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Distance Learners: Visiting other Universities' Libraries

Closure of the SCONUL scheme

The SCONUL access scheme is currently closed to new and existing users because of the COVID-19 restrictions, meaning that academic libraries have reduced study capacity in their buildings.  Universities are understandably prioritising access to study spaces for their own staff and students at this time.  It's likely to be into 2021 before the scheme re-opens to new applicants and existing members are able to access other universities' libraries again.

The SCONUL Scheme

SCONUL is a reciprocal scheme between university libraries around the country. It was originally set up to give Distance Learners access to other university libraries closer to home, but has now been extended to encompass academic staff, researchers and all groups of university students. Members are given different SCONUL bands, according to whether they're staff or students, full or part time etc. Some universities only allow access for specific SCONUL bands, and only certain SCONUL Bands are able to borrow items.

When you register to join the SCONUL scheme, you will be shown a list of universities which will allow your Band of SCONUL users to access, so you can be sure whether you're able to access a specific university. To register to join SCONUL, please click here.

When you have received your registration e-mail, you should retain the electronic copy of the e-mail, and print out a copy to take to each university you want to join. The university library will keep the printed copy of your e-mail. 

Please be aware that a few University Libraries, such as those within the University Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, are not members of the SCONUL scheme. The SCONUL website does list the university libraries which you can access.

Visiting other Universities' Libraries

Photograph © Utah State Library

Accessing IT in other Universities' Libraries

Many universities offer IT access for students from other institutions when they bring their own laptops with them. This is done under the auspices of Eduroam.

If you have registered a mobile device, such as your laptop or iPhone on campus at DMU, you will be able to use the same interface, username and password on the campuses of other universities who operate the Eduroam scheme. If you will be registering your device for the first time when you go to another university, see here for instructions to register as a De Montfort University student. Although you'll be using a laptop or other device on another university's campus, you will be doing so via the DMU network, remotely, so will register with, and then log onto, our network via Eduroam.