Imperial students and staff

Imperial students

How to register

Students are automatically registered with the Library. Your College ID card is your library card - use it to swipe into the library, borrow books and operate our printer-copiers.

If you have not received a College ID card bring your student registration form (or ID from another college if part of your course is taught at Imperial) to the Welcome Desk in the Central Library or to your home campus library.

You can use all campus libraries, e-journals, e-books and databases.

Borrowing and requests

You may borrow:

Undergraduates
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 40 (from all libraries)  1 week  4
Taught postgraduates (Master's)
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 40 (from all libraries)  1 week  4
Research postgraduates (PhD)
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 40 (from all libraries)  3 weeks (reduced to 1 week if recalled)  4

We will automatically renew your items for up to 1 year before they must be returned, unless they have been requested.

If an item is recalled you will need to return it by the due date. The Library charges fines on recalled items.

You can return items to any campus library.

Sign in to Library Search to request an item which is out on loan or at another campus. We will email you when it is available for collection. Your request limit is 10 at one time.

You can use the Document Delivery Service to request items which are not available in the Library. The service is unlimited and free.

Pre-sessional students

You may borrow up to 5 items (excluding 24 hour loans) from the library at the campus where your course is based. Items are issued for 1 week and may be renewed on request.

You may use the other Imperial College London Libraries by appointment for the consultation of specific items.

Writing up students

Writing-Up research postgraduates continue to have full membership of the Library once their status is updated by Registry. When the writing-up period is ended you may register with the Library as a former student.

Imperial staff

How to register

Staff are automatically registered with the Library. Your College ID card is your library card - use it to swipe into the library, borrow books and operate our printer-copiers.

If you have not received a College ID card bring your staff contract, letter of appointment or letter from Imperial College London department to the Welcome Desk in the Central Library or to your home campus library. 

You can use all e-journals, e-books and databases.

You can use the Document Delivery Service to request items which are not available in the Library. The service is unlimited and free.

All staff except casual staff can use all campus libraries (casual staff may use their home campus library only).

Borrowing and requests

You may borrow:

Staff
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 40 (from all libraries)  3 weeks (reduced to 1 week if recalled)  4

We will automatically renew your items for up to 1 year before they must be returned, unless they have been requested.

If an item is recalled you will need to return it by the due date.The Library charges fines on recalled items.

You can return items to any campus library.

Sign in to Library Search to request an item which is out on loan or at another campus. We will email you when it is available for collection. Your request limit is 10 at one time.

Casual staff
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 5 (from Central Library)  1 week   0

We will automatically renew your items for up to 6 months before they must be returned, unless they have been requested.

Academic visitors and members of College Court and Council

Academic visitors and external and lay members of Court and Council may register in person with the Library.

Academic visitors are issued with a College ID card which is also your library card. If you have not received a College ID card bring either a Application form for academic visitor (pdf) stamped and signed by your Imperial College London department, or a letter from your department.

External and lay members of Court and Council may also apply for library membership by completing the form above.

Membership is offered for the duration of your term of office.

Distance learning MBA students

When you start your course ICT will provide you with a College email account and a College username and password. This username and password will give you access to e-journals, e-books and databases. You can use these on campus or from home, work or anywhere in the world where you have an internet connection.

You will also need to register for a library account. You can register in person, by post or email.

Registering in person

Take your registration documentation to the Security Office in the Sherfield Building at the South Kensington campus to obtain your Imperial College ID card. Bring your ID card to the Welcome Desk in the Central Library where your account will be created. You may wish to do this during your induction week at the South Kensington campus.

Registering by post or email

Use your Imperial email account to contact the Information Hub at the Central Library issuedesk@imperial.ac.uk. Include your full name, home address, telephone number (including international dialling code if outside UK), course details (name, and start and finish dates), College ID number (this will be on your registration documentation), library number (found on your College ID card if you have one). The Information Hub will contact you to confirm that your account has been created.

When visiting the Library always check the website for changes to our opening hours.

We are not able to offer a postal service for the loan of printed materials.

Using e-journals, e-books and databases

There are a number of ways to access our e-journals, e-books and databases from off-site, including:

  • Using your College username and password to authenticate your access when prompted
  • Via the College Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Via eduroam, see Visitors and guests

For further information see Logging in to online resources

The quickest route to Business information is via Business subject support

Using the Document Delivery Service

You can request journal articles which you can’t access online. You can also request articles from journals which the Library holds in print. The articles will be supplied electronically to your College email address. Request articles via the Document Delivery Service.

