We offer a range of services to help you make the most of the Library, and to give you access to collections in other libraries.


 Please bring your Student/Staff/Associate/External Member ID card if you would like to borrow items from the Library

What can I borrow and for how long?

  Books Videos/DVDs Journals Academic Reserves
Students up to 15 (together with videos/DVDs) for 56 days (subject to recall). up to 15 (together with books) for 7 days. 5 for 7 days. 2 mostly overnight.
Staff up to 25 (together with videos/DVDs) for 70 days (subject to recall). up to 25 (together with books) for 7 days. 5 for 7 days. 2 mostly overnight.
External Members & Associates up to 3 (together with videos/DVDs) for 28 days (subject to recall). up to 3 (together with books) for 7 days. 3 for 7 days. 0


How should I return items?

Please check your Library account regularly. Items should be returned by their due date. A book return box is available for out-of-hours returns.

Can I renew items I have on loan?

As long as your items have not been recalled, you can renew them by going to the Library catalogue, clicking the 'My account' link, and logging in with your student number and password. You can also renew items by contacting us.

What is your recall policy?

All items on loan are subject to recall. If any of your loans are recalled, you will be notified by email to your University email account. You will normally have 7 days from the date of the recall to return the item(s). Please see our policies pages for details of fines for the late return of recalled items.

What is the Academic reserve collection?

We have an academic reserve collection of texts in heavy demand. Most academic reserve items can be borrowed for 24 hours and can be booked in advance. Please see our policies page for details of fines for late returns.

How do I check what I've got on loan?

Simply login to your account on the library catalogue to see details of all items on loan.  Do this regularly to see if any items have been recalled, check "due back" dates, and see the progress of any holds you have placed.    

What do I do if the item I want is on loan?

If the item is on loan, place a hold on the Library Catalogue. 

 What happens if my loans are overdue?

Please return all items you no longer require as soon as you can. If you have overdues, you may be unable to borrow further items until they are returned.

 What happens if I damage or lose Library material?

Contact us as soon as you can. You may be billed for the full replacement cost. For recalled or academic reserve items, any fines that have been accrued while the items have been overdue will be added to the replacement cost.

Back to top 

Inter-Library Loans

The Inter-Library Loan (ILL) network allows us to borrow items for RGU staff and students from other libraries in the UK and abroad which are not available in our own collections.

If you have any questions please contact the ILL Team by telephone 01224 263450 or email us.

What can I request?

You can request a variety of materials on inter-library loan including:

  • books
  • single chapters from books
  • reports
  • journal parts
  • journal articles
  • conference papers 

It is not possible to guarantee to obtain any item within a specified period. For example, articles from mainstream journals often arrive within a few days, while some books may take several weeks, or longer. Occasionally, for the harder to trace items, we are unable to obtain the item.

How do I register and make requests?

Our guide takes you through the process of registering and submitting requests:

Inter-library loans guide

Before you can use the service you first need to register - click here to register

Once you have registered with the service, you can make requests

PLEASE NOTE: Before submitting any request, it is important to click on the Check RGU Holdings button to be sure the item is not already in our stock. Requests for items held in our stock will not be processed. Undergraduate and postgraduate students should also check Aberdeen University Libraries and Aberdeen Public Library catalogues as we will not request articles from journals held by these libraries. Students should arrange to visit these libraries themselves.

Who is my inter-library loan authoriser?

As Schools and Departments are usually charged for each ILL supplied, all requests need to be authorised. When registering for the service, you need to nominate an ILL authoriser. Please select the appropriate person from this list:

 Inter-library loans authorisers

Is there a charge for requests?

As indicated above, the Library charge of £4 per request is usually paid by your School or Department. However, you can pay the charge personally. 

Can I renew?

If you need to hold on to your ILL for longer you can request a renewal in which case there is a personal charge of £4 per loan. Please be aware however, that a renewal request will not always be successful.

How will I collect or receive my inter-library loans?

Books for staff and students who are NOT distance learners need to be collected from your home site Library.

