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Borrowing and returning Library items

How do I borrow books or other items?

You can use Library Search to look for the items you need, we also have Library Search terminals located on each floor of the library. Once you've found the items you need, use one of our self-service kiosks located on floors 1 and 2, to borrow your books. If you need any help, come and see us at the Library Service Desk.

You can return books and smaller items to the library using the book returns box located just outside the main library doors. You are welcome to bring books and larger items to the Service Desk on level 1 during staffed hours.

Can I borrow books by post?

You can ask us to send you some books by post if you are member of the Library with borrowing rights in the UK and Ireland. Please request items using our Postal Loan Request Form. Once you have completed the form, email it to

We charge £7.50 for each request (you can have up to 4 books per request) to cover postage and packing. You can pay over the phone using a credit or debit card and we will start on your request as soon as we have your completed form and payment.

By requesting a postal loan you accept our Postal Loans Terms and Conditions, which are also available on the request form. Please note that we cannot post:

  • books available as e-books
  • inter-library loans
  • reference materials
  • School Experience artefacts
  • laptops or other IT equipment

Books requested by post should reach you within 2 to 3 days after we have processed your request. We will let you know about any delays in sending them. Please get in touch if you have not received your items after 3 days.

Postal loans are sent by Royal Mail Recorded Delivery and you may need to sign for them on delivery.

Postal loans do not have any special allowances or extra time added to their borrowing period. You must return the books if they are requested by another borrower according to our standard borrowing rules.

You can return items in person or by recorded delivery post, but you will receive fines if they arrive over 7 days after the due date (according to our standard borrowing rules).

How do I borrow a laptop?

You borrow and return Library laptops to the laptop cabinet on Level 1 of the Library. Find out more and see full terms and conditions on our Loanable Laptops page.

Keeping track of your loans

Automatic renewals

Usually, the library will try to automatically renew your loans for you at 7am on the date they are due back.

If your loans have automatically renewed you will not hear anything from the us and you do not need to do anything. We will carry on trying to automatically renew your loans until:

  • another person asks to borrow them
  • you reach the maximum number of renewals allowed, or
  • your library account expires - for example at the end of your studies with us.

If your loans do not automatically renew, you will receive an email from saying that you have 7 days to return the item(s) free of charge. You will need to bring these item(s) back otherwise you will be fined.

Maximum renewal limits

There is a limit on the number of times your loan items will renew automatically. Once this limit is reached, the items will be recalled to the Library. As long as no-one else needs the items, you will be able to borrow them again, but you will need to bring them to the Library to do this.

There are different maximum renewal limits, depending on the loan or item type:

  • Main collection items will renew automatically up to 26 times
  • School Experience Collection items will renew automatically once only
  • Inter-library loans cannot be automatically renewed, however we may be able to renew the loan if you contact us to ask. We will need to ask the library that we borrowed it from. See details on our inter-library loan page
  • Laptops cannot be renewed - we need to allow time for the batteries to charge.

Returning items recalled to the Library

A loan on an item may not renew automatically because:

  • someone has reserved one or more of the items you have on loan.
  • the maximum number of renewals has been reached (see above)
  • there's a problem with your library account.

If you think this is a problem or an error with automatic renewals, please contact us. Unless we confirm otherwise, your loans will still be due back on their existing due date.

Remember that laptop loans and inter-library loans are never automatically renewed.

Your current loans and due dates

You can log in to your Library Search account from any device with an Internet connection, whether you are on campus or not.

Choose 'Checkouts' from the My Account menu to see a list of items you have on loan and when they are due back. You can use this page to renew any books, if you want to, but Birmingham Newman Library operates an automatic renewals service.

Last reviewed: 14 August 2023

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