Guide to borrowing

Information and guidance around borrowing and returning Library materials.


For updates and information on Easter vacation loans, visit our FAQ page. 

How do I borrow from the Library?

If you wish to borrow from the Library you will need your UCard. Books can be issued using our self-service machines. If you want to borrow a DVD, or your book does not have a barcode, take your items to the Library Information Desk.

Postal loans service

If you are a distance (online) learning student or have a disability which makes it difficult for you to visit the libraries, we are able to post library books to your home address. Visit our postal loans service page for more information.

How many items can I borrow?

This depends on your borrower category:

Borrow category Number of books
Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students 25
Postgraduate research students, University, Sheffield Teaching Hospital staff and other associate staff 50
External borrowers Five

How long can I borrow items for?

All books, unless requested by someone else, can be borrowed for the following periods:

Borrower category Normal loan period
Full-time taught students and external borrowers One week
Part-time, distance, and inclusive learning students Four weeks
Postgraduate research students, University and Sheffield Teaching Hospital staff, associate borrowers Four weeks

Reference copies of core texts (green bands) cannot be borrowed. This is to ensure that at least one copy of a heavily used textbook remains in the Library.

Can I keep books for longer?

We will automatically renew your items two days before their due date until either the book is requested by someone else or your library account expires.

You will also receive a weekly borrowing statement by email so that you can see when your items are due for return and whether any have been requested.

It is essential you check your weekly borrowing statement and library account regularly so that you know when your items are due for return, and to ensure no-one has requested the items you have on loan.

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

We will send you an email to let you know that your book cannot be renewed due to a request. If a book is requested by someone else you can usually keep it until the due date but you may not be able to renew it.

Occasionally we may have to ask for books to be returned earlier than the original due date but we will give you plenty of notice if this is the case.

Books already requested by someone else when you borrow them may have a shorter loan period of

  • Two days – University and NHS staff, postgraduate research students, full-time taught students, external borrowers.
  • Four days – Part-time, distance and inclusive learning students.

Where can I return an item?

You can return your library item to any site but, in order to help us circulate material as quickly as possible it is best to try to return it to site from which you borrowed it.

What if I return my items late?

We need you to return items quickly that are needed by other users so as soon as a request has been placed we send you an email, we then send you a reminder on the day that the item is due.

If you don’t return the item on time, as soon as a requested item becomes overdue, your library account will be frozen and you will not be able to borrow any more books until the requested item has been returned.

We will still continue to automatically renew other items on your account.

After two weeks, if you have not returned the item, we consider that the book is lost and will charge you for a replacement copy plus a non-refundable penalty charge.

If you would like to report a book on your account as lost or if you think that you have returned it, complete the below form:

Lost / claimed return form

If you have difficulty returning items you have on loan, email or tell us via our live chat service.

How do I check my library account online?

You can view your loans, requests and see other information about your account.

Staff and students

  • log in to MUSE and choose ‘StarPlus – Library Catalogue' in 'My services'
  • click on your name
  • click on 'myLibrary Account'

External customers

  • go to StarPlus
  • click on your name
  • click 'myLibrary Account'
  • enter library barcode number and password in the boxes provided

Note: it contravenes Library regulations to borrow material using another person's UCard or Library card unless they have given you written permission to do so. Once you have borrowed items they are your responsibility until they have been removed from your account.

Ask a question


Phone: +44 114 222 7200

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International Merit Scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students including 75 undergraduate scholarships worth £10,000 towards the annual tuition fee and 125 postgraduate taught scholarships worth £5,000 towards the tuition fee. Applications are now open for existing offer holders.