Information Services

Members of the public

University of Edinburgh Library is open to all members of the public on production of appropriate proof of identity.

Updated information:

As all Libraries are closed due to Covid-19, it is not possible to apply to join the Library or renew a library membership. Once the Libraries are allowed to open we will welome new memberships. Any updates to Library services can be found on our Covid-19 Library Updates webpage.

Covid-19 Library Updates


Any member of the public can join University of Edinburgh Library. You can join on either a reference only basis, or as an external borrower for which there is a fee. Please note that you must be 16 or over to join as a member of the public.

Membership Notes
Reference (consultation only) Free. Membership lasts for 1 year.
External borrower A fee applies. Membership lasts for 3,6 or 12 months.

What do I need to bring?

Please bring the appropriate ID as outlined below. You will be unable to register unless you have all the requested documentation.

Membership Documentation
Reference (consultation only) Photographic ID plus proof of address*
External borrower Photographic ID plus proof of address*

*Proof of address must be dated within the last 3 months.

Accepted proof of identity

Edinburgh Libraries Passport (ELP) holders do not need to bring proof of address in order to register with the Library.

Edinburgh Libraries Passport

What does my card entitle me to?

Details of what your card entitles you to at the University Library can be found on the following page.

Further information

Registration can take place at any library site but can only take place during Helpdesk staffed hours. You may fill in the application form online before visiting the library.

Please note that registration ceases 20 minutes prior to the Helpdesk closing.


Library opening hours

Your library card can be used in the Main Library and all site libraries. Access to departmental or class libraries is not available.

Library locations

Replacement cards (lost, stolen or expired)

If your reference card or external borrower's card is lost, stolen or damaged you can get it replaced at a card helpdesk for a £10 fee.

If your card expires you must apply for a new one. Please visit a library Helpdesk and provide the required documentation as detailed above. All required documentation must be provided. External borrowers who wish to extend their Library membership after it expires can now renew their Library cards over the telephone provided they have not changed address since last registering with the Library.

Replacement cards

Further information about renewing your external borrower's card

Privacy Notice for Library Self-Registration

This privacy notice explains what personal information the University holds about those joining as library members. It explains why we hold this information, what we do with it, how long we keep it for and if we share it with third parties.

Privacy Notice for Library Self-Registration