New memberships are currently closed.

For UNSW staff and students, your UNSW ID card is your library card. There are various membership options available for all other clients to borrow Library items and access online resources. Fill out the online Library membership form to apply for a library card.

As a Library member, you agree to the conditions of borrowing and understand your responsibilities when using your UNSW Library card.


Borrowing rights vary according to your membership type. Find out what you can borrow from UNSW Library.



You can request an item that is on loan to someone else, in Library Storage or at another UNSW campus library. This includes Main Library, Law Library, UNSW Paddington Library and UNSW Canberra Academy Library. Items currently on the shelf cannot be requested for collection at the same Library location or campus. However, items out on loan can be requested for collection at the same Library location or another campus. Items in Library Storage can be requested for collection at any Library location.

Requests are available to UNSW staff and students. Requests are not available for clients with ULANZ, Alumni, community or Schools Partnership membership.

Staff, postgraduate and honours students can also request an item not held in the collections at UNSW Library (Sydney) and Academy Library (Canberra). For more information see Interlibrary loans.

UNSW Library may cancel your request(s) if:

  • you have placed a hold on more than one copy of the same item (note: only one copy of the item will be supplied to you)
  • you currently have the item on loan and have requested another copy of the same item
  • you have lost your borrowing privileges due to overdue items or incurred fines

If your feel your request has been unfairly cancelled, please contact us by submitting an Ask a question form.

How do I request a Library item?

  • Sign in to myLibrary
  • Search the Library collection to find the item
  • Select the item record and navigate to the Get It section
  • Select Request then select the Pickup Location
  • Select REQUEST to confirm
  • You can check the status of your request in myLibrary at any time

When will my requested item be available for collection?

  • If the item is currently on loan or if there are multiple requests on an item, you will be placed in a queue - items with multiple requests have a loan period of three days
  • You will be notified by email when the item is ready to be collected
  • Collect the item from the UNSW Library location you nominated in your request:
    • Main & Law Library - from the Reservation shelf in the High Use Collection (HUC) room
    • UNSW Paddington Library - by asking staff at the Help Zone
    • UNSW Canberra, Academy Library - by asking staff at the Service Desk
  • You will need to collect the item within the hold period before it is returned to the shelf or is placed on hold for the next client in the queue
    • Standard loan items - 5 days
    • High demand items - 2 days



Loans can be renewed for up to 16 weeks, unless they are recalled. For UNSW staff members and postgraduate students, loans can be renewed for up to 24 months, unless recalled.

An item can be renewed if:

  • it has not been requested by another client
  • you have no outstanding fines

An item cannot be renewed if:

  • it is overdue (you will need to return the item to restore borrowing privileges)
  • you have other overdue item(s) on loan
  • the ILL book strap indicates item is not renewable (see Interlibrary loans)

Note: If you return overdue items outside of staffed hours, you may not be able to borrow again until the next working day

To renew an item:

Automatic Loan Renewal

If you are an undergraduate student, postgraduate student or UNSW staff, your loans will be automatically renewed 7 days before their due date provided they meet automatic loan renewal criteria.

Your loans will not qualify for automatic renewal if:

  • Your loan is an interlibrary loan, UNSW thesis, DVD, equipment, short loan or valuable item
  • Your loan has been recalled, is overdue, has a lost or claimed returned status
  • Your loan has reached the maximum loan renewal duration
  • You have blocks on your account or Library fines over $19
  • Your Library account will expire soon



The due date of an item on loan to you may change if the item is requested by someone else. You will receive a notification that the due date has changed. You will be asked to return the item to the Library within 7 days. For specific information related to items not from UNSW see Interlibrary loans.

Loan periods change to three days when an item is requested by more than one client. Fines apply for late return of recalled items. Check myLibrary regularly for changes to due dates.

Notifications for UNSW students and staff are sent to your official UNSW email account. Notifications for non-UNSW clients are sent to the email address nominated on your application form.



Due to COVID-19:

  • Please return high demand items to the return chutes at the same Library from which they were borrowed.
  • Please return all High Use Collection (HUC) items using the self-check machine at the same HUC location at the Library from which they were borrowed.
  • Please return all interlibrary loans through the return chutes or by post.
  • There will be a delay of at least 24 hours before books are removed from your record.

Return all standard loan items, including requested and recalled items, in person using the return chutes at the following Library locations.

Return chutes

Library return chutes located inside the Law Library are unavailable. External return chutes at all Library locations remain open 24hrs a day.

During opening hours
Main Library, Kensington Inside the Main Library entrance
An additional after hours return chute at the back of the Library near Tutorial rooms 176A & 176B
Law Library, Kensington Back of the Library, Union Road
UNSW Paddington Library, Paddington Help Zone


External / After hours
Main Library, Kensington Back of the Library near Tutorial rooms 176A & 176B
Law Library, Kensington Back of the Library, Union Road
UNSW Paddington Library, Paddington Near Gate 1 on Greens Road

Returning by post

You may also return items by post to the address below. Ensure you allow enough time for delivery to the Library by your due date.

Book Return
UNSW Library
Sydney NSW 2052 Australia

High Use Collection items

High Use Collection items must be returned during opening hours. At the Main Library and Law Library, use the self-check machines in the High Use Collection room from where the item was borrowed. At UNSW Paddington Library, use the self-check machine at the Help Zone.

For more information see High Use Collection.


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