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Finding Books

BISC Library

You will find in the Library at least one copy of each of the items on your reading list, plus a wide selection of other books to support your learning.

Finding books on the BISC Library catalogue

Use the Library catalogue to find books that are relevant to your assignment. Enter your topic terms in the search box in basic search or, to find the most relevant books, search for your topic words specifically in title search.

Borrowing books

You can borrow most of the books that you see in the Library – the exception being those items in the Reference Collection, which is at the far end of the Reading Room.

There are 3 categories of loans: the majority of texts are on 3-week loan; reading list items are on 1-week loan; high-demand items which are also on reading lists are placed in the Reserve collection which is 4-hour loan.

You can borrow up to 15 items at a time from the 1-week and 3-week loan collections and 6 items from the Reserve collection.

To borrow a book, find it on the catalogue, note its classmark and armed with this locate it on the shelves. Once you have located it, if you wish to borrow it, take it to the Library desk. We do not provide you with a library card, you simply need tell us your name to borrow a book. We will then issue the book to you and stamp it with the date by which you must return it.

Renewing your loans

One day before your book is due back we will send you an email to let you know that the book is due soon. When you receive this email, you can renew your book either by responding to the email, by phoning us on ext. 4422, or by popping into the Library in person. You do not have to have the book with you to renew it.

If someone else needs the item you wish to renew, we will let you know and you will not be able to renew the item, but will be asked to return it promptly on or before its due date. If you do not return the book on time, then we will charge you £1 for every day it is late back to us.

Reserving items

If you need an item that is on loan to someone else, then please let us know. We will contact the person and let them know that the item they have on loan is needed, and they will be asked to return the book promptly on the due date. Once the book is returned we will let you know by email.


For the majority of the items in our collections we do not charge fines. The exceptions are:

  • The Reserve Collection - these items are in heavy demand and need to be returned or renewed promptly after the 4-hour loan period. For every 1 hour the book is late back we charge £1.
  • Recalled items - if we recall a book from you and you do not return it on time, you will be charged £1 for every day that the book is late back.

University of Sussex Library

You may borrow up to 10 books at a time from the University of Sussex Library. For full guidance on how the borrowing system works, please see our guide.

Books in the QUL online library

A large number of books are available online as part of Queen’s University Library’s online library. To find these, if you know the title of the specific book you are looking for enter it in the Summon search box. Filter your results on the left of the screen to Items with fulltext online and Book/eBook under Content Type. The results you see will be to fulltext books online.

If you don’t know the title of the book you are after, enter your search terms in the Summon search box and filter the results in the same way.

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