Borrowing: Loans, Renewals & Requests

In light of the changes we have all faced and continue to face this year, some of the information on our web pages may no longer be accurate. Please refer to the FAQs on the Library home page for the most up to date information. You can of course contact us via email and live chat if you are unsure or need some assistance.
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Your Keele card is your Library card and you’ll always need it to enter the building and borrow items. You’ll find self-service terminals on the middle floor and one on the top floor where you can borrow and return items. To safeguard your library account, don’t lend or allow others to use your Keele card. If you lose it, report it via email at or phone +44 (0)1782 734159 so we can prevent further borrowing on your Library account. Visit the Keele card page for details on how to replace your Keele card.

How many?

The number of items you can borrow at any one time varies for different membership groups.

  • Undergraduates - 30 items
  • Postgraduate students and university staff - 30 items
  • NHS members - 20 items
  • External members (including members of the SCONUL access scheme) - 4 items 
How long?

Loans for students are issued for between 7-14 days, and they will be automatically renewed for you unless someone else requests them. If your loans are requested by another user you will receive an email, to your Keele account, asking you to return them and they will no longer be automatically renewed.

Delegated access

You can request for someone else to speak to Library staff on your behalf. To comply with GDPR you must complete the Library Delegated Access form.

Leisure reading

We offer a leisure reading collection through our partnership with the public library in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Just use your Keele card to check these out.

Open to the Public

Members of the public are welcome to use the Campus and Health Libraries free of charge for reference. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer access to any electronic resources. If you want to borrow books, register for membership at a cost of £50 a year.


A couple of days before they are due for return, the Library system will make one attempt to renew loans. Loans will not renew if they have been requested or if you owe more than £10. If we cannot renew the loan, we will send you an email to give you chance to return the item before it is due. Fines for overdue requested items are charged at £1 per day. In order to avoid unnecessary charges, when you have items on loan you must read all Library emails carefully OR regularly check your Library account using Library Search.

Top Tip: Before returning loans that have been requested, check your account through Library Search. If the status of the item has changed (the request is cancelled or is fulfilled by another copy) you may not need to return yours after all. Library Search will not attempt the renewal again but you should be able to renew it yourself online.

Monthly Statement

The Library system automatically sends out a monthly statement to your Keele email account. It shows any items that have been requested from you, current loans, due dates, and any outstanding fines.

Requesting Items

Requesting is the only way for you to guarantee getting hold of an item that is out on loan, otherwise it will continue to be renewed for the current borrower. It also lets us know if we need to buy more copies so, even if you see existing requests on an item, please put in your own request. You need to sign-in to Library Search to make requests. You will be sent an email to your Keele account when your request is ready to collect and items will be held for 3 days before being returned to the shelf.
See our video guide on how to request items.

Overdue returns and fines

Requested books that are not returned on the due date will become liable for fines. Charges are made per item, per University working day (fines do not accrue over weekends) and are limited to a maximum of £20.00 per item. If your fine balance exceeds £10 your loans will not automatically renew and you will be prevented from further borrowing. Items that are overdue by 2 months will be considered lost and you will be sent an invoice for a replacement copy. See our Policy on fines and appeals.

If getting onto campus is difficult, you can post items back (we recommend using a proof of postage service) and we will accept the postage date as the return date and adjust any fines accordingly. An out of hours return bin is available when the Campus Library is closed - it is located at the left hand side of the building and this is emptied daily. Your account will be updated accordingly. There is also an out of hours bin at the Health Library which is available outside of Library opening times but is not available when the Clinical Education Centre (CEC) is closed.

Postal loans

Do you know, for your convenience we have a postal loan service.
Just contact the Library on or by phone +44 (0)1782 734159.