Personal members living in London are entitled to an initial allowance of 10 volumes on loan at any time. Members living more than 20 miles from the Library have an initial allowance of 15 volumes. For an additional fee these allowances can be increased to a maximum of 40 volumes. About 96% of the Library’s collections is found on open-access book stacks, freely browsable by members. The remaining 4% comprises rare, fragile or vulnerable material, known as the Special Collections, which may be viewed on request. Almost all books may be borrowed, including a proportion of the books in the Special Collections, subject to a written guarantee from the member. Material may be requested in advance and is retrieved and ready for use on arrival. Books from closed access areas are set up for consultation by trained staff who will explain any special arrangements for the material.
Most books may be kept for at least one month, and longer if they are not requested by another member. There are no fines, but we do request that books are renewed every two months and returned to the Library for renewal once every twelve months. You will only be asked to return a book when it has been requested by another member. If books are not returned or renewed on request, you will be liable for the cost of replacing them. New books may be borrowed initially for 14 days. After this, if not wanted by another member, they can be renewed for a further period.
Viewing and renewing current loans
Members can use the My Account option on the Library homepage to view and renew their loans. You will need the membership number or barcode from your London Library membership card and your PIN.
Books and periodicals can be posted to members residing in the UK and Europe. Other than the cost of the postage there is no additional charge for this service. A postal account is required and this is debited with the outward postage charges as books are requested. Members remain responsible for books from the time they are dispatched to the time of their return.
The Library participates in the inter-library loans scheme, requesting books, articles and theses from other national and international libraries. If we do not hold material that you require we may be able to borrow it on your behalf.