*New Pilot Scheme*: Distance Learners based in the UK can now get books requested on inter-library loans sent to them. The loans will be sent via Recorded Delivery and there is a charge of £5 per book. If you are a distance learner and wish to use this service, please contact our ILL team for more details.  Unfortunately we cannot send books obtained on inter-library loan outside the UK.

Photocopies (of journal articles, conference papers, single chapters from books) for staff or research students are posted to your School/Department.  Photocopies for all other students are posted directly to you.

Back to top 

Services for disabled students

We are committed to ensuring all students can make full use of our services and facilities.

Who is the library disability contact?

Heather Bain (tel: 01224-263481) will be happy to discuss your individual needs in confidence and arrange for a one-to-one visit to the Library if this would be useful.

What sort of general assistance do you offer?

We will be happy to provide assistance with finding and retrieving books, placing holds, using the photocopiers and explaining how the library works.  If you would like any of our leaflets or guides in an alternative format please let us know.

What about physical access to your libraries? 

Wheelchair access is available. Lifts to all floors are available also.

Are induction loops available?

The enquiry desk is fitted with an induction loop.

 Back to top  

Services for staff


We offer a number of services to help staff with teaching and research.

Who is my library contact?

Each Faculty has a Liaison Librarian who has responsibility for the information needs of the Schools within that Faculty.  They will be happy to arrange induction to our print and electronic resources.  Your Liaison Librarians are:

Aberdeen Business School : Anne Nichol
Tel.: 01224 263472

Faculty of Design & TechnologyVictoria Farmer
Tel.: 01224 263475

Faculty of Health & Social Care : Colin MacLean
Tel.: 01224 263464

Can you run library sessions for my students?

We are happy to offer a variety of library sessions for your students. These sessions are tailored to your subject area and can provide support for a particular piece of coursework. They can include instruction on accessing and using online databases, formulating appropriate search strings and conducting a literature review. Please contact us us with details of your requirements.

How can I request a new book?

Members of staff are encouraged to submit recommendations for new additions to the book stock. These recommendations will then be considered by the relevant Faculty Liaison Librarian.  Please use this form to submit requests:

 Book Recommendation Form

Please send copies of any reading lists to the Library Aspire Team (libaspire@rgu.ac.uk) or contact your Faculty Liaison Librarian to discuss your requirements.

If you need any items added to academic reserve or require any book chapters or journal articles made available as digitised copies please mark these on your list,


ASPIRE@RGU is the University Reading List service which delivers an online listing of materials for a specific course module.  It allows students to link directly to electronic resources, web pages and find out about print materials and their availability.  Students can easily access their module reading lists from the Aspire reading list block on the module page on Moodle. For full details, a staff guide and a link to this service please visit our ASPIRE@RGU web page.

How can I provide digitised copies to students?

Under the Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education License, digital copies of certain material such as book chapters and journal articles can be provided to students.

The Library has acquired new software which will streamline the process of providing digital copies and integrate them into the Aspire reading lists.

All digital copies will now be added to an existing or new reading list.

What sort of material can be made available digitally?

  • Material which was originally published in the UK or US with the exception of publishers who have not signed up to the licence. See the CLA list of excluded publishers
  • Material owned by the Library or by a School which can be produced if requested by the CLA
  • Copyright fee paid materials from the British Library

How much can be made available digitally?

  • A chapter from a book
  • An article from a journal
  • A whole paper from a set of conference proceedings
  • A short story or poem from an anthology (not exceeding 10 pages)
  • A whole report from a single case of a judicial proceedings Or 5% whatever is greater
  • Whole page images or embedded images may also be scanned

How can I request a digital copy?

If you wish to make a digital copy available please contact the Library Aspire Team (libaspire@rgu.ac.uk)

Please provide details of the item, course name, module number, number of students on the module and the date the item is required for.

Alternatively please mark up your reading list with the items that you wish to made available as digital copies when you submit it.

Library staff will check if the item you require can be made available as a digital copy under the Copyright Licensing Agency License.

What if the item I request to be scanned does not comply with the licence?

