A line of 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 a LSE Library card with a barcode then you can borrow books.

All LSE staff, students and alumni can borrow books. Some students and staff from other UK academic institutions are able to borrow books.  

Members of the public are not able to borrow books.

Self-service machines

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

Overdue loans

It is essential that you return or renew books when they are due otherwise your account will be blocked.

Sign in to renew your books and check your account through Library Search.

We do not charge overdue fines.

Overdue requested books

You may be asked to return requested books before the original due date. If you do not then your account will be suspended.

Number of items you can borrow

The following table indicates borrowing allowances: 

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 students  20  20 20 
LSE PG students  30  30 30
LSE Staff, PhD & Associates  50  50 50 
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 Associates 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 Associates  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

How to request books out on loan

To ensure the fair circulation of material we have a process where you can request a book that is on loan.

To place a request on a book:

1. Search for the book.

2. Sign in to your LSE Library account.

3. Click the 'Request' options (only displays if all copies are on loan).

We will email you when the item is ready for you to collect from the Holds Shelf by the self-service machines on the ground floor. Normally this process takes 3 to 7 days. 

Renew your loans

Sign in to your LSE Library account with your LSE username and password. 

If you do not have a login then contact us by email so we can help. 

If any books have been have been requested by other users, you will not be able to renew anything until they are returned. Failure to comply will lead to your account being suspended.

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