Frequently Asked Questions

Find what you need in our searchable FAQ.

How long can I borrow books for?

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There are three different loan periods, ie how long you can borrow a book for. They are: 

  • Long Loan
  • 1 Week Loan
  • Course Collection

When you borrow a Long Loan book, you can keep it until the end of the academic year (early June). Then the book is automatically renewed until the end of the summer vacation (September). 

Long Loan books keep automatically renewing to these dates unless somebody else places a hold, ie asks for it to be returned to the library.

You can borrow 1 week loans for a week at a time. We'll email you when that week is nearly up and you can renew the book again as long as nobody else wants it. 

If somebody places a hold on a book that you are borrowing, we'll email you to let you know. You have one week to bring it back to the library.

Some books are Course Collection and have a very short loan period, usually overnight, although this can vary. See more details here: https://library.soton.ac.uk/course_collection

 

 


What if I return an item late?

2515 views   |   183   Overdue books Loans & returns

We don't charge fines if you return an item late. However, we will suspend your account if the book is in demand, or if it's very late.

If your account is suspended, it means you can't borrow or renew books for seven days from the date you returned the overdue book.

If the book is a Course Collection book, ie very short loan, we will suspend your account as soon as it's overdue.

If the book is 1-week or long loan and somebody has placed a hold* on the book, we will suspend your account 3 days after the book is overdue.

If the book is a 1-week loan we will suspend your account once it's more than 21 days overdue.

*Placing a hold means that somebody else needs the book and there are no available copies, so they have asked for it to be returned to the library.

If a book is very overdue, we will send you an invoice to cover the cost of replacing it.

 

 

 


How do I request a book that is on loan?

2246 views   |   206   Placing holds Loans & returns

If Library Search/WebCat says a book is on loan, it means somebody else is borrowing it. You can place a hold on the book, which will ask the borrower to return that book. 

To place a hold, log into Library Search/WebCat and look up the book you want. Click on Place Hold and choose which library you'd like to collect your book from.

We send an email to the borrower, asking them to return the book within 7 days. Once they return the book, we email the person who is first in the queue to let them know they can collect it. We'll keep it for you for three days, after which we will cancel the hold.

 


What is the Course Collection?

2058 views   |   194   Course Collections The Library Enquiries

The Course Collection is a stock in high demand typically reading list material (from books and dvds to online extracts in pdf format), added to the collections at the suggestion of staff or students.

The material held is aimed at students studying taught courses, but any student or staff at this University may use the collections.

If you do not return Course Collection items on time your Library record will be blocked for one week.  This means you will be stopped from borrowing any material from any of the University Library sites.

Items borrowed during the day are due for return by 11:00 the following day.
At Hartley, this applies every day except Saturday when items are due for return by 11:00 on Monday, at all other sites the exception starts on Friday when items are due for return by 11:00 on Monday. 


Can I access journals and databases from home?

1703 views   |   145   Passwords Internet The Library VPN

You can access electronic journals and databases if the library is subscribed to them or if the provider supplies them free online. Access from home or your own laptop or device requires connection to the Southampton Virtual Environment (SVE)  Please follow ISolutions guidance on how to install these.

There are a few resources that have their own username and password - you can find these on the library webpages by following the links to resources.


How many books can I borrow?

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This table lists our current borrowing allowances:

User category Course collection items Total no. of items
Undergraduates 3 15
Taught postgraduates 3 20
Research postgraduates 3 No limit
Staff 3 No limit
External borrowers 0 10

Don't forget that you will only be able to borrow items if your record is clear from overdue books and suspensions.
 
We have further information on our loans & borrowing web pages. 


What does it mean if my account is suspended?

1318 views   |   59   Loans & returns

We suspend your account because you have returned a book later than you should have. We do this if the book is in demand, or if it's very late.

If your account is suspended, it means you can't borrow or renew books for seven days from the date you returned it.

If the book is a Course Collection book, ie very short loan, we will suspend your account as soon as it's overdue.

If the book is 1-week or long loan and somebody has placed a hold* on the book, we will suspend your account 3 days after the book is overdue.

If the book is a 1-week loan we will suspend your account once it's more than 21 days overdue.

*Placing a hold means that somebody else needs the book and there are no available copies, so they have asked for it to be returned to the library.


Where do I return books and other items?

When the Library is open then you can return items using our self-issue/return machines or by returning it to a help desk.

If the Library is closed, items can be returned in the returns box or letterbox outside the Library. All sites except for Winchester School of Art have an out-of-hours returns box. We will collect and return books as soon as the Library opens. 

Long loan and 1-week loan items can be returned to any of our libraries. 

Please return course collection (short loans) to the library where you borrowed them.


What if the item I want is not on the catalogue?

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If the Library does not have the item you need, we are often able to contact other libraries and obtain items from them on your behalf.  This is known as an  Inter-Library Loan  (ILL) request.


What books are at which site?

1100 views   |   95   Internet Web The Library iSolutions

There are five University Library sites:

  • Hartley Library
  • Health Services Library
  • Library and Learning Commons
  • National Oceanographic Library
  • Winchester School of Art Library

The Hartley Library is on the main Highfield campus and contains the main collections for biological sciences, business, education, engineering, geography, humanities, law, mathematics, medicine, physical sciences, nursing and social sciences.

The Health Services Library is based at the Southampton General Hospital. It supports teaching and research in the Schools of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The Library and Learning Commons at Avenue campus, holds the Humanities Course Collection (excluding Music), the primary collection of Language Learning Resources and a significant Film Collection.

The National Oceanographic Library is located at the Southampton Oceanography Centre. It contains the main collections for oceanography and geology.

The Winchester School of Art Library in Winchester is a specialist art and design library, covering art and design history, fine art, fashion and textiles, cultural studies, film and photography.

 


Do I have to return Course Collection items in person?

All Course Collection items must be returned to the site Library from where they were borrowed.  You can return items in person or using the self-return machines.

If you need to return Course Collection items when the Library is closed there is a returns facility outside the entrance to each site Library.  Please do NOT use the outside returns facility when the Library is open.

Remember, late return of a Course Collection item will result in the blocking of your borrowing privileges for one week from the date the item is returned. 


Where can I collect my holds?

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If we've sent you an email to say you can collect your hold, you can find it:

Hartley - on the holds shelves on Level 2 as you come in the Library, immediately on your left after the help desk

Library & Learning Commons - in the holds cupboard next to the help desk

National Oceanographic Library, Health Services Library, Winchester School of Art - at the help desk

You have three days to collect your book. Please email us if you're having problems getting to the library in time.


What can I use ejournals for?

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You can use ejournals for private study, teaching and/or research, provided that these activities are for non-commercial purposes.


What can I do with electronic resources, eg databases, ebooks and ejournals?

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As a general rule, if you are using electronic resources for your own personal non-commercial use, eg private study, teaching and research, you can:

  • print a single copy of an article or chapter
  • save a copy of an article or chapter
  • print single copies or save limited extracts from a database

 

There are copyright exceptions under English Law which can be found here


What restrictions are there to using electronic resources (eg ebooks, databases and ejournals)?

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Unless the resources specifically state otherwise, you must not:

  • use ejournals for commercial purposes
  • make multiple print or electronic copies of a single article or chapter
  • make print or permanent electronic copies of more than one article from one issue of a journal, or more than one chapter from an ebook
  • provide print or electronic copies of material to anyone
  • engage in systematic or excessive downloading, either manually or through the use of technical means such as robots
  • post any content on the Internet or other electronic network
  • remove or alter publisher copyright notices, authors' names, journal/book/chapter/article titles or any other means of identification
  • alter or adapt material from the ejournals


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