5 things: using the Library over the summer

It’s officially the summer vacation period at the University and our libraries remain open for business. So whether you are planning on using Library resources, facilities or services during this time or if you will be away from Edinburgh for the summer and want to forget about University as much as possible, here are five important things to remember about the Library over the summer period.

Clockwise from top left, photographs of Main Library (external), Moray House Library (internal), Law Library (internal), Noreen and Keneth Murray Library (external) and Royal Infirmary Library (internal). With an "Open" sign on top.

1) The Main Library and all 9 site libraries remain open throughout the summer vacation period.

Opening hours and staffed hours will be reduced in many libraries so check the opening hours website before you visit and follow the Library on social media for any updates – Instagram, Twitter/X, Facebook.

The Main Library will continue to be open 24/7 throughout the summer but EdHelp staffed hours will be slightly reduced between Friday 7 June and Friday 6 September 2024.

The Library can be contacted as normal through the summer: Library Help.

2) The loan period for books* remain the same over the summer.
*Or other items you have borrowed from the Library.

Photo of Moray House Library (internal).

So remember:

  • Short or Standard Loan items can still be requested from you at any time by other library users and it is your responsibility to return them on time.
    If you’re borrowing from the Library over the summer and will not be in Edinburgh you must ensure you can return items on time if they are requested from you.
  • Fines still apply – you will still be liable for fines if you do not return your items on time.
  • Automatic renewals still apply for Short and Standard Loan items, unless an item has been requested from you or you have a block on your record.

You can check what items you have on loan and when they are due in My Account on DiscoverEd. You must be signed in to DiscoverEd to see this information.
Remember fines can be paid online: Payment of Fines.
Contact EdHelp if you have any queries.

3) You can access the Library’s extensive online resources, whether you are in Edinburgh (or one of our libraries) or not.

Infographic headed Edinburgh Everywhere Your Library Online. Gives details on different online resources provided by the University of Edinburgh Library.

The Library gives you access to over 2.2 million e-books, over 250,000 e-journals, over 990 databases and over 114,000 streaming videos. These can be accessed as normal via DiscoverEd and your Subject Guides, the majority just with your University of Edinburgh username and password.

A small number of these online resources may require you to use the Virtual Private Network (VPN) to get access to them off-campus. Follow the instructions on the VPN website to set this up. For any queries on the VPN please contact EdHelp.

If the Library only holds the book or journal you wish to access as a physical copy and not online, then you can use the Scan & Deliver service to request a digitised single chapter from book or single journal article from journal to be sent to you. Requests are placed via DiscoverEd. See the Scan & Deliver website for full guidance.

4) Away from Edinburgh over the summer but still need to do some study or research? Why not visit another library close to you?

SCONUL logo.The SCONUL Access scheme gives students and staff from member universities the opportunity to get access to other member university libraries. So if you are going to be based near another university in the UK and Ireland you may be able to access their library via the SCONUL Access scheme.

Registration with SCONUL Access is done online via their website: http://www.sconul.ac.uk/sconul-access.

For any queries on this please contact EdHelp or speak to a member of staff at a Library EdHelp desk.

No university library close by to you? Your local public library should offer study space and access to their resources.

5) Graduating from the University this summer?

Graduates of the University of Edinburgh can join the Library as an external borrower for free, membership lasts for 3 years.

For more information on what you need to do to register see Joining the Library: Graduates of the University of Edinburgh.

Graduates of the University can also get access to a small selection of e-resources the Library subscribes. The Alumni A-Z list shows you what is available and provides links for access.

Whatever you may be doing, have a fantastic summer!

*This is an updated version of a blog post originally published in June 2023*

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