Information for Lancaster University Distance Learners

Along with extensive access to e-journals, e-books and databases, we provide extra library services for Lancaster University students studying away from campus

You can print a handy guide, Library Essentials for Distance Learners, to help you make the most of Library services.

Off campus access to resources

If you are using OneSearch from off campus you will need sign in with your University username and password to access all of the the resources available to you, or to view your Library account. Read this useful information about off campus access to resources if you are following links from:

  • OneSearch
  • Moodle
  • A-Z list of databases
  • Subject guides
  • Google Scholar

You may also wish to link Google Scholar to the Library collections, which will make accessing full-texts online even easier.


Postal Loans

If you would like books posting to you, please email us at asking to be registered as a Distance Learner. If you only need a chapter or short section of a book, please look at the Scans and Photocopies section below.

  • Books that are in stock may be requested for Postal Loan via OneSearch. Please note that you need to sign into OneSearch first
  • We will post available books to your nominated address; books which are on loan will be recalled and we will send them out as soon as they become available
  • UK charges are £4.30 per book, with discounts for packaged multiples
  • We may be able to post books abroad.  Charges are: Up to 500g - £6.00; Up to 1kg - £10.00; Up to 2kg - £15; Above 2kg, please apply to for costing and feasibility.
  • Please see Paying fines and other charges for details of how to pay
  • All emails from the Library will be sent to your Lancaster University email address
  • When a book is sent to you, we will notify you of the due date. Please make sure the book is posted back within good time of the due date. A book can usually be renewed, please check our Borrowing and Renewing guide for details.
  • Please note that all library items are issued subject to recall, should another borrower request them. You will be asked to return any recalled books within 11 days (14 days during the vacations) or by the due date if that is sooner. Please see the Requests and Recalls page for further details
  • You are responsible for the costs incurred when returning books by post. Please retain your receipt from the post office as proof of postage.

    Please post books to:

Postal Loans
The Library
Lancaster University


The library provides access to thousands of e-books - you can find and access these in OneSearch; you will need to sign in to OneSearch to access the full text.

If the title you want is not available as an e-book, we can consider buying it or arranging a short term loan. Please email if you would like us to do this.

Scans and Photocopies

  • You can request scans or photocopies of material that is in stock. Copyright law only allows us to copy an insubstantial part of a book; this is interpreted as one chapter or no more than 5% (whichever is greater)
  • Please download our Book and Journal Request Form if you would like a scan or photocopy of an article or chapter of a book. Please note that the copyright declaration must be signed before the form is returned to the Library. It can be scanned and emailed as an attachment to
  • Charges are £4.20 for a photocopy of an article or book chapter posted to you; there is no charge for scans emailed to you.
  • Please see Library fines and charges for details of how to pay

Can't find the resources you need?

We can usually obtain journal articles which aren't in OneSearch through our Interlending and Document Supply (IDS) service. These are usually supplied electronically. If we don't have the book you want, we may be able to borrow it from another library through the IDS service and post it to you; we can only post a book in the UK and you would need to post it back by recorded delivery if you can't return it in person.

You can ask the Library to buy a book for stock using the Recommend a purchase form. We may buy it as an e-book or a print copy which we can post to you.

Using other Libraries

Staff and students based at a distance from the Lancaster campus may be able to use other libraries in the UK and Ireland. Please see our information on Using other Libraries. More information on the SCONUL Access scheme can be found on the SCONUL website.   

Lancaster University card

If you are a Lancaster University student and need a Lancaster University card, eg as proof of your home institution if you are visiting another library, and cannot visit the library to get one, please email the Registry at with your student ID number and a photo. Please also make sure the Registry has your current address for posting your card.