Borrowing books

Finding Books

All Library print or e-books can be found by doing a keyword or title search on Library SmartSearch. Printed books are organised by subject on the second and third floors of the Library, while e-books can be accessed online by clicking on the link and logging in using your University username and password.

Borrowing and renewing books

You can borrow:

  • Undergraduates - 20 books
  • Taught postgraduates 25 books
  • Research postgraduates - 35 books
  • Aston staff - 35 books

The standard loan period for books is 28 days and you can borrow books using the self-service machines which are on the Second and Ground Floors of the Library.

If you need a book for longer you can renew it by logging into your Library Record and following the renewal process. You can have unlimited renewals provided the book hasn’tbeen reserved by another Library user.You will also need to remember to renew your books during the vacation as normal loan rules apply.

Please check your list of books when you have done the renewal as this will show the new due date or alert you to any issues with the renewal.

You may need to return your book earlier if it has been recalled to fill a reservation. If this is the case we will send you an email to let you know and advise you of the new date the book is due for return. You will need to return recalled books to the Library by the due date included in the recall email either in person or by post.Fines of £3.50 apply per day for recalled books that are overdue.

We will contact you via your Aston email address about your books:

  • 1 day before an item is due (Library item courtesy notice). These emails should not be relied on as the sole means of knowing when your item(s) are due back.
  • 1 working day after an item becomes overdue (Overdue item notice).
  • 7 days after an item was due back (Final overdue reminder notice).
  • When an item you have reserved is ready for collection (Reservation ready for collection).
  • When an item you have on loan has been reserved by another person (Recall notice).

Reserving a book

If all copies of the book you want are out on loan then you can reserve a copy via Library SmartSearch. You can have 5 reservations at any one time.To reserve a book:

  • Check on Library SmartSearch that all copies are out on loan
  • Click on Reserve and use your Aston University username and password to place a reservation. A copy of the book will be recalled for you When the book is ready for you to collect we will send an email to your Aston email account.You will have 3 working days to collect your reservation, which will be kept on the shelves on the Ground Floor of the Library.

If you have fines to pay of over £50 or restrictions on your Library account you won't be able to reserve books.

Returning Books

You can return books using the self-service machines or by using the book return box outside the Library.You can also return books by post but you will need to pay the return postage. All items returned should be addressed to:

Public Services Co-ordinator
Library Services
Aston University
Aston Triangle
Birmingham
B4 7ET

You are responsible for the safe return of the item, and if it is lost while it is being returned you will have to pay for its replacement.

Library Fines

The Library only charges fines for overdue books that have been recalled or for lost items. These charges apply all year round including during the vacations.

  • The daily charge of an overdue reserved item is £3.50
  • The charge for a lost book is the full replacement cost of the current edition from a Library supplier will be charged in addition to any outstanding fines.

You can pay any charges online by logging into your Library record and selecting the link “Pay charges on your Library account”. Use your 9 digit student number, which can be found on your UNICard, and follow the payment process through.On the final screen you will receive an on-screen confirmation message and a receipt will be emailed to you.

Fines exceptions policy

Fines will normally only be waived in line with the circumstances described below, provided that evidence is supplied.

Circumstance Notes/evidence required 
Medical exemption / Bereavement / Exceptional personal circumstances or family issues. Please provide confirmation from your School or personal tutor. 
Part time and distance learners unable to return books in person to the Library. Books returned by post will have overdue charges back-dated to posting dates. 
Theft of items. Police Crime Number. 


Contact Us

If you have a query about charges on your Library record, have problems with finding items, accessing e-books, reserving or renewing books then get in touch with us by email: library@aston.ac.uk, telephone: 0121 204 4525 or use our Live Chat service.