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Borrowing: Requesting Resources and Inter-Library Loan

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

Inter-library loan

Our inter-library loan service allows you to request items that aren't owned by our Library. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, journal articles and book chapters can currently be requested via inter-library loan but printed books cannot.  With articles and chapters, success depends on an electronic version of the item being available at a supplying library.  In such cases the item will usually be sent to your BGU email address.  For as long as access to the Library remains restricted due to Covid-19, fees will not be payable for inter-library loan services but quotas will continue to apply (see below).  

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

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. 

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.


An annual quota system applies to inter-library loans.  This is because the cost of the service is met by the Library. Annual quotas apply from 1 August to 31 July and are as follows:  

1st year students: 5 requests
2nd year students:  10 requests
3rd year / PGCE / Masters / EdD taught phase:  15 requests 
PhD / EdD research phase:  40 requests
Staff members: Unlimited requests (work-related items only). 

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.

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.

Requests / Holds / Reservations

You are permitted to have up to five open requests at a time. Items can be on the library shelves or on loan.  To request an item use the Request Item button on the item's WorldCat record; you will need to be signed into your library account to do this. You will then receive an email to your BGU email account when the item is ready to collect. For more on collecting items from the library during the Covid-19 pandemic click here.

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 a More Books request by clicking here.

To suggest resources other than books please contact us at

Postal Loans

If you are currently registered on our MA in Education, or an EdD, PhD, or distance learning programme and are resident in the UK, you are eligible to use our postal loans service.  To request a postal loan 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.  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

For as long as there is restricted access to the Library as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic this service is free (there is usually a charge of £1 per request).  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.

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.