Information Services

Library Regulations

These Regulations govern the use of all University of Edinburgh Library facilities and resources by staff, students and anyone else authorised to use them.

These Regulations shall apply to all constituent parts of Edinburgh University Library (Library Site), unless specific provisions to the contrary are included in the Regulations, or displayed in the Library Site concerned. Amendments to Regulations will be made by the Librarian in consultation with the University Library Committee, reported to the University Knowledge Strategy Committee, and will be published on the IS website.

The regulations are available below in HTML format; and are also available as a PDF - Library Regulations


Approved by Library Committee February 2024

In these Regulations:

  • ‘item’ is deemed to cover all types of library material (e.g. books, journals, electronic resources, laptops, etc.), unless the context in the Regulation specifically limits the type of material;
  • ‘borrowing’ is deemed to include all item transactions, e.g. borrowing, renewing, reserving books;
  • ‘Library premises’ means any space managed by the Library;
  • ‘Librarian’ is deemed to include any member of Library staff acting on behalf of the Librarian to the University.


1. All users of the University Library must observe these Library Regulations and observe special regulations relating to any Library premises which they may use.

2. Membership of Edinburgh University Library shall be available to all staff and students of the University, and to such other persons as may be determined by the Librarian in consultation with the University Library Committee.

3. Payment for services may be levied in accordance with charges determined by the Librarian in consultation with the University Library Committee.

4. University Library membership cards, and other cards issued by the University of Edinburgh which include membership of the University Library, are not transferable. Admission to any Library premises shall not normally be granted to users unless they have a current Library membership or equivalent card. These cards must be shown to the Librarian on request, and may be required to gain entry to the Library premises.

5. Overdue notices from the Librarian are sent by electronic mail. Email notices are sent to the University email address of staff and students, who are responsible for forwarding to any other email address. Email notices are sent to the email addresses notified by registered Visitors and external users. Billing notices are normally sent by post and email. Any notice sent by the Librarian to the last reported postal address or email address of a user will be deemed to have been received by the user.

6. Staff and students are responsible for keeping their current contact details up to date. Registered Visitors and external users are responsible for informing the Librarian of any changes to their current contact details.

7. All items borrowed by a user are deemed to be the responsibility of that user while on loan.

8. Users are entitled to borrow no more than the maximum number of items permitted to them at any one time, as determined by the Librarian in consultation with the University Library Committee, except by special permission of the Librarian.

9. Users may not take any item out of the Library without completing the appropriate borrowing procedures. They may be required to satisfy the Librarian that any Library items being taken out of the Library have been borrowed according to the procedures.

10. Any item on loan may be recalled at any time, e.g. if required by another user; if required for teaching purposes; or if requested by the Librarian. Recalled items will normally be requested to be returned to the Library from which they were borrowed within 7 days of the recall being placed by the Library (3 days in the case of journals which are available for loan). Where the loan time left is less than 7 days, the recall return time will be shortened correspondingly. It is the responsibility of the borrower to ensure that items on loan can be returned on demand at any time in the semester or vacation.

11. All items must be returned to the Library Site from which they were borrowed by the date and time specified.

12. Users who return items after the date or time specified shall be liable to fines on a scale determined by the Librarian in consultation with the University Library Committee. The amount of fines due per item is published on the University website.

13. Only the Library’s official record of fine and fee payment being made (held within the user account on the Library Management System) is accepted as evidence of payment. The User account will be blocked and no further items may be borrowed when outstanding fines and fees exceed the permitted limit.

14. Any user who, on demand, fails to return an item may be required to pay the costs of replacing it.

15. The Librarian may at any time withdraw any item from loan, subject to appeal to the University Library Committee.

16. Manuscripts, rare printed books, designated Reference items, and other similar material may not be removed from the area in which they are kept, except by special permission of the Librarian.

17. Items borrowed from other libraries on inter library loan are subject to all Library regulations and additionally, in each case, to the conditions imposed by the lending library.

18. Users must leave Library premises immediately in emergencies, and when requested to do so by the Librarian.

19. Users must comply with the provisions of any relevant legislation, for example, laws relating to a) data protection and b) intellectual property rights including copyright. In relation to b), users must comply with the terms of any license agreement between the University and a third party which governs photocopying, photography, and the use of software and access to data.

20. Users must observe the University of Edinburgh's current Computing Regulations. University Computing Acceptable Use Policy

21. Care must be taken of all Library items. No user may mark, mutilate, annotate or damage items, and any marking or damage found must be reported to the Librarian.

22. Eating and drinking is allowed only in designated areas in order to avoid damage to Library items, equipment, furniture or premises, and to prevent disturbance to other users. Consumption of alcohol is not permitted on Library premises other than by approval of the Librarian, e.g. at an organised event. Recycling facilities are provided throughout the Library, and should be used to discard waste.

23. Smoking (including e-cigarettes) and the use of matches or lighters are strictly prohibited in any part of the Library premises.

24. Use of personal audio players, mobile phones, laptops, tablets and other portable devices must avoid disturbing other users. The Librarian may require devices to be set to a lower volume, switched off, or switched to silent-mode, for example in designated ‘Silent’ zones of the Library.

25. Coats worn in laboratories must not be worn on Library premises.

26. Users must not bring animals except assistance dogs into Library premises.

27. Misuse of Library facilities, abuse of staff, or conduct prejudicial to the proper use of the Library by others, particularly as a quiet place for reading and study, is forbidden. Any person behaving inconsiderately or inappropriately on Library premises may be required to leave immediately by the Librarian.

28. Using Library premises as a temporary abode is not allowed. Students will be guided by the Librarian to appropriate Student Welfare services and Staff to Human Resources for any support that the University can offer. Any other person may be required to leave immediately by the Librarian and their membership may be suspended.

29. Locked Library facilities (such as lockers or study rooms) may be inspected at any time by the Librarian, and items stored inappropriately may be removed.

30. Personal belongings should not be left unattended or used to reserve seats. Unattended items may be removed by the Librarian. The Library accepts no responsibility for the loss of personal belongings in the Library.

31. The Librarian may impose financial penalties on users, or suspend or withdraw their membership of the Library in whole or in part, if they contravene these Regulations.

32. Suspension of membership of the Library in whole or in part for a period shall not normally exceed one semester. In extreme cases, withdrawal of membership shall be total.

33. Users shall normally be required to make good in whole or in part any damage caused to Library items, equipment, furniture or premises.

34. The Librarian to the University, their Deputy and the Director of Library & University Collections are appointed Student Discipline Officers under the Code of Student Conduct. The powers of Student Discipline Officers, together with the procedures governing disciplinary action, are set out in the University's Code of Student Conduct.


If you require this document in an alternative format such as Braille, large print etc, please contact Barry Croucher on: 0131 651 3812 or email


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