Joining the Library

Lancaster University staff and students are automatically registered with the library - you need your university card to borrow from the library. We welcome external borrowers - please see the information below on how to join.

Due to the Covid-19 crisis we will not be processing any new registrations for SCONUL users or visitors until further notice.


  • Lancaster University Staff

    You will be given your university card by Human Resources on your first day. Please see the Human Resources website or contact if you have any queries.

  • Lancaster University Students

    If you start your course at the beginning of the academic year, you will be given your university card as part of the university registration process.

    If you register late or are starting your course at another time of year, please go to The Base to complete your registration and obtain your university card.

    If you are a distance learner and do not come on to campus, please see Online and Distance Learners for details about obtaining your university card.

  • Lancaster Alumni

    As a Lancaster Graduate you can use selected Library e-resources, and join as a member for access to lending services.


    Lancaster University Library is pleased to provide the University’s Alumni with remote access to the following resources for personal, non-commercial use.

    • JSTOR: The Scholarly Journal Archive. JSTOR contains back issues of thousands of academic journals in a wide variety of disciplines. Issues are available both as images and as text, making searching possible both within each title and across the database. Back issues generally extend back to volume 1 and forward to within the last 3 to 5 years depending on the title.
    • SAGE Journals. SAGE is the world’s 5th largest journals publisher. The SAGE portfolio includes more than 900 journals spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Technology and Medicine, and more than 400 are published on behalf of learned societies and institutions.
    • Project MUSE. A leading provider of digital humanities and social science content for the scholarly community around the world. Currently, Project MUSE has over 674 journals from 125 publishers.
    • Henry Stewart Talks Business and Management Collection. Contains over 1,000 specially prepared, animated, online, multi-media lectures and case studies by experts from commerce, industry, the professions and academia for universities, business schools, colleges and continuing professional development. There are over 850 contributing editors, speakers and case study presenters and more than 30,000 informative slides.
    • Springer Journals. Springer Link provides access to journals published by Springer. Subject coverage includes life sciences, chemical sciences, environmental sciences, geosciences, computer science, mathematics, medicine, physics & astronomy, engineering and economics.
    • EBSCO Business Source Alumni Edition. Provides access to more than 1,200 business magazines and journals, including top management journals such as Fortune magazine, New Statesman, Time magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek. Email for Business Source access details.

    To access these you need to log in to the alumni website. If you have not yet registered to use this, please click the "New registration" link below the login form.

    Not all publishers allow you to access their resources from your location but you are also entitled to use the library's Walk-in access facilities to access electronic resources in the library building.

    Other Recommended Databases (freely available)

    • Google Scholar. Google’s search engine for scholarly works
    • DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals. DOAJ offers free access to the full text of thousands of journals covering the humanities, social sciences, and sciences and also provides access to indexes in these subject areas, including dissertations and theses.
    • DOAB: Directory of Open Access Books. DOAB offers free access to the full text of over 2,500 academic peer-reviewed books from 94 publishers
    • PubMed. PubMed comprises more than 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

    Borrowing materials

    The Library is open to the public for reference use, but as a Lancaster Graduate you can join as an Alumni Library member for a discounted annual fee of £30. This entitles you to borrow up to ten items from the Library. Please see the terms and conditions. Please also see the information for visitors for more details.

    Please come to the information point (opening hours) and bring your fee (cash or cheque made out to Lancaster University) and proof of address. We will confirm on the central student database that you are a Lancaster Graduate. If your name has changed since you graduated, please bring evidence. Your card will be prepared while you wait.

  • Former Lancaster University Staff

    You are able to register as an External Borrower. For details, please see the section below for Members of the Public and External Borrowers.

  • SCONUL Access

    If you have joined the SCONUL Access scheme, please bring:

    • a print-out of the SCONUL Access registration confirmation email sent to you by your home library


    • a SCONUL Access card authorised by your own home library


    • a current University card from your home institution.
  • SCONUL Summer Vacation Access

    The SCONUL Summer Vacation Access scheme allows anyone to use the library for reference purposes throughout the library’s opening hours

  • Full-time undergraduates at University of Central Lancashire and Cumbria

    You can join the library for £20 a year. Please print out our College Associate Borrower Form and have it authorised by your university library. Postgraduate students, staff and undergraduates on distance learning courses can join and borrow free of charge under the SCONUL Access scheme.

  • University of Cumbria PhD students

    You can join the library under the SCONUL Access scheme (please see SCONUL Access above). You can access e-resources in the library through our walk-in electronic resource access scheme but are not entitled to remote access.

  • Students of Associate Colleges

    You can join the library to borrow books if you are enrolled on a degree course validated by Lancaster University and are being taught at Blackpool and The Fylde College, Blackburn College or Furness College, Barrow. We will need to see evidence that you are enrolled on a Lancaster-validated degree course. You can access e-resources in the library through our walk-in electronic resource access scheme but are not entitled to remote access.

    The fee is £5.00 for the first year only. Renewals are free.

  • Members of the Public and External Borrowers

    You are welcome to visit the Library, to consult items in the building and to use the photocopiers and scanner (you will need to provide your own USB pen). Proof of address is needed if you want to consult anything from a closed store (eg theses).

    If you wish to borrow, you can join the library as an external borrower for an annual fee of £60. Please read these terms and conditions. Please come to the library information point (opening hours). You will need to provide official proof of your address, such as a driving licence or utilities bill.

    You may be eligible to join for free or at a reduced rate under another scheme (please see the information on this page). Walk-in access to electronic resources is available.

  • NHS Staff

    Members of staff attached to NHS hospitals or PCTs in Lancashire or Cumbria are eligible to join under the Passport 2 Partnership (P2P) scheme.

    A card for the Library can be issued between 8am and midnight at any day during term-time. Vacation hours may differ, please check the opening hours before you visit. Please bring a valid NHS identity card.

  • Resident Companies in the Lancaster Environment Centre and Knowledge Business Centre

    Individual staff in companies resident in LEC and the Knowledge Business Centre may join as a Library External Borrower for a discounted annual fee of £30. You need to be referred by the appropriate Departmental Administrator.