Alumni and former students

Imperial alumni may join the Library free of charge. You may visit Central Library and the campus libraries.

How to register

To visit the Central Library on a single occasion, sign the visitors' book at the Welcome Desk and show one of the required forms of Identification. You will then be issued with a day ticket.

To use the library regularly both for reference or borrowing you must register with the Alumni Office for an Interactive Alumni Services account

Once you have registered with the Alumni Office you can then apply online for alumni library membership. Select the Imperial College Alumni option from the dropdown menu and complete the application form.

After completing the form, please bring your interactive alumni services account login with you to your chosen library, where you will be asked show one of the required forms of Identification, including proof of address.

A library card will be issued to you for one year, renewable on request.

Borrowing and requests

You may borrow:

Alumni and former students
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 5  1 week  0

We will automatically renew your items for up to 6 months before they must be returned, unless they have been requested.

If an item is recalled you will need to return it by the due date. The Library charges fines on recalled items.

Sign in to Library Search to request an item which is out on loan. We will email you when it is available for collection. Your request limit is 3 at one time.

The Document Delivery Service is not available.

Using e-journals, e-books and databases

Your access to e-journals, e-books and databases is limited only to those permitted by the terms of our licences and mainly available within the Library. A growing number of online resources are available for remote access through your online services account, see Alumni: Access online resources. Their use is strictly for non-commercial purposes and you must adhere to licence restrictions.

Reference management

Imperial College London is a member of the RefWorks Alumni Programme, which allows alumni free access to RefWorks for as long as the College maintains a subscription.

Former staff

Former staff may use the Central Library for personal research. You may visit the campus libraries by appointment for the consultation of specific items only.

How to register

To visit the Central Library on a single occasion, sign the visitors' book at the Welcome Desk and show one of the required forms of Identification. You will then be issued with a day ticket.

To use the library regularly for reference, complete an Application for library admission (pdf) at the Welcome Desk.

Retired academic staff may borrow from the Library - complete an Application for Imperial staff and students (pdf) and show one of the required forms of Identification.

Borrowing and requests

You may borrow:

Former staff
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 5 (from Central Library)  1 week  0

We will automatically renew your items for up to 6 months before they must be returned, unless they have been requested.

If an item you have is recalled you will need to return it by the due date. The Library charges fines on recalled items.

Sign in to Library Search to request an item which is out on loan. We will email you when it is available for collection. Your request limit is 3 at one time.

The Document Delivery Service is not available.

Using e-journals, e-books and databases

Your access to e-journals, e-books and databases is limited only to those permitted by the terms of our licences and only available within the Library. Their use is strictly for non-commercial purposes and you must adhere to licence restrictions.

Associated organisations

Imperial Incubator companies

Members of Imperial Incubator spinout companies may join the Central Library for personal research. You may visit the campus libraries by appointment for the consultation of specific items.

How to register

Register at the Central Library Welcome Desk.

Borrowing and requests

You may borrow:

Imperial Incubator companies
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 5 (from Central Library)  1 week  0

We will automatically renew your items for up to 6 months before they must be returned for re-issue, unless they have been requested.

If an item you have is recalled you will need to return it by the due date. The Library charges fines on recalled items.

Sign in to Library Search to request an item which is out on loan. We will email you when it is available for collection. Your request limit is 3 at one time.

The Document Delivery Service is not available.

Using e-journals, e-books and databases

Due to licence restrictions we are unable to offer access to our e-journals, e-books and databases.

NHS

Staff from the following NHS trusts may join the Library:

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
West London Mental Health NHS Trust

How to register

You may register at the campus library of your choice. This will be your home campus library.

Complete the online library membership application form. After submitting the form please visit your home library and show your NHS Trust ID card. Proof of current status (NHS contract, letter of appointment) may also be required.

Borrowing and requests

Staff with honorary contracts at Imperial are registered as Imperial staff. 

Staff without honorary contracts at Imperial are registered as NHS borrowers. 

Students on placement for more than 8 weeks are registered as NHS Students for one year or less depending on the placement end date.

Students on placement for less than 8 weeks and staff on short-term placements are registered as NHS reference users.

You may borrow:

NHS borrowers
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 20 (from medical campus libraries and the Central Library)  3 week  4
 
Sign in to Library Search to request an item which is out on loan or at another campus. We will email you when it is available for collection. Your request limit is 10 at one time.
 
