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Library Services



Library essentials for students and staff 2020-21

Accessing online resources

Library Services provides access to a wealth of online resources to support teaching and research which are available 24/7. You are advised to make use of our online resources, which UCL students and staff can access from off campus, via the Library Services website, using their UCL userid and password.

Please note that for many resources, Explore provides the only way to log in when you are off campus.

Accessing print resources

Some of our libraries are open to enable you to borrow books via our Click and Collect Service. Please check our Opening Hours webpage for the latest information.

Borrowing and returning books


Books are listed in our online catalogue, UCL Explore, and books should be requested for collection in advance of a visit. Please check our published opening hours before visiting.  

Further information can be found on our Click and Collect webpage.  Books requested in this way will be held for you to collect and borrow within 3 days. Please bring your confirmation email with you to gain access to the library.

If you are unable to access the UCL campus to collect books that have been requested, for example if you are self-isolating, you can arrange for another UCL Library member to collect them on your behalf. Please email to arrange this. Please wait until the books that you have requested are available for collection before contacting us. The person collecting the books must have a valid and current UCL ID card or UCL Library card. We will email the person collecting the books to confirm a time for the collection, and they will need to present this email when they visit the Library.

All borrowed books are now automatically renewed if they have a loan period of one week or longer unless they have been requested by another user. Short loan items must be returned at the end of their loan period as usual. 



Books can be returned in person to the Science Library during its opening hours or to the book bin at the Main Library entrance. At other times books can be left at the Front Gate Lodge on Gower Street (opposite the Cruciform Building).

Books can also be posted to our address listed on our contact page. For those users who do not wish to visit a Post Office, Royal Mail now offers a Parcel Collect service which allows you to pay for postage online, print off an address label and have your parcel collected from your door.

Please note that we are not currently charging fines for the late return of books.

Interlending and copying service

Our Interlending service allows you to request and borrow books and articles held by other libraries, for collection from UCL or by electronic delivery where copyright rules permit.

Recommending books for purchase

If you’ve checked Explore and we don't already have a book, you can recommend it for purchase by the library. Please complete the online form with as many details as you can and your suggestion will be passed on to the appropriate Subject Liaison Librarian.

Open Access Content

A wide range of Open Access content can be found in Explore, using the search box above. UCL Discovery (our institutional repository) and our Research Data Repository contain freely available versions of papers, books and datasets produced by members of academic staff at UCL both now, and in the past. Explore also includes content from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) which gives you access to Open Access content outside UCL.

In addition, there are now tools that allow you to search the web for trustworthy Open Access versions of content from inside your web browser. Just searching Google can bring up not only illegal copies of material, but also inadvertently support predatory and fake journals. The recommended tool is called Open Access Button. More information about Open Access Button is available here.