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How to borrow

Borrow from millions of resources to support your teaching, learning, research and for leisure

Searching for items

You can use Library Search to find digital and physical items available at the Library. Type in the title, author or other keyword into the search bar.

You can see even more items by including results from other institutions.

You can filter your search results by content type, Library, date, subject and more. If you’re looking for a physical book to borrow from the Library, select “Held at Library” under “Show only”.

Retrieving items

When you select an item in Library Search you will be able to see where it is available under "Borrow" or "View online".

Digital items

Items which are available online will show one or more links where you can view the item immediately.

Items at a Library

Items which are held at one of our libraries will show the Library name and a call number for the item. A call number is like the item’s address in the Library. Go to the Library where the item is held and use the call number to retrieve the item from the shelf. If you have trouble finding the item you can ask Library staff for assistance.
Learn more about using call numbers

Short loan (previously 2 hour loan)

Items in short loan are located in a separate area of the Library, usually near the Information Desk. Go to the Library where the item is held and use the call number to retrieve it from the shelf in the short loan area. If you have trouble finding the item you can ask Library staff for assistance.

Items in Storage

Select “More options” to request a digital scan of an item from Storage or for an item from Storage to be sent to a Library for you to borrow.

Checking out items

You can use your staff, student or Library card to borrow items. The easiest way to borrow an item is at a self-checkout machine. Just scan your card and follow the prompts to checkout your items. If you require assistance please ask Library staff for assistance.

Renewing borrowed items

As long as there are no overdue items or other restrictions on your account and the item hasn’t been requested by anyone else, items borrowed from the general collection will automatically renew after 12 weeks. You don’t need to do anything.

Returning borrowed items

When it’s time to return items you’ve borrowed, you can drop them into the returns chute at any Library (excluding The Quarter and ThinkSpace). The returns chutes at Fisher Library and SciTech Library can be accessed 24/7. Staff and students based at Camden can also return items to the book locker in Camden Commons.

Resource Sharing with other institutions

If you need an item which is not available from University of Sydney Library collections, you may be able to access a physical or digital copy from another institution through Resource Sharing. Select “Include results from other institutions” to see all items available. Requested physical items will be delivered to a University of Sydney Library of your choice for you to collect. Requested digital items will be sent to you via email.

If an item you need is not available from our collections or another institution, you can make a “Special request for an item not found” and we’ll do our best to access it for you.

Find out more about Resource Sharing

Recall an item that is on loan to someone else

If you would like to borrow an item that is on loan to someone else, you may be able to request it. This option is available on the item listing in Library Search, under “More options”. The person it is loaned to will be asked to return the item. Once available, the item will be placed on hold you will be notified. This usually takes less than 10 days.

See step-by-step instructions to request a recall

Requesting an item transfer from a different campus

You can request an item to be moved from another Library location (on another campus) for you to collect at the University of Sydney Library location closest to you. This option is available on the item listing in Library Search, under “More options”. Once available at the pickup location, the item will be placed on hold you will be notified that it is ready to collect.

Please note: Requests can only be made for items to be transferred to a library on at different campus.

See step-by-step instructions to request a transfer

Items on hold

When a requested item (either transferred, recalled or borrowed from another institution) is ready, it is held for the person who requested it and cannot be borrowed by someone else. These items are stored on the holds shelf. This is usually located near the Library information desk or help point. Please ask Library staff for assistance if you need help locating an item on hold.

If a held item is not retrieved within seven days, it will be returned to its regular location and made available for borrowing. If you need to extend the time an item is held for, please contact Library staff.

Borrowing items if you can’t get to the Library (Distance clients)

If you live or study remotely or have a disability which prevents you from easily visiting the Library, you may qualify for distance client services, including having books from the Library posted to you.
Learn more about distance client services

Authorised borrower

Alternatively, you can nominate another person to borrow items from the library on your behalf.
Learn more or add/remove an authorised borrower to your account

Learn more
Read borrowing terms and conditions

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