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What happens when you request a book?

14 December 2017

Requesting a book

The book request service makes it possible to order books from our other libraries when they’re not available at your own campus or if they’ve all already been borrowed by other library members. This means we are able to offer more books because we can take advantage of all three buildings and their physical collections.

1. We’ve made it really easy to request books via the library website. Just log in using your university username and password, search for the book you want to borrow and click “Request”.

Screen shot from the library catalogue screen

2. Select which campus you'd like to collect your book from using the drop down list and click ‘REQUEST’. You can see here that this book is only available in Chelmsford so members in Cambridge and Peterborough can order copies to be sent to them.

Screen shot from the library catalogue depicting request process

3. When the book is ready to collect you’ll receive an email to let you know it has arrived and we will keep it on the reservation shelves for 7 days.

4. Collect your book from the request collection shelves (it’ll be the one with your name on it) and borrow it out from the self-service machines.

5. Remember to check the date it’s due back because if it’s a really popular book it may have other people waiting for it and you’ll only get 7 days.

But what happens to the book while you're waiting for it to arrive? - it goes on a little journey!

6. If all the copies of the book are already out to other people we’ll send an email to the person who has had it for the longest asking them to return it by a new date.

7. If the book is on the shelves at another campus our staff will be notified to collect it from the shelf and send it to the new location.

Photo of books on the library shelf

8. Once we've found your book it will be scanned in to let the system know we’ve found it.

9. The book will then be put in to one of our colour coded boxes and sent on a little trip to its new temporary home. We have a van that drives between the 3 campuses, which means it can take as little as 24 hours for the book to reach the new location.

Photo of book in a transit box

10. When the boxes of books arrive at the new campus, they are all unloaded and scanned in once more to let the system know where they are. This triggers the system to send you an email letting you know your book is ready to collect and it prints out a piece of paper with your name on it which we wrap around the book to make it easier for you to find on the request collection shelves.

11. Once all the books have been processed, our staff then take all the reserved books out to the request collection shelves and put them out in alphabetical order by the name of the person who has requested the books, ready for collection.

Photo of books on the reservation shelf

Topics: Library resources Library Search