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Durham University

University Library

Routes to Resources

We’ve listened to feedback from Library Student Users' Fora and polls on duo, and as a result we’ve produced Routes to Resources to make it easier to understand all the different ways you can access what you need from the Library. 

If you've checked the Library Catalogue and the item isn't available online, is on loan or we don't have it in stock then before you give up try following the Routes to Resources flowchart. If you are new to something we suggest and don't know what you're meant to do next below are all the information and links you should need.


If you would like more information or have any other questions email us and we'll get back to you.

Reading Lists & Online Access
With an increasing collection of resources online you can access these from anywhere in the world at anytime. Our online resources include eBooks, eJournals, databases and digitised chapters. If your reading list is online you should find direct links to items or you can search the catalogue in the same way you would for a physical book or journal
How do I do it? Find out if your reading list is online and see full instructions on how to access items from it at

If the book is on loan make a reservation, even if you don't think you'll get it in time. More than two reservations on an item will trigger an alert so Library staff will review if we need to buy more copies. It's a really easy way of letting us know that demand for an item is high.
How do I do it? Use the reserve button at the top and bottom of the catalogue record.

Similar Titles
If you know you won't get the book when you need it then have a look for alternative titles on the same subject. You might discover more than you would from reading set text and it helps develop your researching skills to read around a subject.
How do I do it? Try searching the catalogue for key words to locate similar books, or look for books with the same classmark.

If you can easily travel about, or you’re staying in a different part of the country, you can take advantage of SCONUL Access. It’s free and you can generally use around 180 higher education libraries in the UK and Ireland, including all the other universities in the North East. If you’re a postgraduate or staff you may be able to borrow books too.
How do I do it? Follow our instructions on how to apply for access at: Visiting Other Academic Libraries (SCONUL Access).

More Books
If you are a student and find that a recommended text isn't in the Library or that we don't have enough copies then use this service to request additional copies. Where possible we'll try and get an eBook so more people can access the resource at once. Plan a few weeks ahead and the book should be available by the time you need it.
How do I do it? Visit