NHS placement students
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 5 (from medical campus libraries and the Central Library)  1 week  0

When you have selected the items you wish to borrow take them to the desk or use one of our self-service machines.

We will automatically renew your items for up to 6 months before they must be returned for re-issue, unless they have been requested.

If an item is recalled you will need to return it by the due date. The Library charges fines on recalled items.

You can return items to any campus library.

Staff from the following NHS Trusts in NHS London (NW) but not specified in the agreement are registered as NHS reference users at your home campus only:

  • Health Education North West London
  • Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • London North West Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum
  • NHS Brent CCG
  • NHS Central London CCG (Westminster)
  • NHS Ealing CCG
  • NHS Hammersmith & Fulham CCG
  • NHS Harrow CCG
  • NHS Hillingdon CCG
  • NHS Hounslow CCG
  • NHS West London CCG (Kensington & Chelsea and Queens Park & Paddington)
  • North West London Commissioning Support Unit
  • The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

Social Services staff employed by local authorities in North West London are entitled to reference access on request.

Use of e-journals, e-books and databases

To use Imperial e-journals, e-books and databases, complete an application form for an NHS network login. Access is only available in the Library.

Medical Research Council

Medical Research Council (MRC) staff and postgraduate students on the Hammersmith campus, including Imaging Research Solutions Ltd, have access to the full range of library services, including borrowing from all Imperial College London libraries as well as the use of e-journals, e-books and databases.

Other MRC staff, may use the library as visitors.

How to register

Please fill out the online library membership application form, selecting Medical Research Council staff from the drop down menu.  Complete the form including the library number from your ID card. After submitting your form please visit the Hammersmith Campus Library, to have a library card issued.

MRC staff and students may apply to College Security for a College ID card if they wish. 

Borrowing and requests

You may borrow:

MRC staff and postgraduate students
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 40 (from all libraries)  3 weeks (reduced to 1 week if recalled)  4

We will renew your items automatically for up to 1 year before they must be returned for re-issue, unles they have been requested.

If an item is recalled you will need to return it by the due date. The Library charges fines on recalled items.

You can return items to any campus library.

Sign in to Library Search to request an item which is out on loan or at another campus. We will email you when it is available for collection. Your request limit is 10 at one time.

Thrombosis Research Institute

Thrombosis Research Institute staff may join the Royal Brompton Campus Library.

You will need to complete a registration form and show your ID card.

Your membership allows access to the Royal Brompton Campus Library. Access to other campus libraries is by appointment for the consultation of specific items.

Borrowing and requests

You may borrow:

Thrombosis Research Institute staff
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 5 (from Royal Brompton Campus Library)  1 week  0

We will automatically renew your items for up to 6 months before they must be returned for re-issue, unless they have been requested.

If an item is recalled you will need to return it by the due date. The Library charges fines on recalled items.

Sign in to Library Search to request an item which is out on loan. We will email you when it is available for collection. Your request limit is 3 at one time.

Using e-journals, e-books and databases

You will need to complete an application form for an NHS network login to use e-journals, e-books and databases. These resources are only available in the Library.

Local organisations and visitors

Museums and colleges in South Kensington

Staff and students of the following local museums and colleges may join the Central Library.

Natural History Museum staff
Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) staff 
Royal College of Art staff and students
Royal College of Music staff and students
Science Museum

How to register

Please fill out the online library membership application form, selecting the ‘local institution’ option. After completing the form please visit the Welcome Desk at Central Library. You will need to show one of the required forms of identification and proof of your current status at your home institution.

Your membership allows access to the Central Library. You may use the campus libraries by appointment for the consultation of specific items.

Borrowing and requests

You may borrow:

Staff and students from local museums and colleges
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 5 (from Central Library)  1 week  0

We will automatically renew your items for up to 6 months before they must be returned for re-issue, unless they have been requested.

If an item is recalled you will need to return it by the due date. The Library charges fines on recalled items.

Sign in to Library Search to request an item which is out on loan. We will email you when it is available for collection. Your request limit is 3 at one time.

Using e-journals, e-books and databases

Your access to e-journals, e-books and databases is limited only to those permitted by the terms of our licences and only available within the Library. Their use is strictly for non-commercial purposes and you must adhere to licence restrictions.

Other universities

Due to building work taking place throughout summer 2017 we will be suspending our SCONUL Vacation Access participation this year

If your library is a member of SCONUL Access you can apply for access to Imperial College London Library with the following conditions.