We will investigate if we can gain permission directly from the publisher for the item to be made available digitally.

What is the timescale for making items available?

If the item is covered by the License and is available it will normally take 2 days.

If the material is not covered, the timescale is dependent on the individual publisher.  Some publishers will not grant permission for digitisation.

Can I undertake scanning myself?

Library staff are designated as authorised to make copies under the Copyright Licensing Agency License and as such will take responsibility for compliance of the digitised copies they deal with.

Where can I get further information on digital copies?

Detailed information on making digital copies is available in our Policy for Copyright on our Library Policies page or contact the Library Aspire Team (libaspire@rgu.ac.uk)

How can I use the Academic reserve collections?

Placing a book on Academic Reserve means that students are able to borrow this item for a restricted period of time (usually one day). Students can book slots in advance at our enquiry desk and plan their reading accordingly. If you would like to place a book on Academic Reserve please complete and submit this form:

Academic Reserve Request Form

External membership

We offer membership to support individuals, including those studying for professional qualifications or seeking to keep up to date with professional issues, and companies.  

What are the benefits of external membership?

External members can borrow 3 books and 3 journals at any time and also place holds on materials on loan via the library catalogue.

What about electronic books and journals?

Unfortunately, our license agreements do not allow us to offer access to our electronic collections.

What are the different types of external membership?

Personal Membership

  • Full Rate - £25 per annum (for non-commercial use only)
  • Concessionary Rate - £10 per annum (senior citizens, practice teachers, occasional lecturers, retired RGU staff, and individuals on CPD courses who would not normally have access to library facilities)
  • Free - (RGU graduates, RGU evening/weekend class students, Sconul Access members, NHS staff members, Robert Gordon's College staff and 6th year students. Also individuals on CPD courses lasting less than 10 weeks when Library registration is a requirement.The paying category applies to CPD courses where Library registration is not required. Course leaders advise Library staff on each category.)

To join as a personal member, please complete and return a copy of the appropriate membership form:

Personal membership form

NHS Grampian Staff membership form

Corporate Membership

Corporate membership is available at 2 rates:

  • Larger companies - £75 per annum (entitles 3 named members to register and borrow.)
  • Smaller companies (with 10 employees or less) - £30 per annum (entitles a single named member to register and borrow.)

To join, please complete and return this form:

Corporate membership form

How can I find out more about external membership?

If you would like more information, please call 01224 263450 or email library@rgu.ac.uk

Back to top  

Using other UK libraries (SCONUL Access)

The library is a member of the SCONUL Access scheme,  which allows particular groups of staff and students some borrowing privileges at other UK higher education libraries

Who is eligible to join the SCONUL Access scheme?

SCONUL Access provides borrowing privileges for most:

  • academic staff on open or fixed term contracts
  • postgraduate research students registered for a PhD, MPhil or similar qualification
  • part-time, distance learning and placement students
  • full-time postgraduates

SCONUL Access also provides a reference only service for most:

  • full-time undergraduate students
  • staff of a few higher education libraries not participating in the reciprocal borrowing arrangements

How can I join the scheme?

To apply, visit the SCONUL Access website and follow the steps set out there.

If your library account is in good standing we will send you an email to authorise your application. You can then print the email and take it with your RGU student or staff card to the library or libraries you wish to use.

Which other libraries can I access under the scheme?

Over 170 libraries throughout the UK (including the University of Aberdeen) are members of the scheme.  Your privileges may vary at different member libraries. 

Library Classes and Drop-ins

The library offers a comprehensive programme of sessions to help support your study and research.

There are classes running every day during the week, alternate mornings and afternoons, covering everything you need to know to effectively find useful information. These classes are being offered in the IT lab within the new Georgina Scott Sutherland Learning Centre.

In addition to these classes library staff will also be available each day, throughout the week, and in the same location, to answer queries and give guidance.

To find out more about what is on offer and sign up for the sessions please explore the Library Classes and Drop-ins guide.



RGU Library Facebook RGU Library Twitter RGU Library Youtube RGU Library on Flickr