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Libraries support hub

Frequently asked questions - students

Answers to frequently asked questions from students about visiting libraries, library loans, access to resources and more. This page will be updated frequently. Last updated 7 August 2020.

If your question isn't answered here, please email

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Visiting libraries

Are your libraries open?

Our libraries will re-open in phases. In phase one, our libraries will offer book returns and click and collect access to print materials before transitioning to offer a wider range of services in phase two. 

  • Hallward Library is open for book returns and click and collect access to print materials only
  • James Cameron-Gifford Library will re-open for phase one services on Monday 17 August.
  • Our other libraries remain closed for now

Our libraries will look, and work, a little different to usual. When visiting, please follow UK Government guidance, library staff instructions and signage. What to expect in our libraries

Whilst our libraries are closed, you can continue to access our extensive online collections and support for your teaching and research.


Can I access study space, PCs or printers in the libraries?

In phase one, our libraries will only open for book returns, scanning requests and click and collect access to print materials. Hallward Library is currently open for phase one services.

Access to study space, library shelves, printers, PCs and more are currently unavailable.

We will share more details of phase two when we can.


Can I visit a University library close to home?

University of Nottingham Libraries are unable to accept external or SCONUL visitors at this time.


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Your library loans

Do I need to return my books?

You don't need to return your books at the moment. Our staff are cancelling any current reservations so your library loans will continue to auto-renew. We are waiving any fines from March 2020 onwards.

If you do want to return your books, you can return these to Hallward Library or the letterbox at James Cameron-Gifford Library.


I am graduating and/or leaving Nottingham. How do I return my books?

Any books returned using the options below will still show as on loan in your library account on NUsearch until our libraries re-open. Your account will be updated as soon as we have processed your return.

Books can be returned to Hallward Library or the letterbox at James Cameron-Gifford Library.

Please make sure you are following social distancing advice when returning books to drop-off points.

Students who are returning to study next academic year

Continuing students who wish to keep their books can do so – your loans will automatically renew and books will only be due back if another student requests them when we re-activate reservations. There is no date for this at present.

Students who have returned home

If you have taken your library books home with you, you will be able to return these via post. We will be in touch with more details soon.

Please don’t send these before as no one will be available to receive them.


I have returned a book but it is still showing on my library account

If you have already returned your books but your library account lists these as 'on loan' or 'lost', please don’t worry.

Once our libraries have re-opened and we have been able to return all outstanding books, your account will be updated to reflect this.


I received an email that I need to bring a book back or I will be fined?

If you receive an email asking you to return your item, please ignore this for now.

Given the exceptional circumstances, fines will be waived during this period.


How does click and collect work?

You can use click and collect to request print items that are currently available on the shelves in our open libraries or Central Store.

Returned books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being made available for click and collect.

Place a request

  1. Search NUsearch to check the book is showing as 'Available' in one of our open libraries.
  2. Log in with your University username and password to place your request.
  3. You will receive an email when your book is ready to collect. Please don't visit the library until you receive this email. We will hold the book for seven working days.
  4. When visiting the library please follow signage, staff instructions and social distancing guidelines.
  5. Your book will have already been issued to your account. Collect your item from our book trolleys using the code provided in your confirmation email.


Can I request scans?

We can provide scans of items currently available in our open libraries.

Scans will only be made within copyright regulations and are for personal use only.

Place a scanning request


My Interlibrary loan (ILL) is due for return soon, how do I renew it?

Please email and staff will renew it for you.

You are not expected to return any books until we re-open and there will be no fines.


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Accessing online resources

Can I access library resources online?

Our electronic collections contain over 300,000 ebooks and 20,000 ejournals.

  • Reading lists - Check your module reading lists for links to online copies of course materials, where available.
  • NUsearch - Search our library discovery tool, NUsearch to see if we have an online copy of the resource you need. We recommend logging in to see the full range of resources.
  • Databases - Find databases by subject area or keyword
  • eJournals - Browse our selection on BrowZine
  • Visit our NUsearch FAQs for help with using filters, advanced search and managing your library account

In addition to the vast range of electronic resources that we already provide access to via NUsearch, some publishers are starting to offer extended/additional access to some of their content.

