External Readers

We welcome visitors to the library from across the city and beyond. 

Please note: Work is now underway to improve the heating, cooling and air quality in Western Bank Library. The work, which is due to be completed by October 2019, will provide a more comfortable environment for all users and visitors. Access to Western Bank Library will be unavailable until this time.

Further details about the project and FAQs can be found here.

External Reader categories

  • Regional access – for people who live, work or study in the region of South Yorkshire
  • Collegiate Studies – students on courses franchised or validated by the University of Sheffield
  • SCONUL Access Scheme/SCONUL Summer Vacation Access Scheme – for students whose home institution is a member of SCONUL (Band R/ reference only)
  • Other – anyone who has a genuine need to use materials and services not available in other local libraries
  • Post-16 - Young people aged 16 and 17 can register as External Readers from the September after they complete year 11. Parental/carer consent will be required prior to registration.

How to apply

Applications for library membership are done online and you will be required to upload a recent passport style photograph.

Post 16 - Applications will reopen October 2019 - Young people aged 16 and 17 can register as External Readers from the September after they complete year 11. Parental/carer consent will be required prior to registration.

Other categories (including SCONUL - R and Vacation scheme) - Apply here

Applications may take up to three weeks to process and you will be notified when your card is ready for collection.

SCONUL Access R applicants are required to provide a copy of their SCONUL email.

If you have any enquiries, please contact the Library HelpDesk (0114) 222 7200, or visit Western Bank Library or the Health Sciences Library, Royal Hallamshire Hospital during staffed service hours.

Access to sites:

External Readers can access these sites during staffed service hours.

  • Western Bank Library
  • Health Sciences Libraries

Benefits of membership

  • Use of the Library catalogue, StarPlus to check library holdings. Your membership allows reference access only
  • Use of Library print collections
  • Use of microform reader/printers, DVD and video players (where available)
  • Use of Self-service photocopiers. 

Special Collections and Archives

  • Items from the Special Collections and Archives (reference use only) may be made available, subject to the approval of the Head of Special Collections (email lib-special@sheffield.ac.uk)
  • Enquiries relating to the National Fairground and Circus Archive should be addressed to nfa@sheffield.ac.uk or phone 0114 2227231

Access to Wi-Fi

If your home university uses Eduroam, you will be able to access the wireless internet;

  • Choose your wireless icon and search for available wireless networks
  • Select Eduroam and click the connect button
  • When asked for your username, type it in followed by @yourhomeuniversity.ac.uk (e.g.ab1pp@sheffield.ac.uk)
  • Provide your password and ‘Connect’

    Guest access to Wi-Fi is available: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cics/wireless/guests

Access to e-journals

External Readers can access a large number of electronic journals from the University’s portfolio using our “Walk in Access” scheme. Access is provided via dedicated computers based in Western Bank Library and the Health Sciences Library at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and the Northern General Hospital.

To register as an authorised walk-in user you must sign and agree to the code of practice (forms are available at all three sites). You are also required to provide proof of name and address and membership of the Library. Please note, access is limited to one hour per user during busy periods.