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The Queen's College Library : Borrowing

A guide to using the facilities and resources available in the Library of the Queen's College, Oxford.

Loan allowance

You can have up to thirty items on loan at any one time.  Up to four of these can be multimedia items (CDs, videos or DVDs), and up to three can be bound periodicals.

Readers with disabilities may have the total limit increased.

Note that some items may not be borrowed. Books printed before 1850, loose issues of periodicals and all books in the reference section are confined to the Library.  There are also confined copies of some high demand textbooks – these can be identified by their red spine labels. 


Loan periods

When you borrow a book, it will be due back at the end of the term or vacation that you borrowed it in.  You will receive emails to remind you to return your books.

Bound periodicals and multimedia items (CDs, videos and DVDs) can be borrowed for 7 days. Note that the JCR also has a DVD collection housed in the Library - these may be borrowed for 3 days.

Book returns

Returned books should be brought to the enquiry desk during staffed hours or left in one of the book bins under the self-issue machines at all other times.  If you have an overdue book, you will be notified by email.

We do not charge fines for the late return of books but if an overdue item is not returned after three notices you will be charged for a replacement copy. This can involve a considerable cost.

Books which are returned to the enquiries desk which do not belong to Queen’s will be placed on a shelf to the left of the reference section. If they are yours or on loan to you from another library, please collect them from here.


The Library has two self-issue systems; one in the Lower Library and one by the enquiry desk in the New Library.  You will need your University card to issue books and other items. 

The self-issue machines have a touch screen. Press the "Issue" button to begin, then scan your University Card barcode under the red beam. When the screen changes, place a pile of up to four to six books on the pad under the screen. The books will appear one by one as a green line on the screen, showing the title and due date.

If you wish to issue more books, move the first pile and place a second pile on the pad.

When you have finished, press the "Finish" button at the bottom right of the screen. A receipt will print out of the receipt printer.


Self-issue trouble shooting

If you have any trouble using the self-issue machine, the following tips might help you:

  • Don't scan the barcode!
  • Try wiggling the pile of books around a bit :-)
  • Try using a smaller pile of books. You can always add a second pile later.  Although 4-6 will usually work, the thickness of the book may also affect how many can be scanned at once.
  • You can also place two small piles of books next to each other instead of one larger pile.
  • If a book stubbornly refuses to be recognised, it may be that it does not have an RFID tag. Take the offending book to the enquiry desk for help.
  • If you see a red error message when you try to borrow a book, please see a member of staff. There are several reasons this might happen, including trying to borrow a confined book or exceeding your 20 loan limit.
  • If an error message tells you the machine is trying to issue a book that is not in your pile, it may be on the lip of the book bin slot - please push it into the box. Don't worry, it won't have been issued to you.

Holds and recalls

If someone else has a book that you require you can place a hold on it using SOLO so that it will be kept at the enquiry desk for you when it is returned to the Library.

Note that placing a hold on a book on SOLO does not require the currrent borrower to bring it back sooner. If you require it urgently, Library staff can recall it for you. Due to the Data Protection Act, we are unable to tell you to whom the book is currently on loan.  Requests for recalls should be made at the enquiry desk. 

If you are requested to return a loan which is wanted by another reader, you will be expected to bring it to the Library within 48 hours.

Lost books

Remember that books on loan to you are your responsibility.  Sub-lending is not encouraged. You will be charged for a replacement copy for a lost or damaged book issued on your card even if you passed it on to someone else to read.

Molecular model kits

Molecular model kits are available for you to use in the Library. We also have ophthalmoscopes for loan. Please ask at the enquiry desk.