Using the Library


You can borrow and return items whenever the library building is open using your campus card, or make a request online if an item you need is on loan to someone else. Checking your account and payment of fines can be done online via My Account in SurreySearch. Staff and postgraduates may also be able to borrow items from other UK higher education libraries using the SCONUL Access scheme.


Borrowing Limits

• Members of the University may borrow 30 items at any one time.  Borrowed items will automatically renew provided they have not been requested. Items can be recalled if requested. The Library will inform borrowers via their University of Surrey email account should this occur. Other items such as CD's, DVD's and scores are issued for 1 day and will also automatically renew.
• External members of the University may borrow 4 items which will automatically renew provided they have not been requested.

Borrowing Information

• You must have a valid campus card to borrow any item.
• You cannot issue items on someone else’s campus card unless written authorisation is provided.
• Items can be borrowed using the self-service kiosks on Levels 1 and 2 of the University Library.
• You are responsible for all items borrowed on your campus card and for making sure items are returned when required.
• Inter-library loan items and store requests may be collected from the Support Hub on Level 1 during staffed opening hours.

Renewing items

• Items issued to members of the University and external members will automatically renew provided they are not requested by another borrower.
• Borrowers are still able to manually renew borrowed items via their library account or at the self-service kiosks in the University Library.
• Requested items cannot be renewed and must be returned by the date stated in the recall notice.
• Your account will be blocked if you have an overdue requested item. No further borrowing or renewing of loaned items may occur until the overdue requested item is returned
• Items will not automatically renew if you have a fine of £30 or more.
• Inter-library requests may be renewed by emailing There is a charge for this service.

Requesting Items

For information on how to request an item please see this video

Returning items

• You can return items at the self-return machines on Level 1 of the University Library.
• You are responsible for fines incurred on overdue requested items.

Non-return of items

• Failure to return items will lead to a library charge for replacements costs.  This will include an administration charge and overdue fines.
• You are responsible for replacing lost and damaged items and for paying all charges incurred.
• You are responsible for ensuring all items are returned and all charges are paid before leaving the University.
• Non-returned items and unpaid charges count as debts to the University.

Further information

If you have any other queries about borrowing, renewing or returning items, please ask the staff at the Support Hub or email


  • Fines will only be incurred on overdue items which are reserved by another user, except in the case of laptops which will always incur a fine of £1.00 per hour if overdue. 
  • An overdue reserved item will incur a fine of £2.00 per overdue day. 
  • Laptops which are damaged or lost could incur a fine of £500.
  • Fines are charged on all days that the Library is open, including weekends, bank holidays and university closure days, irrespective of whether an overdue notification has been sent or received.

All outstanding fines are debts to the University and must be cleared before you graduate or prior to the expiry date of your membership with the University Library.

Replacement Costs

Items that have been damaged or lost will incur a replacement charge of £70.00.

Library Account Block

Your account will become blocked if:

  • you have fines totalling £30 or over (the block will be removed once the fine is settled in full).
  • you have an overdue reserved item on loan to you (the block will automatically be removed on return of the overdue item).

You will be unable to issue or renew library items, collect reservations or submit a request for inter-library loan items if your account is blocked.

Methods of Payment

You may settle outstanding fines or make a payment for replacement book costs online via your library account

How to avoid Fines

  • Check your library account and your university email account regularly to monitor whether an item on loan to you has been reserved by another student
  • Contact library staff at the Support Hub desk or by email via as soon as possible if you are having difficulties returning a reserved item on time.


You will need your campus card to:

  • enter the University Library
  • use the self-service machines to borrow items from the Library and renew loans
  • use the photocopiers, printers and scanning machines
  • collect inter-library loans
  • access other buildings on campus
  • identity card for Student Union events
  • enter Surrey Sports Park (if you are a member)

Please Note:

  • Your campus card is not transferable and must only be used by you.
  • Misuse of your campus card may lead to it being retained by University Security and to the withdrawal of library facilities.
  • Expiry dates are not printed on the card.
  • An NUS card must be purchased separately if you want to receive student discounts (including student bus passes and railcards).

How to obtain a campus card

Campus cards can be obtained from the Ask Me desk located on Level 1 of the University Library on production of documentation which shows your university number. This documentation is available from Registry (for students) and Payroll (for staff) - a form of photo ID will also be required if you are requesting a replacement card.

Cards can be obtained during staffed opening hours (Monday - Friday 8am - 8pm and Saturday - Sunday 2pm - 6pm). On Bank Holidays, University closure days and other occasions these hours may differ so please check Library opening hours for up-to-date information.

Access to buildings on campus

Your campus card uses the University Security system to control swipe access to buildings on the University campus.

To set up swipe access to a building/room on campus you will need to contact your departmental administrator with the following details:

  • Details of the building / room you need to access
  • Your university number
  • Your campus card number (this number appears under the barcode on your campus card)

Replacing or renewing your card

The library will renew your card free of charge should it become worn or the photograph on it become faded.  

If you need a replacement card due to a name or title change, please report this first to Registry (for students) or Payroll (for staff members).  Once you have notified the relevant department please allow 24 hours before you visit the Ask Me desk in the Library to obtain your new card.  This allows time for your details to appear on our system.  A replacement card will be issued to you at no charge for a change of name or title.

  • Your card is a valuable document – please look after it carefully.
  • A charge of £10 will be made to replace a campus card which has been damaged through neglect.
  • Cards which have become worn or cease to work through normal use will be replaced free of charge.
Lost/Stolen Cards
  • A charge of £10 will be made for the replacement of a lost card.
  • Lost cards are often handed in at the University Library, University Security Office, or Student Services Centre.  Please check at each of these places before requesting a replacement card.
  • Cards which have been stolen will be replaced free of charge if you can provide details of a crime report number obtained from the police.
  • A form of photo ID must be shown before a replacement card can be issued.

Student Union


Students and staff are automatically members of the University of Surrey Student Union. An NUS Extra card must be purchased separately if you wish to receive student discounts (including student bus passes and railcards).


Membership of the Student Union is automatic for staff of the University of Surrey. Staff who wish to 'opt out' must apply in writing to the President of the Student Union explaining their reasons. Details of the differences between these types of membership and associated entitlements are available from the Student Union President.

Where we are

University Library, George Edwards Building,  University of Surrey,  Guildford,  Surrey GU2 7XH,  United Kingdom T: +44 (0)1483 689235 F: +44 (0)1483 689500

More contact details
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