SCONUL (Society for College, University and National Libraries) Access is a cooperative scheme between higher education libraries in the UK and Ireland. It enables library users from participating institutions to use other higher education libraries in the scheme.

Borrowing privileges are available for:

  • University staff and researchers
  • Full and part time postgraduates
  • Undergraduates on placement
  • Undergraduates on part time or distance learning programmes.

Full time undergraduates (not on placement nor on a distance learning programme) can apply to join the scheme as reference-only members but are not eligible to borrow.

SCONUL Access membership will normally exclude use of computer-based information services.

BU students and staff

To join the scheme, please register online at the SCONUL website:

  • Go to
  • Click on the 'sconul access' tab OR on the "Get Access" link
  • Complete the form online including selecting the institution you wish to visit and click "Submit".

You will receive an email receipt showing your application as "pending".

If approved, your final confirmation will be sent to you by email. (Your application might be turned down if you have overdue books or unpaid fines.)

Print your confirmation email and take it to the library you wish to "join", together with your BU ID card.

We strongly recommend that before you visit another library in the scheme, you refer to its website to check opening times and any visiting restrictions or special conditions. E.g. you may need to take a passport size photo.

Students/staff from other universities:

  • Register online for the scheme at
  • Print the confirmation email from your own institution
  • Check our external membership information on our Guest and visitor information pages,¬†and our opening hours
  • Bring your printed confirmation email and your ID card from your home institution on your first visit to us.