Temporary access to additional online resources


How do I access ebooks?

The simplest way to access ebooks is through NUsearch.

  1. Open NUsearch at or via the MyNottingham app or Moodle
  2. Enter your search terms in the 'Search anything' box
  3. Click on the ebook title. You can ‘Refine’ results to show only 'Available online'
  4. Click 'Available online' to go directly to the providers site
  5. Sign in with your University username and password if requested. Some sites will automatically load the login page, whilst on others you will need to click 'Sign in'.

    If you are off-campus or go direct to the provider’s website, look for the Institutional/Shibboleth login option to reach the correct sign-in page for the University of Nottingham.

For most library ebooks you will need Digital Rights Management software such as Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). Most of the interfaces will offer you a link to install ADE if you do not already have this. You can also find it on the Adobe website.

More information about ebooksEbook FAQs


I cannot access a specific ebook?

Some ebook providers set limits on the number of concurrent users. If you get a message to this effect, please try again later.

If the problem is still occuring, please complete our online form and we will investigate as soon as possible. 

More information about ebooksEbook FAQs


I want to access an item that the library only has in print. What can I do?

We recommend trying the following steps to see if we have an online copy or the item or an appropriate alternative:

  • Reading list - Check your reading list - all online resources are clearly marked
  • Check NUsearch - Look in NUsearch for an online version or appropriate alternatives (filter by 'Available online')
  • Open Access content - Check NUsearch for Open Access book content that may be helpful (filter by All Collections and  'Open access')
  • Articles - Request a copy of the article electronically via our Interlibrary loan service
  • Check for new content  - Some publishers are offering temporary access to additional content. Check our blog post for the latest resources.

If you have been unable to locate a copy of the resource or alternative, please contact for guidance.

How to find online resources


Will you digitise the resources I need for my course?

We are unable to digitise whole books, however, we will continue to work closely with lecturers, as usual, to provide scanned copies of recommended book chapters where licences permit.


What do I do if I have problems accessing library resources off-campus?

All our existing electronic resources can be accessed online, via NUsearch once you have signed in, or from other online sources if you have our Library Access browser extension installed.

Some ebook providers set limits on the number of concurrent users. If you get an error message, please try again later.

If you have issues with access please:


Can I request an article on Interlibrary loan?

We can supply some articles that are available digitally from the British Library and other sources.

Please make your request via NUsearch and we will you know if your request is available.


Can I access a resource in an alternative format?

Students referred to the Alternative Formats Service by Disability Support can access one-to-one support via Skype to discuss their requirements.



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Support for your studies

Where can I access online study support?

Libararies have a range of support for students on academic skills, referencing, essay writing, revision strategies and lots more.

Online study pop ups

Our Student Academic Skills team are running online study pop-ups twice a week.

Email the team with your chosen dates and they will send you full details of how to join.

Online study pop-ups

Online study with us sessions

Finding it hard to focus? Join our online study sessions for two hours of structured study time alongside other students from across the University. 

Study With Us

Academic Skills toolkit

Our toolkit features a wealth of useful information, from note taking and reading strategies, through to academic writing and critical thinking. You’ll find lots of useful guidance plus new techniques for you to apply to your work.

Academic Skills toolkit

Studying effectively

Visit the Studying Effectively website for information and resources to help you develop your study skills and manage your academic work.

Guidance includes:


I need help with Moodle

Visit the Student Moodle Help site for guidance with using Moodle. 

If this doesn't help, please contact the IT Service Desk.


How do I use Microsoft Teams for my studies?

Resources to help you get up and running on Microsoft Teams:

Microsoft Teams online seminars Interactive Microsoft Teams demo

For help with using Teams, please contact the IT Service Desk.


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Useful links



University of Nottingham Libraries

King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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