Help & FAQs

Got a question? You're probably not alone!

N.B. Most of the information on this page is related to the Albert Sloman Library. Specific library FAQs can be found on their pages.

How do I find a book or resource?

The library uses an online platform called Library Search. This can be found on the library hompage, and there are also machines in the library that are set up ready to search.

How many books can I borrow at once?

There is no upper limit to the number of books you can borrow, but be sure to use them all.

How long can I borrow a book for?

This depends on the type of book you borrow:
Short loan books can be borrowed in four hour sessions and cannot be renewed online. They may also be borrowed overnight: please check your receipt for the date and time by which the item needs to be returned.
Student collection books can be borrowed for seven days before being returned or renewed, unless someone else has recalled the book.
Books from the main collection can be borrowed and renewed for up to 12 weeks, as long as no one else recalls them.

This book is kept in Store A/B/C/D, what does this mean?

This item is not kept in the main body of the library, but can be lent out. If you wish to borrow these items, please fill in the request from store link on the book's page.

This book is kept in the Basement (short loan.) What does this mean?

Like items in the store, this item must be requested. These items can only be borrowed for up to 7 days, but can be renewed if they haven't been recalled.

This book is at East 15/The Forum, what does this mean?

These books are kept at one of the other two campuses. These books can only be borrowed by East15/Forum Students.

What does Reference Only mean?

If an item is only available to reference, this means that they non loanable, but can be used within the library. These texts can also be scanned and copied, but only up to 10%/one chapter due to copyright law.

What are the Special Collections?

The Special Collections are collections of items (such as books, papers, posters) that have been given the university library to be preserved.
These items are reference and by appointment only, but include some one of a kind material.
For more details on the collections the library holds and accessing to them, please visit the Special Collections Page

How do I check a book out?

Once you've found the physical copy, the check out machines are on the bottom floor. You'll need you registration/members card, and the machine will run you through what you need to do. If you have any issues while checking a book out, please ask for assitance at the helpdesk.

When is my book due back?

Using the library search page, in the top right, you can log into your account using the Login link. From here, you can see all current and previous loans you have made from the library, including when current books are due back. An e-receipt will also be sent to your e-mail address with the return date.

How do I renew a book?

Using the library search page, in the top right, you can log into your account using the Login link. From here, you can select the books you wish to renew and click the Renew Book(s) button. This will give you a new date. If it does not, please enquire at the library helpdesk. You can also renew your books using the machines in the library, or at the library helpdesk.

What happens if I return my book late?

This depends on the book being returned late:
A book being returned late from the Student or Main Collection - £2.50 a day.
*note: this fee is only applied if the book being returned late has been recalled by another user, otherwise, there is no late fee.
A book being returned late for the Short Loan Collection - £1 an hour.

The book I have checked out has been recalled, what does this mean?

This means that somebody else needs the book you currently have checked out. This reservation will stop you renewing the book, and you may be given an earlier due date.

All the copies of the book I need are currently checked out, what do I do?

You can reserve a copy of the book. While on the book's entry in the library search, click the On loan? Recall it button. As soon as a copy of that book is returned to the library, it will be placed on the reserved shelf, listed in alphibetical order by family name. The book will be kept here for 2 weeks before being returned to the main collection.

How do I return a book?

For items from the main or student collection, please use the machine at the side of the building (from either inside or outside.) If a book appears with a red cross, you have nothing to worry about; the book will still be taken off your record.
Books from the short-loan collection need to be placed back into the machine using your student card.

I've lost a library book, what do I do?

Please let the help desk know as soon as possible! The book will be removed from your account and you will be fined the amount it costs to replace the book (plus a £6 Admin fee.)

I need to pay a fine, how do I do this?

All fines can be paid at the library Help Desk, we accept cash, and card values over £4.

You can also pay fines online via myEssex. You will then need to use the webpay method to make an unspecified payment for the amount that you owe the Library. It is then necessary for you to contact the Library by emailing to advise us that you have made the payment so that we can clear your library record as this does not happen automatically.

The library does not have a copy of the book or access to a resource I need?

