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Joining for Students and staff from other British universities

Note: Temporary variations to normal access policy

Due to the high demands on its services, UCL Library Services cannot accept any applications from paying reference categories of users during UCL Term 3 (28 April 2014 to 15 June 2014 inclusive).

What do I need to bring with me?

All non-UCL users (including UCL Alumni) applying for access to UCL Library Services must produce:

  • proof of address (home and institutional, where relevant) AND
  • photographic proof of identity AND
  • credentials to indicate status / eligibility for library use (e.g. SCONUL Access Band 'A' card, UCL Alumni Association card), when making their application

Acceptable proof of identity is:

  1. Valid photocard driving licence
  2. Valid passport
  3. Institutional ID, including the bearer's photo, from another Higher Education Institution
  4. Institutional ID, including the bearer's photo, from an M25 scheme affiliated Institution
  5. Institutional ID, including the bearer's photo, from one of UCL's affiliated NHS trusts
  6. Valid British Library ID card

Acceptable proof of institutional address is:

  1. Institutional ID, including the bearer's photo, from another Higher Education Institution
  2. Institutional ID, including the bearer's photo, from an M25 scheme affiliated Institution
  3. Institutional ID, including the bearer's photo, from one of UCL's affiliated NHS trusts

Acceptable proof of home address is:

  1. Recent utility / council tax bill (no more than three months old)
  2. Recent bank statement (no more than three months old)
  3. Valid photocard driving licence

Applications will not be accepted without sufficient proof of identity and address. One form of ID can fill more than one role (eg. a photocard driving licence is acceptable both as proof of identity and address). Documents present must be the originals (photocopies are not acceptable). Please note that if your status and eligibility is not clear from the presented documentation, you will be asked to produce additional credentials to confirm (eg. official enrolment certificate from one's home institution). This includes students from other Universities where the department and/or degree studied are not indicated on the Student ID card.

Users applying for borrowing access must also provide a passport sized photograph. This is used to make up your Library card.

Academic staff and research postgraduates

Academic staff and research postgraduates from other British universities can obtain a borrowing ticket (5 books at a time) as long as their university is a participant in the SCONUL Band A borrowing scheme. It is necessary to bring an Sconul Band A card (obtained from the library of your home institution), full and valid ID from the home institution and a passport-sized photograph. You should also bring proof of identity and address, see What do I need to bring with me for more information about acceptable documentation.
Please note that if you hold a Sconul Band A email, you will also need to bring independent confirmation of your status, such as an enrolment certificate, official confirmation of employment or Institution ID showing clearly the PhD, MPhil or staff status.

Ph.D. students and staff from institutions not currently involved in the SCONUL access band A scheme are eligible to apply for reference only access. This would allow consultation of the paper materials we hold and use of the library's photocopiers (subject to the relevant restrictions) but not the borrowing of items. To qualify for this access applicants must bring a full valid Student/Staff ID from their home university and a letter from their department confirming their Ph.D./staff status (if this is not clear from their ID).

Taught postgraduates and undergraduates

Taught postgraduates and undergraduates from other British universities may use the library for reference during UCL vacations but should note that UCL vacations may not always coincide with those of other institutions.

Taught postgraduates and undergraduates requiring access during term-time must pay a fee £7 a day, £20 a week or £30 a month. Longer-term rates may also be available but only after a research need interview with the head of membership.

Taught postgraduates and undergraduates cannot access the law collection at all during term-time, even if they are willing to pay a fee.

Please note - UCL does not participate in the SCONUL Access Band 'B' or Band 'C' schemes.

University of Westminster students

UCL has a special arrangement with the University of Westminster by which UW students may obtain long-term reference tickets, free of charge. See What do I need to bring with me? for details of registration requirements.
Law students are excluded from this arrangement.

Members of other universities are not allowed to borrow books.

Please note that the agreement does not apply to Law undergraduates and taught postgraduates.

Lost, stolen or forgotten Library cards for external users

Your UCL Library card is important - please take care of it. You will not be admitted without it and you will be charged for its replacement.

UCL Library Services charges a fee of £7.00 for the replacement of all Library only ID cards, reference or borrowing, that have been lost, forgotten or otherwise misplaced.

Note - No charge is made for the initial registration, only for the replacement of lost ID cards. Charges are not levied for the replacement of cards that have expired or are within one calendar month of expiry. Also, if a card has become damaged but can be returned to the Library, it will be replaced without charge.

Electronic resources and computing facilities

For licensing reasons, non-UCL members cannot consult UCL Library Services’ electronic resources offsite, but we do have a number of Explore Access Points in UCL Libraries, through which visitors can view many resources. Explore is a one-stop service solution for the discovery and delivery of printed and electronic resources. You can search for material within a single resource or across a range of resources simultaneously. Your choice of resources includes:

  • All resources: Search everything in Explore
  • Library catalogue: Printed and electronic book and journal titles from the UCL library catalogue
  • Journal articles: A remotely-held catalogue of millions of electronic journal articles and other full-text e-resources, most of which are accessible to visitors
  • Digital collections: UCL Library Services’ digital collections
  • UCL Discovery: Open access documents from UCL’s publications repository
  • UCL Exam papers: Electronic copies of UCL exam papers
  • UCL Archives: UCL’s archives catalogue
  • UCL Journals: Journal titles to which UCL Library provides access, print and electronic
  • Databases and other electronic resources: Use the Find Databases option in Explore

Most resources are available to members of the Library who are not otherwise UCL students or staff. Restricted resources will present a UCL login box.

We advise visitors to bring an unencrypted USB storage device with them if they plan to use eresources. Devices containing encrypted software cannot be used on the Explore Access Points. Subject to copyright restrictions (see Terms of access), users may save copies of documents, but there are no visitor printing facilities.

If, before your visit, you want to see which electronic journals are accessible to non-UCL users, check the listings of journals available to visitors on Explore

Most individual bibliographic databases and other resources may be accessed using the Find Databases option in Explore. The following are not available to non-members of UCL:

  • British Standards
  • Census data
  • Datastream
  • Digimap resources (including Landmap)
  • Lexis Library
  • Nexis UK
  • Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
  • RUDI (Resource for Urban Design Information)
  • SciFinder (Chemical Abstracts)
  • Westlaw

There are no PCs available for general use or internet access.

It is possible to bring a laptop into the Library with you.

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Last modified 28 March 2014

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