Universiteit Leiden

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How do I borrow a book?

How to get the book you need directly on your screen, borrow it, or examine it on the course reserve shelf.

Closed stacks

Leiden University Libraries owns millions of books. Way too many to have all of them on the shelves in our reading rooms. Most of our books are housed in the closed stacks. This means that, if you want to borrow a book, you usually have to request your book via the Catalogue. Your book will be retrieved from the closed stacks especially for you and placed in a locker. This process will obviously take some time, but if you request to pick up the book at the location at which it’s stored, it’s usually available in about an hour. To get your book from the locker, you simply scan your LU-Card at the lockers. The Law Library and Science library don’t have lockers. At these locations, you can pick your books up from the information desk.

Would you like to learn how to search our catalogue quickly and efficiently? Just follow our online tutorial. Here's some more information about the delivery schedule for different library locations and materials. You can pick up and return books at every location that also has booklockers without reserving a study place.

Borrowing books

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Pick up at your location of choice

You can have the books you want to borrow delivered to any of our library locations. So, if you are studying in The Hague, the books will be transported to The Hague so you can pick it up the next day!

Course Reserve Shelves

For some courses you will need to read a lot, suggested or prescribed literature. Lecturers often tell the library which books are mandatory reading for their courses. At the library, we place these on a separate shelf for you. While these books can’t be taken out on loan, everyone who takes that same course is able to read the books at the library reading rooms. You can find course reserve shelves at the UB, the Asian Library, and in the Wijnhaven Library. At the Social and Behavioural Sciences Library all of the prescribed books are located behind the lending desk. Just ask for them!

Immediately on your screen: remote access resources

Online access to millions of pages of reliable information: the library takes care of that for you. We’ve made millions of e-books and e-journals available to you. You can find them in the catalogue. If you want to learn more about e-books or other e-resources, just check out our subject guides. If you want to know more about remote access resources, check out the video below.

Remote Access at Leiden University Libraries

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