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Durham University

University Library

Vacation Periods

Borrowing during vacations

Short and 3 day loans

If you are spending the vacation away from Durham, think carefully about borrowing 3 day loan items. Library users are still able to reserve items during University holidays and 3 day loans should not be presumed to be available for longer. Please ensure you renew and return books as usual. Remember:

  • You cannot renew a short loan item.
  • 3 day loan items need to be renewed every three days.
  • Items can only be renewed up to ten times, if not reserved by another user. This means that 3 day loans borrowed at the end of any University term must be returned to the Library before the end of the vacation.
  • If a 3 day loan item is recalled you will be unable to renew it. The item will be due for return on the third day of the loan period.

If you are concerned that you may be unable to return an item during a vacation period we recommend that you do not borrow it.

Standard loans

Standard loans are available to borrow during vacation periods but can be reserved by other Library users. If you do borrow a standard loan item remember to renew it. Check your library account regularly to make sure none of your items become overdue during the holiday period.

Renewing items

  • Items borrowed by undergraduates for use during any of the University vacations may be due for return before the start of the next term.
  • Items can be renewed online
  • You can renew items up to a maximum of 10 times.
  • Items requested by another user cannot be renewed.

Fines and charges

  • If you have fines of £10 or above you will be unable to borrow or renew any items.
  • Fines of £1 or over can be paid online by logging into your library account.
  • Fines on recalled books which are returned late will not be waived.

We recommend that you regularly check your library account and University email account throughout vacation periods.

Reservations and recalls during University vacations

Library users can still place reservations on items during the vacation period.

  • If another user reserves an item you have borrowed, you will be notified of a recall via your university email account.
  • If a standard loan item is recalled, the new due date of the item will appear on your library account. If a 3 day loan item is recalled, this will be due for return on the third day of the loan period.
  • Items that have been recalled cannot be renewed.
  • During the summer vacation period the recall notice period for standard loan items is extended to 14 days.
  • You must be prepared to return an item to the Library throughout any vacation period. If you cannot return a book to the Library in person, you may post items back to the Library you borrowed them from. The addresses of the four Library sites can be found on our Contact Us webpage. Ensure you obtain proof of postage from the Post Office. Items will be backdated on receipt at the library so that fines may not be charged on items postmarked with their due date.
  • Items may be returned to the external book drop when the library is closed. The book drop is situated to the left of the main entrance to the Bill Bryson Library.

If you are concerned that you may be unable to return an item during the vacation period we recommend that you do not borrow it.

Visit our reservations and recalls web pages for more detailed information.

Electronic resources

Electronic resources available through the Library website can be accessed from home throughout the vacation period. Always access e-resources through the Library catalogue or our Databases or E-journals pages so that the resource provider recognises that you are a member of Durham University. You may be asked to log in using your ITS username and password.

Visiting other academic libraries

During vacations you can normally visit other academic libraries across the UK and Ireland using the SCONUL Access scheme.

  • To be eligible to apply, firstly you must be "in good standing" with Durham University Library, which means you will have no overdue loans or unpaid fines. Please ensure that all overdue books are returned and all fines paid prior to making your application to join.
  • For the online application process, you will need to provide details of your Durham University email address as well as the Library barcode which appears on your Durham University Campus Card; this is a 14-digit number, beginning "20104". Please ensure you enter the full 14-digit number.
  • Using the SCONUL Access website, find libraries located near to you which you will want to use and apply online via the SCONUL Access website.
  • Once your application has been accepted, print out the email verification document you will receive.
  • You need to submit only one form once to apply for access to all libraries in the SCONUL Access scheme; you do not need to re-apply to access another library.
  • You will need to register at each library you want to visit. It is best to check what the requirements are at the library in question before your first visit, as some libraries will require a passport photo, for example. The library you are visiting will generally issue you with a library card, so that you can borrow books or gain reference access until your SCONUL Access membership expires.
  • At the least, you will need to take with you to that library the email verification document you have received and printed out (or your SCONUL Access card for those who joined the scheme by issue of a SCONUL Access card), as well as your Durham University Campus Card, which carries your Library barcode. The library should tell you what identification is needed for future visits.
  • Check which services and facilities you are entitled to use at each institution by contacting the library you wish to visit in advance. Most libraries will allow reference access for undergraduates. Postgraduates and staff may have borrowing rights.
  • For further information about access schemes and visiting other academic libraries please consult our Visiting Other Academic Libraries webpage.

SCONUL Access Contact

Jane Hodgson

Bill Bryson Library
Durham University 
Stockton Road

Please Note

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

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