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Guide: Access to Materials from Other Libraries: Home


Welcome to the 'Access to Materials from Other Libraries' Guide.


You will find information here relating to SCONUL Access, and the Edinburgh Reciprocal Borrowing Sheme; and the Edinburgh Libraries Passport.


SCONUL Access has replaced SCONUL Research Extra & UK Libraries Plus.

This scheme allows staff, researchers and part-time or distance learning students to borrow material from participating libraries. Several member libraries also allow full-time postgraduate students to borrow under the scheme. Other full-time SRUC students may join SCONUL Access to use participating libraries on a reference basis only.

The scheme is free to join and there is no limit to the number of libraries that you can join. Not all SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries) members have chosen to participate in the scheme. A list of participating libraries is available on the SCONUL website.

How to Register

To join the scheme, complete a SCONUL Access application form, available online or from your local SRUC Library. Hand the form in to your SRUC library. You will then be issued with a SCONUL Access membership card, which will be valid for a period of three years or the duration of your course, whichever is less.

Visiting SCONUL Member Libraries

Phone in advance, or check the individual library’s website for the most recent information on opening hours and local policies. Some libraries may only be able to complete your registration during office hours, or at certain points in the term. Many also require a passport-sized photograph.

You will need to take along your SCONUL Access membership card and your SRUC library/ID card. Users are entitled to borrow a maximum of three items.

Edinburgh Libraries Passport

 'Edinburgh Libraries Passport' (link below) is a card which tells the library you are visiting that you are a genuine information seeker and that your special requirements cannot be dealt with by your own library. The scheme has been devised by ELISA (Edinburgh Library & Information Services Agency) an organisational network for the libraries and information services in the City of Edinburgh.

More than 20 library services in Edinburgh are linking up to give you access to a vast range of information and resources, for the full list see the Edinburgh Library Passport website.  For more information, please contact our Edinburgh library.

Edinburgh University (Image)

© kaysgeog (2013), CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Edinburgh Reciprocal Borrowing Scheme

The University of Edinburgh and SRUC Edinburgh offer a reciprocal borrowing scheme that allows students and staff registered at SRUC's Edinburgh campus to borrow material from the Edinburgh University libraries.

Students and staff registered at SRUC's Edinburgh campus can apply for external membership with the University by completing an application form - available from staff in the SRUC Edinburgh library.

SRUC borrowers will be able to borrow up to 5 items from any of the University's participating library sites (University class & departmental libraries are not included in the agreement and external membership will not include access to electronic resources).


References for images included within this guide:

kaysgeog (2013) Edinburgh University: Old College Quadrangle [Online] Available at:  (Accessed: 9 October 2019).