External Readers

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

External Reader categories

  • SYALL Agreement – 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
  • 16/17 year old - 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. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult when visiting the Library.

How to apply

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

  • Access the Online Store
  • Create an account (Choose ‘Book Event’ and create your account or ‘Use my Customer Details’, if you have previously created an account)
  • Select 'Conference and Events'
  • Select 'Professional Services' and then 'Library'
  • Complete the application form

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

You can select the Library site from which to collect your card; please bring photographic proof of identification and proof of your current address.

16/17 years olds will need to bring signed parental/carer consent and proof of date of birth.

SCONUL Access Band R applicants must produce a copy of their SCONUL email.

If you wish to renew your card or you require a replacement because your card has been lost or damaged, please apply online.

Access to sites:

External Readers can access these sites during staffed service hours.

  • Western Bank Library
  • Health Sciences Libraries
  • The Diamond - Ground floor

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, Jacky Hodgson, (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’

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.