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  • SCONUL Access



    The University of Cumbria is a member of this scheme which allows staff and certain categories of student to join and borrow from other academic libraries. The following groups of  University of Cumbria registered users are eligible to use it:

    • Academic staff on open or fixed term contracts
    • Research students, registered on an MPhil or PhD or similar research based award
    • Part time students
    • Students on distance learning courses
    • Postgraduate students (full and part time)
    • Full time students on a placement of six weeks or more.

    You must be registered on a course (or research programme) leading to a university award and running for a minimum of one year.

    Full time undergraduate students may access most other participating libraries on a reference only basis. The Universities of Salford, Teesside, Huddersfield, Edge Hill and Liverpool Hope are working with the University of Cumbria on a new scheme to enable full time undergraduates from these universities to borrow from one of the other universities in the scheme. If you are a full time undergraduate student you will receive additional information on this scheme when you apply for Sconul Access.

    Look at the SCONUL Access webpage for a list of participating libraries.

    Check the opening hours of the library you wish to visit on its website.  During vacations, some libraries may be completely or partially closed to allow building works or stock moving.  Please check the library's website for up to date information.  You will find links to the websites of individual libraries on the SCONUL Access website, under member libraries.

    To join the scheme you will need to register online through the Sconul website. You will be sent an introductory email to take to the library you wish to use. You will then need to follow their registration procedures. If you wish to join more than one library through the Sconul scheme please print out the email for each library you want to join.

    Full time students wanting to use other libraries for reference can request a Reference card from their campus or site library.

    BooksRow, colourful books in a row, leaning SCONUL Vacation Access

    Undergraduate students and postgraduate students following taught courses will normally be granted reference use at other higher education libraries free of charge during the vacations of the host institution. 

    Check out the SCONUL website for further information.

  • CHELPS: Cumbria Higher and Further Education Library Partnership Scheme

    The Cumbria Higher and Further Education Library Partnership Scheme (CHELPS) is a cooperative venture between the higher and further education institutions with campuses in Cumbria. Library members from the participating libraries may have limited borrowing rights from the other libraries free of charge.

    In order to use CHELPS, applicants must be registered at their home library and be in 'good standing' (i.e. have no outstanding fines, debts, long overdue items). Please click here for Chelps Information. Download the CHELPS application form.

  • ALN: Academic Libraries North

    All staff and students of libraries within ALN (Academic Libraries North) are able to gain access to other ALN libraries for reference purposes, on presentation of their Cumbria card (with the exception of the Manchester Business School Library).  

    Teaching staff, research postgraduate students,  part time, distance learning, full time taught postgraduate students and students on placement of more than six weeks can join these libraries and borrow for free under the SCONUL Access scheme.

    Check the sites of individual ALN participating libraries for their opening hours and other local conditions. If you think you may need specialist help during your visit, it is best to contact libraries in advance. 


  • University Centre at Furness College

    The University Centre at Furness College provides facilities for all University of Cumbria students living in the Furness area. As well as teaching space, the centre provides flexible study space, computing facilities and a core collection of library books.

    How do I get access to the University Centre?

    You will need a University Centre at Furness College card for identification on campus and to access the library and computing facilities. Fill in the application form and take it with your Cumbria card to Student Services Ground Floor. Download the Furness College leaflet for more information.


  • NHS resources

    You can download the Passport to Partnership Information and Procedures manual for more information about the partnership agreement (P2P) between the NHS Health Libraries and Higher Education institutions in Cumbria and Lancashire. It enables all the NHS staff working in Cumbria and Lancashire to access the collective health resources of the area. Staff and students of the participating Higher Education institutions are also able to access the resources of all participating libraries. P2P library application form.

    Cumberland Infirmary, Education Centre Library, Carlisle
    (tel: 01228-814879)
    Students and staff in are entitled to join these libraries. 

    Furness General Hospital, Barrow
    (tel: 01229 491297 email:
    Staff and students based at the University of Cumbria Barrow site and students on placement in the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust can join the Education Centre Library at Furness General Hospital. Other students will need to join through the P2P scheme. 

    Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Education Centre Library
    Ashton Road, Lancaster (tel: 01524-516021 email:
    Staff and students can join the Education Centre Library under the P2P scheme.

    West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven
    (tel: 01946 523826 )
    Students and staff are entitled to join these libraries.

  • Specific libraries

    Lancaster University Library

    You can use the library at Lancaster University for reference purposes free of charge.

    University of Cumbria students on a full degree course can pay £20 a year to borrow books (6 at a time). To do this, you need to take a completed application form from your campus library and your Cumbria card. Library cards can only be issued during staffed service hours.

    Teaching staff, research postgraduate students, part time, distance learning, full time taught postgraduate students and students on placement of more than six weeks can join and borrow for free under the SCONUL Access scheme.

    You can check the library catalogue on the web.  

    University of Central Lancashire Library, Preston

    You can use University of Central Lancashire library for reference purposes. You will need to show your Cumbria card as proof of identity.

    University of Cumbria students on courses of one term or longer can join and borrow on payment of £20 per year. You need to take your Cumbria card, a letter from the Library confirming that you are in good standing with the library and a passport size photo.  Applications can only be accepted during staffed hours, (you are advised to phone UCLan library in advance on 01772 892279 to check) and will normally take a couple of days to process.

    Teaching staff, research postgraduate students, part time, distance learning, full time taught postgraduate students, and students on placements of more than six weeks can join and borrow for free under the SCONUL Access scheme.

    You can check the library catalogue on the web.

    Public libraries

    Many public libraries, including those in Cumbria, Lancashire and Tower Hamlets, provide online access to academic journals as part of the Access to Research scheme. You must visit the library to search and read the journals. Please contact your public library to check if they are part of the scheme and allow you to book ahead for use of their Access to Research terminal.


    University of Cumbria students and staff living in, working in or visiting London are also able to use the Reading Rooms in the British Library at St Pancras. You will need to register for a Reader Pass. There is information on how to do this, including videos with details of the range of resources available, and the forms of identification you will need to provide, on the British Library website.

  • Public Libraries

    If you are a member of the public library service in Cumbria or Lancashire, as well as borrowing print books you can borrow ebooks and audio books free of charge through the secure Borrowbox service. 

    Students living in London who want to use libraries near the London campus can join one of the libraries in Tower Hamlets to borrow print and ebooks.

    Visit your local public library to join and start borrowing.

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