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Durham University

University Library

Reservations and Recalls

How do I reserve a book?

Please note: only books that are on loan can be reserved.

1. Find the book in the Library Catalogue.

2. Click on the reserve button.

3. Enter your details when prompted.

4. Click on 'Request selected item' (select only one copy).

5 You will be e-mailed when the book is ready to be collected.

6. You can pick up and borrow the book from the yellow reservation shelf in the short loan area. You have three days to collect the item from receiving the email.

You can cancel a reservation if you no longer need an item. Go to your library record, follow the link to view your reservations and you will find two buttons allowing reservations to be cancelled.


If you receive a recall:

  • An item that you have out on loan may be recalled at any time by other library users (this includes vacations).
  • You will receive a recall notice via your Durham University e-mail account if the reservation affects the due date. This will include your new due date (if you wish to be notified by post please let us know). If a 3 day loan item is reserved by another user you will not be able to renew it.
  • You will have 7 days in which to return your book to the library. A 3 day loan item should be returned immediately.
  • Any recalled items not returned by their new due date will receive a fine of £1 per day.
  • If you are unable to return an item in person, items may be returned by post. Please obtain a proof of posting receipt.
  • If you are going to be away from the university for a period of time and may struggle to return your loans, please return items before you go.
  • Recall notices are not sent for the following items:
    - 3 day loans
    - Short loan items
    - Items due within a week of when the reservation is placed
    - Items on the reservation shelf with following holds. Please note that items on the reservation shelf with following holds can only be borrowed for three days.

If you have any problems returning an item please contact the relevant Library.

Using Books from the Reservation Shelf

Once a book has been reserved for a reader, its status changes to 'On Holdshelf'. You may consult books held for others on the yellow Reservation shelves, located in the Short Loan Collection in the Bill Bryson Library, or by asking at a service point in the other libraries. Books must be consulted in designated areas of the Library as indicated by library staff. Reserved books may only be borrowed by the person who has reserved them.

Please Note

Information on this page relates to the 2019-20 academic year