Skip to main content

Borrowing, renewals, fines and interlibrary loans

You can borrow books, videos, DVDs and CDs, usually for three weeks. Some items are available for one-week, one-day or two-hour loan, while reference material can only be viewed in the Library. 


  • Undergraduate/certificate/short course students can borrow up to 15 items (one-week, three-week loan and Short Loan Collection) and two one-day loan items. 
  • Postgraduate students and staff (including teaching/scholarship staff) can borrow up to 20 items (one-week, three-week loan and Short Loan Collection) and two one-day loan items. 
  • Visiting borrowers can usually borrow five items (excluding one-day loans and Short Loan Collection items). 
  • Alumni can access the Library free of charge for reference only or, for an annual fee of £70, you can borrow five items (one-week or three-week loan). 
    • If you have a membership or a one-day pass, you can also get a guest photocopying account, a guest wi-fi account and access to certain digital resources via the walk-in computer near the helpdesk on level one. 
    • Alumni membership does not include access to printing, computers, one-day loans, interlibrary loans, requests for items out on loan or remote access to digital resources. 
  • Governors, fellows and life members of Birkbeck can borrow five items (one-week or three-week loan). 
    • You can also get a guest photocopying account and a guest wi-fi account. 
    • Membership does not include access to printing, some digital resources, computers, one-day loans, interlibrary loans or requests for items out on loan. 


  • To renew an item, go to the Library catalogueenter your Library barcode number (which is at the bottom of your Library card - enter it without spaces) and PIN to log in. Alternatively, phone us on +44 (0)20 7631 6239. 
  • You can renew one-week and three-week loan items that have not been requested by another Library user. 
  • You cannot renew Short Loan Collection items, one-day loan items or any item requested by another Library user.
  • If you have borrowed items using the Interlibrary loans service you can request a renewal.



  • One-week and three-week loan items: fines are 25p per day for each late three-week loan item and 50p per day for each late one-week loan item. For current Birkbeck staff and students, there is a grace period of one week before you are charged, which includes the seventh day. On the eighth day, fines on items returned or renewed are £2 for three-week loan items and £4 for one-week loan items. 
  • One-day loans: fines are £5 per day and there is no grace period. These items cannot be renewed. 
  • Short Loan Collection (two-hour loans): fines are 50p per hour or part hour and there is a grace period of 10 minutes. These items cannot be renewed. 
  • If you owe more than £25 in fines, you will not be able to borrow or renew until you have paid some of this amount back. 

Interlibrary loans