Books on a shelf

Borrow, renew and request books

How to borrow, renew and what to do when books aren't available.

Borrowing books

If you have an access card with a barcode then you can borrow books.

All LSE staff, students and alumni can borrow books. We do not offer lending services to members of the public.

Self-service machines

Books should be borrowed and returned at the self-service machines. Follow the on-screen instructions or ask a member staff if you would like assistance.

Overdue loans

We do not charge overdue fines. However, your account will be blocked until overdue material is returned or renewed. Login to renew your books and check your account through Library Search.

It is essential that you return books that have been requested by other readers. You will not be able to renew items that are required by others.  

Number of items you can borrow

The following table indicates the borrowing allowance for each user group:

A table to show how many books each user type's borrowing allowance. The first row indicates the user type and the second column onwards indicates the collection the material is from and ends with a total number of items column. Where each column and row intersects you will get the of particular items and user type.
  Main Collection Course Collection Total
LSE UG and PG students  20  20 20 
LSE Staff, PhD and Associate staff  40  40 40 
LSE Alumni  4  0  4
SCONUL A borrowers  4  0  4
SOAS staff and PG students  4  0  4

Duration of loans

Everyone eligible for borrowing can borrow Main Collection books for 90 days, unless we ask you to return them earlier.

LSE students can borrow Course Collection books for 3 days. LSE staff, PhD and Associate staff can borrow them for 7 days.

The first column indicates the user type. The second and third column represent the collection type. Where they intersect you will find out the number of days which each group can borrow each type of material for.
  Main Collection Course Collection
 LSE UG and PG students  90 days  3 days
 LSE Staff, PhD and Associate staff  90 days  7 days
 LSE Alumni  90 days  n/a
 SCONUL A borrowers  90 days  n/a
 SOAS staff and PG students  90 days  n/a

Request books out on loan 

Books are shared across all readers and our teaching collections can be in high demand. To ensure the fair circulation of material we have a process where you can request a book that is on loan to another reader.

When a book you have searched for is on loan it will show on Library Search as: 

Checked out from LSE Library [collection, classmark] 

To place a request on the book:

1. Sign in to your Library account.

2. Click the Locations tab.

3. Select the Request option (only visible when signed in).

4. Fill in any relevant information in the form.

5. Submit your Request.

We will email you when the item is ready for you to collect. Normally this process takes 3 to 7 days. Requests can be placed on any borrowable items - Main Collection and Course Collection books - that are on loan. 

Renew your loans

Log in to your LSE Library account regularly to check the due dates and renew your books.

LSE staff and students: Sign in to your account with your LSE username and password. 

Alumni and visitors with borrowing: contact us by email or phone us on 020 7955 7229 to renew your loans.

You will see the list of books that you have borrowed. Select Renew All or Renew Selected

If any books have been have been requested by other users, you will not be able to renew them and they will need to be returned by the due date. 

Request material not at LSE - Interlending

LSE staff and students: if we do not have material you need for your research, you can request it through Interlending services.

Request material not at LSE - Recommendations 

We welcome recommendations for material to be added to our collections. Find out more about making recommendations for material to be purchased