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New Students: An Introduction to BGU Library

Everything you need to know to get started using BGU Library.

Soon to enrol at BGU, or in your first few weeks here? Then you're new to our library and these pages are just for you - welcome!  The Library is located in the Cornerstone Building, in the south-west corner of the campus next to the University Chapel.

All students get a library orientation session early in their first semester, but in the meantime there's lots on this page to help you find out more about our services and facilities. You can also use the tabs above to find out more about our opening hours, subject guides, our FAQs site AskUs, and how to contact us. In addition, if you click on the LibGuides link at the top of the page you'll be able to see all of the other LibGuides we've produced.  The most important thing to remember is that if there's something you're not sure about please ask for help - it's what we're here for!

Finding your way around

Sign up for a Cornerstone Circuit during Freshers' Week to familiarise yourself with the Library and related services; check out your Freshers' Week Wall Planner for more details. 
Alternatively, feel free to contact us directly (see the Contact Us tab at the top of the page) to ask for a tour of the Library for you and/or your classmates if you think it would be helpful, or take a virtual Google Maps tour of the library here.

Conduct and behaviour

When using library services please:

  • Bring your loans back on time to keep resources circulating for the benefit of all library patrons.
  • Only bring lidded drinks into the Library: food and open drink containers are not permitted.
  • Avoid disturbing other library patrons by taking or making phone calls in the stairwells.  Texting is fine.
  • Avoid disturbing other library patrons by keeping the volume low when listening to music through headphones.
  • Respect the different noise zones around the library (social, quiet and silent) and maintain a studious atmosphere at all times.

For more about your rights and responsibilities click here.

Study space

The Library is designed so that you should always be able to find somewhere to study to suit your study preferences.  We encourage quiet study in all areas with two exceptions: the Silent Study Suite (for individuals wishing to study in silence) and the Social Study Suite (for group work and collaborative work); both are located on the first floor.  There are lots of other study spaces, with and without computers and power sockets, around the Library and including the 24/7 IT Suite which is accessible from the building foyer.

All study spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis except for the five seminar rooms in the Social Study Suite and the four study booths in the Silent Study Suite which are bookable for 2 and 4 hour slots respectively.  

Library charges

There is no charge for BGU students to use the Library or borrow resources. Fees/charges do however apply to the following:

  • If you return or renew a library loan late, or if you lose or irreparably damage a library loan (see Borrowing basics above);
  • Use of our inter-library loan or scanning service (find out more here);
  • Printing and photocopying (see Computers, printing and copying above);
  • If you return late or lose a library locker key;
  • Replacement of your library card (your BGU Student ID card) if you lose or damage it (£10).

Getting in and out of the Library

We are open until midnight every day of the week during term-time.  To view our opening hours for the whole year, including vacations, and to find out more about how to get into the Cornerstone Building the Library, and the 24/7 IT Suite, click on the Opening Hours tab at the top of this page.

When the Library is open but the Service Desk is closed (i.e. there are no library staff on duty) the Library is supervised by a Security Officer.


It's really important for you to know about WorldCat and what it can do for you.  WorldCat is our library catalogue and contains a record of every item in the Library (over 140,000!): it is available 24 hours a day, on and off campus, at WorldCat also allows you to monitor your library account including your loans, holds and fines.  In order to access your account you will need to set a password (separate from any of your other BGU passwords).  A video explaining how to do this can be viewed here, or there are printed instructions below.

WorldCat also provides access to many online resources, including e-books and journal databases.  On campus you can access all online resources automatically; off campus you will be prompted to login with your BGU username and password (the same ones you will use for Blackboard and email). To find out more about our online resources and how to access them - including all of those not available through WorldCat - click here.  

For more information about WorldCat check out our All About WorldCat LibGuide.

Borrowing basics

All students can borrow up to 20 library resources at a time.  Your University ID card is also your library card; take items to the Service Desk to be issued or use the self-service machines opposite the Service Desk (ask a member of staff if you're not sure how to work them).

Loan periods vary according to the type of material you want to borrow:

  • Standard loans (the vast majority of our resources) can be borrowed for up to three weeks, unless you on a Education MA in which case the standard loan period is nine weeks;
  • One week loans can be borrowed for one week.
  • Children's resources located in Teaching Resources Collection can be borrowed for up to twelve weeks*;

One week loans and reference books (reference books cannot be borrowed) have stickers on the spines to make them easy to spot. 

All resources can be renewed.  You also have the facility to reserve books that other people have on loan by placing a hold on them.

You can return items at the service desk or using the self-service machines.  You can also post them in the drop box outside the Cornerstone Building.

Fines are charged for the late return or renewal of loans at a rate of 20p per day for standard & children's loans and 50p per day for one week loans.  If you accrue £10 or more in fines and/or library charges your library account will be suspended until you settle your fine in full. The maximum we charge for one instance of a fine is £50.  

To help you manage your loans we normally send you an email reminder 3 days before any item you have on loan is due to be returned, but it is also advisable to check your account yourself on a regular basis to monitor return dates. We also operate a one-day grace period.  This means that if you return or renew a loan one day late the fine for that day will be waived.  If, however, you return or renew an item more than one day late the fine is payable in full.

If you lose or irreparably damage a library loan you will be charged the replacement cost, or alternatively you can choose to supply us with a replacement copy of the item yourself.

*These resources are aimed at students who are training to be teachers or work in educational settings and are likely to spend time on placement, hence the longer loan period.


You cannot photocopy/print unlimited amounts from library resources (this is against the law!) but you are permitted to photocopy/print limited amounts, as prescribed by copyright law and various copyright licences held by University.  In general you should photocopy/print no more than 10% or one chapter of a book (whichever is greater) and no more than one article per journal issue but you are advised to visit our Copyright for BGU Students site to gain a better understanding of the rules as they apply to all types of library resources. The documents below may also be of use.

Computers, printing and copying

There are lots of computers around the Library and in the 24/7 IT Suite (off the Cornerstone Building foyer).  All computers are open access and cannot be booked.  During the first few weeks of the autumn term the 24/7 IT Suite is regularly booked for library training sessions but signs outside the Suite will indicate if the room is available for use.

Wi-fi is available throughout the Cornerstone Building - speak to staff at the Service Desk about access codes - and there are plenty of study spaces with power sockets to plug in your own laptop or mobile device. 

Printing and photocopying is pay-as-you-go using your University ID card.  A single sheet of black & white A4 printing or copying costs 4p and colour costs 20p.  A print account is set up for you when you join the University and is initially credited with £5.  Top-up your account using your ID card and the machines in the 24/7 IT Suite or the Library's Social Study Suite.  The machines take cash only and do not give change.  If you wish to pay by card you can do so at the Library Service Desk. 

BGU's IT Helpdesk is located in the CELT Centre, immediately adjacent to the Curiositea coffee shop.  IT Helpdesk staff can also be contacted on 01522 583666 or at

Stationery and finishing equipment

Guillotines, a laminator, a binding machine, hole punches and staplers are all available to use in the Social Study Suite on the first floor of the Library.

A wide range of basic stationery items such as pens & pencils, folders, note pads, sticky notes, plastic wallets, laminating pouches and binding combs are available to buy from the Service Desk.  A price list is available on our Blackboard pages.

What you wish you'd known earlier

A couple of years ago we asked current students what they wished they'd known earlier about the Library.  Click below to see some of the responses.

Image attribution

All photos ©Bishop Grosseteste University.