How to use the library loan service, includes how to request, reserve, return and renew books from the library.
All members (including student members) can borrow books through the library. A free postal service is available for members who are unable to visit the reading room but, members must bear the cost of return postage to the library, by recorded delivery. A library-only membership is available to non-members at an annual charge.
Members of other engineering bodies can borrow from our library. Please provide your membership number when enquiring further.
Members can borrow books held in the library by logging onto the website, searching the library online catalogue and clicking on the "Request" button. An e-mail is sent to the library with your list of books requested and your details. Librarians then check the availability of your requested books and reply back by e-mail explaining the status of them, for example, whether they have been posted out to you or are on loan to another borrower.
UK members may borrow up to ten books at a time, members resident outside the UK may borrow up to three books.
Loans are for a period of four weeks, and may be extended if the book is not required by another borrower. After five renewals (usually approximately six months) we will want to see the book again in the library reading room but you can still continue to borrow it after this time if no one else has reserved it.
Members can renew their own books by logging onto the website and clicking on the "My Stuff" button from the online catalogue page.
Alternatively, book renewals can be requested using the loan renewals form. A membership number and e-mail address are compulsory. Barcode numbers of the books can be listed on the form, however if the barcode numbers are not known, there is a "renew all my books" box instead. Replies to e-mail requests using this form are sent immediately back to the library user. Telephone calls and fax requests to renew books are still applicable.
Books will be sent by parcel and, if they are currently available for loan, should arrive within two to four working days. If you are a non-UK member, delivery time depends on the postal service in your country but is usually estimated at between a few days to a couple of weeks.
Books can be returned in person to the library to One Birdcage Walk during our opening hours of 9.15am to 5.30pm GMT. If you are returning books by post, please package them securely and arrange for them to be sent back by recorded delivery to our One Birdcage Walk address. For the library's full address and how to find us, please see our Visit Us page.
This service is for members only and can take up to two weeks depending on the availability of the item at the British Library or another library. The charge is £15.00 per book. A payment form is sent out along with the book, which needs to be signed and returned with payment, to the address on the form. Other libraries can request books from our stock using their British Library Account number and a request number.