Zetoc is a British Library journals database, but aimed specifically at the UK higher education community. Zetoc allows you to cross-search journals and then order articles via British Library Direct if appropriate. Again, this ordering service is not funded by Library Services.

Holds / Reservations

If the item you need is already on loan you can reserve a copy by placing a hold on WorldCat. You can have up to five holds open at any one time.  To place a hold, find the item you want on WorldCat and click on Place Hold. You will be asked to sign in to your library account to confirm the reservation and when the item is ready to collect you will receive a message at your BGU email account.

NB. It is not possible to place a hold on an item that is on the library shelves and available to borrow.

Postal Loans

If you are currently registered on an MA programme through the School of Teacher Development, or are an EdD or PhD student, and are resident in the UK, you are eligible to use our postal loans service.  To request a postal loan click here.  The scheme's terms & conditions are below:

Our Scanning Service

Our scanning service allows BGU students to be emailed copies of extracts from books and journals that we hold in stock.  A charge is made for this service and requested items must be for the purpose of research or private study. 

Click here if you are a BGU student and wish to submit a scanning request

Use of this service is unlimited and each request costs £1. You may only request 10% or one chapter (whichever is greater) of a book and one article per journal issue to be scanned. The scanned item will be sent to your BG email address. You are permitted to keep the scanned item indefinitely. You may print a copy but only if it is a single copy and the electronic file is subsequently destroyed.

The charge for this service will be applied to your library account at the point we process your request; an email will be sent to your BG email account when we apply the charge.  You can pay the charge the next time you are in the Library. However, if the charge pushes the balance of your library account over £10 (due to accrued fines or other charges) you will be unable to borrow any more items from the Library until you pay off the amount in full.  Alternatively you can send a cheque by post made payable to Bishop Grosseteste University. Card payments can be made over the phone on 01522 583790 during normal office hours.

Theses and the EThOS Service

EThOS stands for Electronic Theses Online Service.  It is a service operated by the British Library and allows you to search for and view theses written by students at UK universities.  EThOS is a free service but you are required to register at  Find out more about EThOS in the document below.

Copyright and Inter-library Loan

The following rules apply to individual students who request materials:

Books: The fair dealing clause (Section 29) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 permits limited photocopying for the purposes of private study and research. It is generally accepted that no more than one chapter or 10% (whichever is the greater) should be copied from the same book under fair dealing.

Journal articles or book chapters: if received from another library these will normally be supplied as photocopies or will be delivered via email. You are entitled to keep printed photocopies for the purposes of private study and research but you are not permitted to photocopy them further.  If delivered by email you are permitted to save the electronic copy and print the item once but you may not make further copies.  If we scan and email to you an article or chapter as part of our own scanning service (i.e. from an item we have in stock at BGU) you are permitted to print one copy but must then destroy the electronic copy and may not photocopy the printed copy further. Please note that, whichever supply method is used, you may not request or copy further articles or chapters from the same journal or book at a later date.

Items on permanent reference at the Service Desk: journal articles from this collection are 'copyright-cleared'. You may make a single photocopy of a copyright-cleared item for the purpose of private study or research. Please note that you may only photocopy one article per journal issue, i.e. if you are using two articles from the same journal issue you may only photocopy one of them.

Journal articles accessible via Blackboard are also copyright cleared. Under the terms of our Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) licence you may download the article and print it out. You may also keep a digital copy of the article for private study for the duration of the programme for which it was supplied.