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

  • For current UNSW students and staff, your UNSW ID card is your library card to borrow items, access after hours study space and use other Library resources and facilities.
  • For all other clients, membership options are available. Before you apply, consider which membership option provides the borrowing and online resource access that you need.
  • Students and staff from UNSW Canberra see Academy Library - Borrowing information.


Borrowing and online resource access rights vary according to your membership type. Find out what you can borrow and your online resource access rights.

Online resource access

  • Current UNSW students and staff - see Access to online resources.
  • Affiliated staff, visiting academics and NIDA staff and students - contact UNSW IT to set up off-campus access.
  • UNSW alumni - log into the Alumni portal for off-campus access or apply for a membership to access more resources for use on site inside the Library only.
  • All other clients - access online resources using Library desktop computers with a valid membership.


Requests are available to current UNSW student and staff, and NIDA UNSW Library members only.

  • Request items on loan to another client, in Library Storage, in Paddington Storage, or at another UNSW campus library.
  • Current UNSW students and staff can request items not held in the collections at UNSW Library - see Interlibrary loans.


Steps to request a Library item

  1. Sign in to myLibrary and search the Library collection.
  2. Select the item record and navigate to the Get It section.
  3. Select Request then select the Pickup location.
  4. Select Request to confirm.
  5. You can check the status of your request in myLibrary at any time.

Pickup options

  • Items on loan - request for collection at the same Library or another UNSW campus library.
  • Items currently on the shelf - request for pick up at another UNSW campus library.
  • Items in Library Storage or Paddington Storage - request for collection at the same Library or another UNSW campus library.
  • Off-campus borrowers can request home delivery.

Item availability

  • If an item is on loan or if there are multiple requests, you request is placed in a queue.

  • You will be notified by email when items are ready for collection.

Pickup location

Collect from the location you nominated in your request:

  • Main, Law and Paddington Library - from the Reservation shelf in the High Use Collection room.
  • Main Library In Library Use Only items - ask during Help Zone staff hours.
  • UNSW Canberra, Academy Library - ask during Service Desk staff hours.

Hold period

Collect items within the hold period:

  • Standard loan items - five days
  • High demand items - two days
  • Paddington storage journals - three days.

After this period, items are returned to the shelf or placed on hold for the next client in the queue.


You can renew most UNSW Library items before the due date.

Maximum renewal period

  • Up to 16 weeks for standard four-week loans.
  • Up to 24 months for standard six-month loans (UNSW staff, postgraduate and honours students).
  • Up to 14 days for 7 day loan course resources (up to 21 days for off-campus borrowers).
  • Other items - contact us or visit during Help Zone staff hours.

How to renew an item

Loans for current UNSW students and staff will automatically renew seven days before the due date, if they meet the renewal criteria.

To renew an item before its due date, you can:

Renewable loans

An item may be renewed if:

  • it has not been recalled or requested by another client
  • you have no outstanding fines
  • the item is not a laptop, journal, UNSW thesis, DVD, equipment or 4 hour loan
  • the Interlibrary loans (ILL) book strap indicates item is renewable.

Non-renewable loans

An item cannot be renewed if:

  • it is overdue - you will need to return the item to restore borrowing privileges
  • it has a lost or claimed return status
  • your loan has reached the maximum loan renewal period
  • you have another overdue item on loan
  • you have blocks on your account or $20 or more in Library fines
  • your Library account has expired or will expire soon.


An item becomes recalled if it is requested by another client. The due date of an item on loan to you may change.

  • You will receive a notification if the due date has changed - check myLibrary regularly for changes.
  • To avoid fines, return the item by the due date.
  • For information related to items not from UNSW, see Interlibrary loans.

Recall notifications:

  • Notifications for current UNSW students and staff are sent to your official UNSW email account.
  • Notifications for other Library members are sent to the email address nominated on your application form.
  • Check myLibrary regularly for changes to due dates.


Returning items

Remember to return UNSW Library and interlibrary loan items. Items that are not returned will incur a fine.

  • Return items before the due date or your UNSW account or membership expires.
  • If you are a staff member or student leaving UNSW, remember to return all UNSW Library books and interlibrary loans.
  • To ensure you are eligible to graduate, remember to return all items and pay any outstanding Library fines.

There may be a delay before items are removed from your record. No fines will be incurred during this delay.

Please do not return books with mould to any UNSW Library. Speak to our Library staff in person at the Help Zone or submit an Ask a question form.

Items you can return at any UNSW Library:

Items you must return at the originating Library:

  • 7 day loan course resource - via return chutes
  • Laptops - via the same self-service loan lockers.
  • High Use Collection (HUC) items - during opening hours, use the self-check machine and place on the adjacent trolley or table in the HUC room.
  • Accessories, valuable items and anatomical models - at the Help Zone during staff hours.

Return chute locations

Return locations are inside the Library during opening hours.

Library Return locations - During opening hours
Main Library, Kensington Inside the Main Library entrance
After hours return chute (Back of the Library near Tutorial rooms 176A & 176B)
Law Library, Kensington Help Zone
After hours return chute (Back of the Library, Union Road)
UNSW Paddington Library, Paddington Help Zone

 External return chutes are available 24/7.

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

Library Return location - 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

Book return postal address

You may return standard loan items, interlibrary loans and requested and recalled items by post.

Ensure you allow enough time for delivery to the Library by the due date.

Book Return
UNSW Library
Sydney NSW 2052 Australia

Have more questions?