Visiting other Libraries

Reciprocal agreements that exist between University of Sheffield and other institutions allow staff and students to use other libraries in the UK for reference or for borrowing.

List of Reciprocal agreements

ALL agreement

ALL (Access to Libraries for Learning) is an agreement between academic and public libraries in South Yorkshire to allow access for study and research to anyone who lives, works or is studying in the area.

The British Library Document Supply Centre

The British Library Document Supply Centre (BLDSC) at Boston Spa, West Yorkshire is the national document supply centre and contains about 8.5 million books and serials, in addition to conference proceedings and U.K. and U.S. theses.
The Library runs a regular free minibus service to the BLDSC to give staff and students of the University the opportunity to use the extensive collections housed there.

The British Library Reading Rooms

The British Library is the national published archive and a repository of world memory. It provides access to its collection in support of scholarship, research and innovation and operates at the hub of the nation's library network.
Admission to the Reading Rooms is by reader's pass only.


SCONUL Access provides a borrowing service for staff and postgraduate students and a reference service for full-time undergraduate students at higher education libraries throughout the UK and Ireland. Information about the scheme is available on the SCONUL Access website.

To join SCONUL Access simply click on the SCONUL Access Webpage, and follow the links:

  • Enter your staff/student status and home university and then check which other universities you are eligible to visit. You can look up these universities on the web page and then apply online for access.
  • Once you have done this library staff will process your request. You must be registered as a library user in good standing (i.e. having no debts at your home library and not having seriously infringed regulations).
  • You will the get an email which, when presented with your UCard to another library will identify you as a bona fide member of the scheme.

SCONUL Access Summer Vacation Scheme

Under the terms of the SCONUL (Standing Conference of National and University Libraries) Summer Vacation Access Scheme undergraduate students and postgraduate students following taught courses at U.K. and Irish universities will normally be granted reference use of other university libraries free of charge during the vacations of the host university. If you request admittance to another university library you should be prepared to present proof of your current membership of the University of Sheffield. Your current Ucard may be acceptable but you are strongly advised to check the library┬┤s web pages, or telephone in advance of your visit, in order to be sure about vacation dates, opening hours, and documentation required. Admission to other libraries is always at the discretion of the Librarian or Director.