Band A - Research postgraduates and academic staff 

Band A - Research postgraduates and academic staff may register as external borrowers.

You must be: 

  • a permanent member of staff or a member of staff on a fixed term contract
    or
  • a postgraduate research student registered for a PhD, MPhil or similar qualification awarded purely by research

Imperial members wishing to visit other libraries under the SCONUL Access scheme should see Using other libraries.

How to register

To apply under the SCONUL Access or SCONUL Vacation Access schemes please fill out the online library membership application form, selecting the ‘SCONUL Access’ option. Then visit the Welcome Desk in the Central Library or at one of our campus libraries, and provide:

  • a copy of your SCONUL confirmation email for Band A (SCONUL Access scheme only)
  • a current ID card from your institution - if your ID card does not include your photo, you must bring additional photographic ID
  • proof of your current address (SCONUL Access scheme only)
  • a current email address at your home institution's domain (not gmail, etc). 

For SCONUL Access, library cards are issued for 3 years or to the expiry date of your institutional ID. The SCONUL Vacation Access scheme will allow access until the end of the Christmas or Summer vacation periods.

Your membership entitles you to use all our libraries.

Borrowing and requests

You may borrow:

SCONUL members
Total itemsNumber of weeksIncluding 24 hour loans
 5   1 week  0

We will automatically renew your items for up to 6 months before they must be returned for re-issue, unless they have been requested.

If an item is recalled you will need to return it by the due date. The Library charges fines on recalled items.

Sign in to Library Search to request an item which is out on loan. We will email you when it is available for collection. Your request limit is 3 at one time.

Using e-journals, e-books and databases

Your access to e-journals, e-books and databases is limited only to those permitted by the terms of our licences and only available within the Library. Their use is strictly for non-commercial purposes and you must adhere to licence restrictions.

Imperial is a member of eduroam, a service allowing students, researchers and staff from participating institutions to connect to the internet when visiting other participating institutions, see Visitors and guests.

Undergraduates and taught postgraduates 

Undergraduates and taught postgraduates may only apply for membership during College Christmas and summer vacations. For admission at other times see Members of the public and other visitors.

Members of the public and other visitors

Due to building work taking place at the Central Library access by members of the public and other visitors will be suspended from Friday 30 June until Thursday 30 November 2017

Members of the public and other visitors can apply to use the Central Library to access material not easily available elsewhere.

You must specify which book or journal titles you wish to consult and you may not use the Library simply as a place to work.

Students requiring material at A level or general undergraduate level will not normally be admitted.

Foundation for International Education students should see FIE Academic Resources before visiting.

How to apply for a day ticket

If you are eligible for entry, you will need to sign in at the Welcome Desk, specifying which resource(s) you wish to consult and produce some personal identification (bankcard, driving licence, passport). You will then be issued with a day ticket. Day tickets are not issued for people wishing to use the Library simply as a place of work.

For subsequent visits you will need to apply for a library admission card. Day tickets are only issued during the hours the Information Hub is staffed. Outside of these hours, Library Security cannot issue day tickets.

How to apply for a library admission card

To make more than one visit, please complete the online library membership application form.  Your application will be reviewed within 5 working days and you will be notified of the decision. Please specify your reason for using the library, including details of the book or journal titles you wish to consult. Access to some items, e.g. business databases, may not be available. Due to the pressure on study space within the library, if the items you have suggested are accessible elsewhere, for instance the British Library, your application is likely to be turned down.

If your application is successful you can visit the Central Library Welcome Desk to collect your card.  You must bring one of the required forms of Identification.  Access to the library will normally be granted for one week or one month, according to your requirements.

If your application is refused you may appeal against the decision. Appeals will be referred to the Head of User Services.

We issue library admission cards at the discretion of the Director of Library Services and they must be shown on request. Library Services reserve the right to refuse admission.

Using e-journals, e-books and databases

Your access to e-journals, e-books and databases is limited only to those permitted by the terms of our licences and only available within the Library. Their use is strictly for non-commercial purposes and you must adhere to licence restrictions. For access to a specific title contact the Central Library Information Hub.

To use our photocopying service ask at the Central Library Information Hub.

Visiting the campus libraries

To visit our campus libraries you will need to make a prior appointment giving details of the reason for your visit including specific books or journal titles you wish to consult.

On arrival, you will need to show one of the required forms of Identification, showing your address.