How long can I borrow an item for?

The majority of items may be borrowed for a month. We will renew these items for you unless the item has been recalled by another user.

Please check your library account regularly to see if any items have been recalled. You will then have 7 days to return it. If the item is not returned in time, then overdue charges will apply.

The item will only be issued for 8 days if there is a queue. In this situation you will also receive a recall notice the next day, which will confirm the date that the item is due.

How many items can I borrow?

Borrower Maximum loans
at any one time
UWE Bristol students and staff 25
External visitors 5

If you are an external user, you will need to visit during staffed hours to borrow books. Please see our visitor access guide for more information.

What if I can't come to the library to borrow? 

Using the self-service machines

What do the self-service machines do?

They can do some, or all, of the following, depending upon the self-service machine you're using:

  • Issue items
  • Return items
  • Issue items you have reserved that are awaiting collection

How do they work?

Instructions are provided with the machines. To borrow an item you will either need your UWE Bristol ID card or your UWE Bristol username and password. Unfortunately, these machines cannot be used by external visitors right now. Please visit the desk during library staffed hours to borrow an item.

Why won't it let me borrow?

Common problems:

  • You have over £20 in outstanding or accruing library fines
  • You have borrowed too many items (see above)

Recall and reserve items


If the item you require is on loan, you can recall it. If the item is at another campus library, then it may be possible to request that a copy is transferred to your local library. 

How do I recall and reserve an item?

  • Use the library search to find the required item.
  • Click on the item to get the check availability screen. 
  • Click the Recall and reserve a copy of this item link.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.
  • The item will be returned within 7 days and reserved for you.

Why can't I recall an item?

The system will not allow you to recall items in the following cases:

  • You have outstanding fines or overdue items.
  • There are other copies available on the shelves.
  • You are exceeding your maximum 25 reservations.

How can I check the progress of my reserved item?

Log in to your library account to view your reservations.

What happens when the reserved item arrives?

Please log in to your library account to view your reservations.

How do I collect the reserved item?

  • At Frenchay, you can pick up reserved items from the Reservation Area on Level 2 and issue them yourself.
  • At Glenside, you can collect reserved items from the shelves next to the help/service desk and issue them yourself.
  • At Bower Ashton, you can collect reserved items from the shelves just upstairs from the help desk on the main library floor, and issue them yourself.

If you are an external user, you will need to visit during staffed hours to collect your reservations. Please see our visitor access guide for more information.

How long will the reserved item be kept?

Items will be held for 7 days.

If you are unable to pick up your item within the specified period then please contact the campus you intend to pick the item up from. 

Scan and deliver

  • We can scan up to one chapter of a book, one journal article or up to 5% of an item and email it to you.
  • Requests will be refused where we have existing electronic access to an item. 
  • Please note that we can only supply one scanned extract from a text to an individual. If another extract is requested at a later date, even where the original supplied scan does not amount to 5% of a work, we will need to reject it to comply with copyright law.
  • This service provides scans for the purpose of personal study/research only, and academics seeking digitisations for their reading lists should continue to use the digitisation request service (staff intranet).
  • Please note that due to copyright laws and license restrictions, we are unable to supply requests to staff and students based at partner institutions and based overseas.

You can also use library search to find the required item, click on the item to get the availability screen, then click on the ‘Scan and Deliver' button which will load the request form.


When do I need to return my books?

You will receive a provisional due date when you borrow the books. You can check which items you have on loan, and their due dates, on your library account.

If another user recalls an item that you have borrowed, you will have 7 days to return it. If you have any doubts about your ability to return a recalled item if you are going to be away from the University for a period of time, please return it before you go.

How will I know if an item has been recalled?

You will receive an email to your UWE Bristol email account (staff and students) or registered email address (external users) when an item is recalled. You then have seven days to return the recalled item. It is your responsibility to regularly check your email account. You can also check your library account to see if any of your items have been recalled. 

How do I return my books?

You can use the self-service machines when the library is open.

Check opening hours

Book return options:

  • Frenchay: the return machine is available 24/7 inside the Library.
  • Glenside: during opening hours, you can return books using the self-service machine opposite the Library help desk.
  • Bower Ashton: during opening hours, you can return books using the return bins on the upper floor of the library.

If you are an external user, you will need to return your books during our visitor access hours. Please see our visitor access guide for more information.

Can I return my books to any campus?

You can return items to any campus library.

How do I return non-standard items?

Items such as large items (for example, big books from the Education Resources Collection), and anatomical models will need to be returned during staffed opening hours.

What if I can't come in to return my books? 

If you have left Bristol and are not due to return, or if you are still concerned about returning your items, please contact us for details of our freepost service for returns.


How do I renew my loan?

Your loans will be automatically renewed at their due date as long as another borrower has not placed a hold on them. This will happen a maximum of twelve times and does not apply to laptops or our items from our bones and models collection.

If your loans are due within the next two weeks, there are two further ways to renew items you've borrowed:

Why can't I renew?

You cannot renew an item in the following cases:

If you cannot get to campus to return items please contact us.

How will I know when to renew my loan?

To check when your loans are due log in to your library account online.

You may also receive a courtesy email, to your UWE Bristol email address, reminding you that the item is due. However, we advise you not to rely on the emails: if for some reason you do not receive the courtesy email you will still have to pay a fine.

Postal loans

If you are unable to visit our campuses in person to borrow items, you can request that items are posted to you. Postal loan items are issued subject to recall the same as our other types of book loans.

Make a postal loan request

How much does it cost?

Zone Cost per item
(including VAT)
United Kingdom (recorded delivery) Free
Europe and rest of the world Due to variable weights and postal charges, cost will supplied on enquiry. Any agreed fees will be added to your library account. You can view and pay your balance by logging in to your library account.

Who can make a request?

All UWE Bristol students and staff, however we stress that this service in intended for those who are unable to visit campus in person to borrow items.

How many items can I request?

You can have 12 postal loan items issued to you at a time. If you already have 12 postal loans issued to you, you will need to return some of these before requesting more.

How do I pay for a postal charge?

The bill will be added to your library account. You can view your balance by logging in to your library account and pay from there.

Can I renew a postal loan?

Items sent to you by post may be renewed in the normal way.

How do I return a postal loan?

Loans need to be renewed or returned to us by the due date or fines will begin to accrue.

Please use the original packaging when returning items, and where possible proof of postage should be obtained.

If based in the UK, you may be able to take advantage of our freepost return service. Contact us to discuss if this would be suitable for you.

Obtain material not held by UWE Bristol