If you are after a book that the university library does not have access to, you can request it via Inter-Library Loans. Full details can be found on the Inter-Library Loans page.
If you believe that the text is one that the library should own, you can suggest a book for the library to purchase.
Kaplan (UoE Online) students can use this service to request journal articles and book chapters.

People are being too loud in a quiet area of the library, what can I do?

If people are too loud in one of the Whisper or Silent zones, you can let us know by coming to the helpdesk, e-mailing us at, or text us on 07557 290664. Let us know where you are and we'll try to be there as soon as possible.

Are children allowed in the library?

Children (under the age of 16) are only allowed into the library with a parent/guardian and a member of library staff. Children are only allowed on the ground floor and may not go on the Paternoster lift.

What are e-resources?

An e-resource is an electronic version of a text, usually a journal or an article.

How do I access e-resources?

To access an e-resource, click the link from the library search. This will take you to an external site where you may need to enter your login details.

How long can I access e-resources for?

You can access the resource for as long as you are a member of the university.

The library doesn't have access to the e-resource I need, what do I do?

If you are looking for something that the university library does not have access to, you can request it via Inter-Library Loans. Full details can be found on the Inter-Library Loans page.

I'm having an issue with connecting to an e-resource, is there an issue with my login?

One way to check your login is by using Moodle. If you can't get into Moodle, this is a login issue and you should contact the IT Helpdesk. If you can login to Moodle, then it is an issue with e-resource. In this case you should contact the library. Another way to test this is by trying to access a different e-resource.

I've gone to the e-resource directly, how do I access the content I want?

The best way to access e-resources is through the library search. If you go directly to the e-resource, you'll need to look for an 'institutional' or 'academic' login link. Here, you will be asked to enter your full university account details (Username and Password.) We don't however use Athens.

Why is the website asking for my Athens login?

The library does not use Athens to connect to e-resources. Please use the 'institutional' or 'academic' login.

Is there a problem with my browser?

The easiest way to test this is by using an alternate internet browser. It may also be an issue with your browser's cookies or cache.

Try the guides below to:

Does the library have access to the e-resource I need?

To check if the library has access to what you need use the library search. If the library doesn't have it, you can Request it through Inter-Library Loans.

When is the library open?

The library's opening hours vary based on the time of the year, please check the Opening Hours page for more details.

Is there anywhere I can study?

The library has many spaces that can be used to study. On the ground floor, there is the Large Reading Room and the Post-Graduate Study Room. Each of the other floors have desks and seating, accessible computers and power points which can be used to charge personal devices. (The computers do require a login and password). Keep an eye out for our zones, these are marked by posters and banners. We have 3 zones, Silent, Whisper and Collaborative .

Are there computers in the library?

Yes! Each floor has a colleciton of computers which have access to the internet and printing services. Have a look at the university's Printing Information
(The computers do require a login and password.)

How long will my print job remain in cloud?

The print job will remain there until it is printed, you cancel the print, or up to 8 hours after the job has been sent.

I have my own device, is there anywhere to charge it?

Yes! Many of the desks within the library have plug sockets.

I have my own device, can I connect to the internet?

Yes! The library uses EDUROAM like the rest of campus. Just choose it as your internet service, and follow the login process.

I want to study with my friends, is there a place in the library I can do this?

On floors 2 to 5, there are Group Study Rooms situated in the north side. Keep an eye out for our zones, these are marked by posters and banners. We have 3 zones, Silent, Whisper and Collaborative

Am I able to print in the library?

Yes! The library has two printers on each floor which can accessed via the computers on that floor and also wirelessly by personal devices. Please ensure you have enough print credits.

You can also print from a personal device, take a look at IT Services

Can I photocopy books in the library?

Yes! The library has two scanners on each floor which can be accessed using your library membership login or student card. Scanned items can be copied there and then, or can be sent to your e-mail electronically. Just be aware, due to Copyright law, no more than %10 of a book can be copied, and all copies must be for personal use only. Please ensure you have enough print credits.

I lost something while in the library, is there a way to collect it?

