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A self-checkout machine is available for you to issue items to your account at any time. Alternatively, bring items that you wish to borrow to the Issue Desk together with your University Card to be checked out by Library staff during staffed hours.

Loan allowances 

  • Undergraduates, Postgraduates and Post-Doctoral Researchers (under Standing Order B.5.2) can borrow up to eight items at at time.
  • Fellows of the College may borrow an unlimited number of items.

Loan period 

  • Undergraduates: one week (except maps - see below)
  • Postgraduates and Post-Doctoral Researchers: four weeks (except AV items and maps - see below).
  • Fellows of the College: until the end of the academic year.
  • Audio-visual items are issued for one week.
  • Maps are issued for two weeks.


  • Undergraduates may renew items up to three times, except in the cases of AV items and maps, which may be renewed once.
  • Postgraduates and Post-Doctoral Researchers may renew items once.
  • Fellows of the College may renew items for another academic year.

N.B. Items may be renewed at the Issue Desk, online via LibrarySearch (see instructions below) or using the self-check machine, provided no other reader has placed a hold on them.

Requesting items

Items that are on loan can either be held or recalled for you.

  • 'Hold' requests that an item on loan be held for you when the current borrower returns it.
  • 'Recall' requests that an item on loan that is needed before the specified return date is recalled from the current borrower and held for you. As all readers are guaranteed a minimum of one week's loan, the current borrower will have up to seven days from the date the recall is placed to return the item.

 Further instructions on placing requests can be found in the attached document below.


  • Bring all borrowed items to the Issue Desk to be checked in. Outside staffed hours you can use the self-check machine to return items, and drop the items into the Book Returns Box or AV Returns Box (located either side of the self-check machine alcove).


  • 30p per working day per item. 
  • Fines on recalled items which are returned late are charged at £1 a day.
  • Fines can be paid in cash or added to your College bill.

N.B. Working days are Monday to Friday 0900 - 1700 both in and out of Term.

Your account

You can view online the items you currently have on loan for each library you belong to within Cambridge. Simply login to 'My Library Account' from the LibrarySearch page and enter your University Card barcode and surname. Please remember to logout afterwards.