UCL Library Services


Applying for and renewing your library access

When can I come to register or renew my access?

Library registrations and renewals can be completed whenever the Library Assistance Desks are open (please see our libraries pages for details). However, please note that complex or unusual cases are advised to make contact with the UCL Library Services Membership team at lib-membership@ucl.ac.uk in advance and / or to visit Main Library Information Point between 09:30-19:00 Monday to Friday, when specialist staff are on duty.

Are you eligible to use the Library?

Please consult the separate Membership web pages to find out whether or not you are entitled to use the Library.

Checking the Library's catalogue before travelling

Please check the Library's online catalogue Explore before travelling to ensure that we have the material you require, whether it has to be ordered in advance and that you know which Library location to visit.

When you search for a book on Explore, the results displayed will tell you at which site the item is held and whether or not it is currently out on loan.

So, for example, "Main (1/0)" means that the book is held in the Main Library and that we have one copy, but none are out on loan i.e. it should be available. "Science (2/1)" would mean that two copies are held in the Science Library and that someone has borrowed one, and so on.

Our Explore help pages provide full details on how to search the catalogue.

Ordering items in advance

Any book or journal with the shelfmark Store must be ordered 1-2 working days in advance. This can be done online using the store request form. You do not have to have already joined to make a request.

Going to the relevant Library

UCL Library Services consists of a number of different locations. Most, but not all, are within walking distance of the main UCL campus. Maps and local opening hours are available.

Obtaining a Library card/Renewing a Library pass

When you arrive at the Library, you must first register and obtain a Library pass. This can be done at whichever Library location you intend to visit (see above). It is not necessary to arrange your visit in advance or to let us know that you are planning to visit unless you are intending to join on a paying basis for more than a month, in which case you must contact the Head of Membership (details to the right) first.

Your first visit must be made during Issue Desk opening hours or Main Library Information Point opening hours. However, please note that registration is not possible at the Science Library at weekends or after 1700 during the week, even though the issue desks are open. At other sites, Membership Services will be provided where possible after 1700 and at weekends but should be considered “at risk”. It is strongly recommended that users visit between 0930 and 1700 Monday to Thursday or between 1000-1700 on Friday when attempting to register.

Please make sure that you have all relevant documentation with you, confirming your identity, address and eligibility / status – please see What do I need to bring with me section above for details. If you are joining on the basis that you are from another university, or you are a member of an organisation which has an arrangement with UCL, the onus is on you to bring clear proof of this. You may be refused access if your status and eligibility is not clear from the presented credentials.

In particular, if you are a research postgraduate please make sure that the ID you bring clearly indicates your research status, as PhD and MPhil students are entitled to different library privileges from taught-course students. If this is not clear from your student ID card, you are advised to bring a SCONUL Access Band A card from your home institution.