Borrowing books

  • Borrowing allowances:
    Undergraduates - 20 books, taught postgraduates - 25 books, research postgraduates - 35 books, Aston staff - 35 books,  at any one time.
  • If you need a book for longer you can renew the book by going to your Library Record if the book has not been reserved.
  • Check your Aston email address regularly in case a book that you have borrowed gets recalled.  
    Fines of £3.50 apply per day, for books which have been reserved and which are overdue. 
  • If all copies of a book are out on loan and you would like to get hold of a copy you need to reserve it
  • If there is an electronic copy (e-book) click on the link and login.  E-books are exactly the same in terms of content as a printed book they are just in a different format. We buy e-books from a number of different sources, please check the help files on the specific platform or contact the Library Help deskfor further help.

Books are organised by subject on the second and third floors of the Library according to their Dewey Decimal Classification number.  Books will be reshelved within 1 working day of being returned to the Library.   E-books can be accessed online via your University username and password.


.All books held in the Library or e-books can be found by doing a keyword or title search using Library SmartSearch.
If you can't find a particular item please ask a member of staff in the Library or contact us so that we can look for it, on your behalf.

You can recommend that we purchase specific books, or you may be able to request books or journals via Inter-Library Loan.
Books are divided into 2 categories: long loan & 7 day loan. They can be borrowed using the self-service machines on the ground floor of the Library.

You can return books using the Return option on the self-service machines or by using the book return box outside of the Library when the building is closed. (This book return box is closed on University closed days and at Easter and Christmas.)

  • Books are due back any time before the end of the due date, up until mid-night. 

You can also return books by post but you will need to pay the return postage. Books may be returned by courier or post but the service used should give a guaranteed return within 2-3 days. All items returned should be securely packed and addressed to:

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

You will be 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.

Books can be renewed online via My Library Record:

My Library Record

 Restrictions on renewing

  • If someone has reserved a book which you have borrowed, then you will be unable to renew it. You may be sent a recall email asking you to return the book by a new due date. If you have already had the book for at least 7 days, the return date may be earlier than you were expecting.  Fines of £3.50 apply per day, for recalled books that are overdue.

  • Books can be renewed as many times as required, if they haven't been reserved by another Library user. 

  • If there are any restrictions on your Library record then the renewal facility will be temporarily unavailable to you.

  • There may be a disruption in service each morning between 02:00 to 04:00 due to essential systems maintenance. If you are unable to renew your books during this time, please try again later

Renewing during the vacation

Please note that during the vacation periods, normal loan periods apply and you will need to continue to renew your books.  You will also need to check your Aston email address frequently in case a book that you've borrowed gets recalled. This can happen if the book you have borrowed has been reserved by another Library user. You will need to return recalled books to the Library by the due date included in the recall email notification, either in person or by post.

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

  • first check on Library SmartSearch that all copies are out on loan
  • then click on Reserve and follow the instructions displayed
  • you will be prompted to enter your Aston University username and password

When the book is available for you to collect you will be sent an email to your Aston email account. Reserved books are available from the Ground Floor of the Library and will be kept for you for 3 working days.  To try and ensure the prompt return of overdue, recalled books, fines of £3.50 per day apply .

If you have fines to pay of over £50 or restrictions on your Library account you won't be able to reserve books. Please speak to someone at the Help Point  on the ground floor of the Library in case of any difficulties or email

Paying online

We welcome payments of a minimum of £5 from the following cards:

  • Visa Credit and Debit cards
  • Mastercard Credit and Debit cards
  • Visa Electron and Solo

Payment will be taken from your account after it has been authorised and cleared, this is normally within 24 hours.  Library charges will be cleared from your record at the time of payment.

  • Log into your Library record
  • From here click on the link “Pay charges on your Library account”
  • On the next screen enter your 9 digit student number, this can be found on your ID card. Tick the box if you accept the Terms and conditions then click on Continue
  • Select the charges you wish to pay by ticking the square box to the left of each item you wish to pay
  • Enter your payment details and confirm

Once you have successfully input your card details, you will receive an on-screen confirmation message and a receipt will be emailed to you. Please retain a copy of your receipt
Click here if you would like to make a payment now

Fines are charged for  the late return of the following items: 

Item Fine
Book/Journals/Projects/DVDs that have been reserved by another reader £3.50 per day
Laptops are loaned for up to 4 hours only £2 per hour or part of an hour

You must return items that have been reserved by another reader straight away.
Remember- fines are always charged - even during vacations.

Lost items – the full replacement charge of the current edition from a Library supplier will be charged, plus £20 administration fee, in addition to any outstanding  fines. 

Please contact us at to discuss waiving fines.  Fines will normally be waived in line with the circumstances described below, provided that evidence is supplied.

Circumstances normally accepted
 CircumstanceNotes / 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. Books returned by post will have overdue charges back-dated to posting dates.
University system error. No evidence required.
Theft of items. Police Crime Number.
Laptop incorrectly plugged. This will be waived first time laptop is used.
Laptop could not be returned due to technical 
Date, time and circumstances reported and verified by Library staff.

Circumstances not normally accepted

Circumstances not normally accepted
Circumstance  Notes
User did not check emails / My Library Record. Users are encouraged to check emails and My Library Record regularly. 
User is away from campus at a conference, on placement, or on business related to their work / studies. Users are expected to make arrangements prior to going away on any planned absences from University.
User lives at a distance. Users living at a distance can use the postal loans service.
International students at home during vacations. Users are expected to prepare beforehand and we advise that Aston University Library items should not be taken out of the UK.
User has been on holiday. Users are expected to make arrangements prior to going away on holiday.
Email reminders not received. The Library receives a copy of all automated emails and unless we cannot find a trace of the email in our records a waiver will not apply.
Charges accrued by a friend using your uniCARD. Users must not lend their uniCARD to others and are liable for all fines incurred in.
 Laptop not returned. Users are responsible for laptops issued to them until they are returned and fines will accrue if overdue.

Reminder Emails

We will contact you, normally via email to your Aston email address -

  • 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).