Services and Facilities


This scheme allows you to use study facilities and borrow and use books and journals at other participating higher education libraries in the UK

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.

If you are a student from another University and looking to borrow from or study at RGU Library, please see our Memberships page for details.

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*, online learning and placement students (*courses must last at least one full academic year)
  • Full-time postgraduates

SCONUL Access also provides a reference only service for most:

  • Full-time undergraduate students Please note that many Libraries, including University of Aberdeen, restrict reference access at busy times. Please check with the particular library before you vist.
  • Staff of a few higher education libraries not participating in the reciprocal borrowing arrangements
  • With reference only access you may use the other Library for study purposes and consult books and journals on the premises but you will be unable to borrow any resources.

Who is not eligible to join the scheme?

Only those students on courses lasting more than one academic year are eligible to join the scheme. Students on courses lasting less than one academic year are not eligible. Most other University Libraries offer an external membership scheme and many have discounts for students of other institutions. If you wish to use another Library but are not eligible for the SCONUL scheme then we recommend contacting the particular Library for advice.

How can I join the scheme?

Select the link below to be taken to the application form on the SCONUL website. Once SCONUL have forwarded your application to RGU Library, we will check your RGU Library account. If your Library account is in good standing (no overdue items or outstanding fees), we will send you an email to authorise your application. You can then print the email and take it, along with your RGU student or staff card, to the library, or libraries, you wish to use.

Apply for SCONUL Access

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. The list of participating libraries can be found on the application form. Please note that your borrowing privileges may vary at different member libraries. Please contact the library you wish to use for further advice.

Can I borrow from libraries outside the UK?

The SCONUL scheme applies to UK libraries only. As an RGU student, you have access to an extensive range of electronic resources, databases and eBooks from our own collection which can be searched using LibrarySearch.

Will I have access to e-resources?

SCONUL Access users qualify as “walk-in users” under licensing agreements and member libraries may allow access to some electronic resources. However, not all institutions provide this service. If you wish to use electronic resources at another library, you should check their website or contact them in advance to ensure you are not disappointed when you visit.

What happens if I return an item late or lose something that belongs to another library?

As part of the SCONUL Access Scheme you agree to be subject to the borrowing rules pertaining to the institution that you borrow from. Should you return an item late or lose something you will be subject to their standard procedures and may be charged accordingly. If you fail to return an item then RGU Library will ultimately be billed for it, but this will be applied as a debt to your RGU Library account. This may result in your RGU IT account being blocked so please ensure that any items you borrow from another institution are returned on time.