How to Borrow

Finding Books, Journals and Theses

SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online) has details of the Earth Sciences library’s physical resources – books, journals and theses.

It also has details of holdings throughout the university’s many other libraries, as well as electronic holdings.

It will indicate:

  • where it is – Main Library, Confined Cupboard, Outsize or Basement.
  • shelfmark – where it can be found on the shelves.
  • loan status – Apply Staff, Reference or Available. A date means it has been borrowed.


Undergraduates are automatically registered to use the library.

If you are a DTP student, a Postgraduate or a member of staff please register, either in person or by emailing the librarian with:

  • your university card number
  • the expiry date


To borrow from the library, use the self-check machine.

  • Choose ‘Borrow & Renew’
  • Scan the barcode on your university card
  • Place books on the laminated sign
  • A list of books will appear in green once they have been issued
  • Select ‘finish’

*Incorrectly issued books will set off the alarm.*

If you set of the alarm:

  • Try issuing the book again
  • If it is a reference book or a confined book, it will set off the alarm. These books must not be taken out of the library.
  • If it continues to set off the alarm, leave it on the desk for investigation when the librarian is next available


You can now return books using the self-check machine

  • Select ‘return’
  • Place books on the pad
  • A list of books will appear when they have been returned correctly
  • Press ‘finish’
  • Place books on the trolley

*If a hold is activated, put the book in the Returns Box on the librarian’s desk.*

If you encounter any problems, enter your university card barcode and the barcode of the book in the notebook provided.

Loan Limits

Reader Status Number of loans Loan Period
1st-3rd year 6 books 1 week
4th years 12 books 2 weeks
Postgraduates 20 books 3 months
Staff 20 books 1 year
Visiting academics 20 books 1 month
External readers by arrangement with the librarian


Hold Requests

To ensure a book is held for you when it is returned by another reader:

  • Sign on to SOLO
  • Click ‘Hold’

The librarian will email you when it becomes available.

You will need to scan it out as usual when you collect it.


Renew your books as soon as you receive a ‘Library Reminder’ email.

Sign in to your account on SOLO for:

  • A list of books you have on loan
  • The date they are due back
  • Renewal functions

Books can be renewed 9 times. After that they need to be returned to the library and re-issued (if the book  isn’t needed by another reader).



Fines are not currently charged – if loans are not returned promptly this will be revised.

Lost Books

You remain responsible for a book until it is returned.

Do not give books to another reader unless they have been returned and re-issued.

In cases of loss or damage you will be asked to buy a replacement.