All lost property handed in is kept at the helpdesk. If you have lost something, please enquire at there. All details about the item, and time and date of loss will help us ensure that the correct item is returned to you.

How do I print in the library?

Each printer in the library can be accessed using either a computer or a memory stick.
When using a memory stick, you will need to log in on the printer's display using your library login. The file to be printed can then be accessed and printed.
When using a computer, each printer has an ID which can be used to connect.
Please ensure you have enough print credits.

Are there any food or drink services in the library?

There are no services in the library, but there are water coolers on the 2nd and 4th floor landings for general use. Food and drink can be brought into the library, but hot food is prohibited.

Are there any toilets in the library?

Each floor of the library has toilets. On the gorund floor, they can be found on the corridor to the Large Reading Room. On each other floor, except 1st, there are gender-neutral toilets on the north side, and single sex toilets on the landings. If in need of help, please ask at the helpdesk.

Is there disabled access to the library?

There is an elevator that can access each floor. It can be found next to the main stairs on the ground floor (near the large reading room.) If you require any assistance, or have concerns or suggestions, please contact the library helpdesk.

If you have any further issues trying to locate something in the library, please ask a member of the Help Desk.

The Help Desk

The Help Desk can be found near the main entrance of the library.

The Lift

There are two lifts in the library.
The Paternoster is a conveyer belt that services all floors in the library.
There is also a regular lift beind the paternoster on the ground floor that services all floors in the library.

The Short Term Loan Collection

This collection is stored on the ground floor, next to the help desk, in two vedning machines. These machines require the use of you user-card.

The Student Collection

This collection can be found on the first floor, in the south side of the building.

A book within the main collection

The main collection spreads across floors 2 to 5, and across both the north and south sides of the building. On the ground floor, there is a guide on where each classmark is kept, and each floor will show which side of the building that classmark falls.
The book will show you its floor and classmark on its library search page.

Reserved Books

If you have reserved a book, it can be found on the Ground floor, in the wooden bookcase. These will be sorted alphabetically by family name.

The Large Reading Room

This room can be found at the end of the corridor by the paternoster lift on the ground floor. This room can also be accessed at night using your user card with the outside door.

The Post-Graduate Room

This room can be found on the other end of the ground floor, near the paternoster. This room requires a Post-Graduate student card, but can also be accessed at night using the outside door.

The Special Collections Room

The Special Collections Room is on the 1st floor of the library, in the new side.

The Check-Out Machines

These machines are in the middle of the Ground floor, near the help-desk.

The Check-In Machine

This machine is on the Silberrad Centre side of the library, there is a feed both inside and outside of the library.

Printers and Scanners

Each floor of the library has 2 scanner/printers. These can be used with the library PCs or with your own device.

Water Coolers

There are water coolers on the 2nd and 4th floor landnings of the library.

The Toilets

There are toilets on most floors of the library. On the ground floor, they are by the Large Reading Room. On floors 2 to 5, there a gender-neutral toilets in the north side, to the left of the entrances.

Southend and Loughton FAQs can be found on their pages, though, the E-Resources panel on this page is still relevant to you.

Southend FAQs

Loughton FAQs

If you are looking for subject specific resources, have a look at the Research & Subject Support. Here, you will find links to useful resource, organised by subject.

You can also Book A Librarian. After filling in this form, a member of the library staff, relevent to your subject, will get in touch to arrange a meeting to discuss your goals, and what the library can offer to help you achieve them. This includes getting started with research, help finding the resources you need, and in-depth demonstrations of using the librray databases.

The library also holds physical copies of theses up to 30th September 2016, and these theses are findable using the library search. Theses can be requested from the store on their entry.

Please also be aware that EThOS (British Library theses online service) and Proquest Dissertations and Theses are also good places to look.

Different members and partners have different access to different resources. There is a full list of membership access details.

Be sure to look at SCONUL Access! It allows you to use resources from other academic libraries that sign up to SCONUL Access Scheme (Pst, this can be really useful over the holiday period.)



The University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
+44 (0) 1206 873192