Guidelines for use - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Guidelines for use

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Private: About the Book Library

Guidelines for use

Guidelines for use

You can access your Library account online to renew loans, make reservations and monitor your account. Sign in via Aleph, our online catalogue.


BA, MA and Grad Dip students may borrow a maximum of seven books at any one time. In addition, two one-day loan books may be borrowed overnight. PHD students may borrow a maximum of ten books at one time, and in addition two one-day loans may be borrowed.

Standard loans are for one week: PhD and MPhil student loans are for three weeks. No loans may be made after 6.50pm. Some books are for reference only, but most may be borrowed by staff and students of the institute.

Visitors cannot borrow unless they have a valid SCONUL Access Band A card.


Please hand all materials borrowed directly to a member of staff at the issue desk.


You can renew your books yourself by signing in to Aleph, our online catalogue (instructions below). Otherwise, loans may be renewed either by phone (Tel +44 (0)20 3947 7630), e-mail (, or in person. Note that the telephone and email account is only monitored until 5pm.

Renewing items yourself via the Courtauld Library Catalogue:

Under ‘quicklinks’ at the top right of the page, follow the option to log in. Your barcode is the barcode number on your student card, your pin is your student ID.  If you need help speak to a member of staff.

From the Quicklinks menu select the Account details and then the “Currently borrowed” option

From the list of your loans click either on the number on the left hand side or the title of the book and then press the Renew button.

Note that it is not possible to renew any item that has been requested by another user.


Overdue notices will be emailed one day after a book becomes overdue. You should return overdue books immediately after you receive the first overdue letter.

Penalties: The library does not issue fines but failure to return or renew a book on time will result in the automatic suspension of all borrowing for the number of days that the book has been overdue plus one day (the day that the book is returned).

For example a student has 5 books out and returns three books 4 days late and two books 5 days late. He/she is automatically suspended from any library service for a total of 6 days (5 days that the books were overdue plus the day that the books were returned). The more a book is overdue the longer you are suspended from borrowing.

Renewal of books that have been recalled by other users is not allowed. Please return those books by their due date.

Some loan periods are extended over vacation. It is very important to make sure that your books are correctly renewed to take advantage of this. However if another user reserves the book you have on loan over the vacation, the system will automatically reduce the due date and you will receive an email with the new due date. Please contact the library immediately when you receive such an email.


Reserving books

Books on loan to other users may be reserved online via the library catalogue. Reference books, short loan books and books not on loan cannot be reserved on the computer.

To reserve an item which is on loan:

  • find it in the catalogue and display the Holdings/Location screen.
  • select a ‘one week’ status copy, and click the Request option on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • You will be prompted to enter your Barcode and PIN. (Ask at the issue desk)
  • If the item is of no use after a certain date, enter this date.

If you subsequently want to cancel a reservation (you are limited to 4 reservations at one time), you can do so by displaying the list of your reservations and selecting the Cancel option. See Checking your own record (below) for details.

When a book is reserved by another user, a recall notice is sent to the borrower, requesting the prompt return of the item by the due date at the latest.


If a book is reserved by another user, a recall notice is sent to the borrower, asking for the return of the item by the due date at the latest. Please return recalled items as quickly as possible.

Checking your own record

You need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to do access your own record. This is linked to the barcode number on your ticket and should be kept secret to protect your borrower record from unauthorised access. If you have forgotten your PIN please ask at the Issue Desk.

On the Courtauld Library Catalogue log in to ‘User options’ with your Barcode and PIN. You will then be able to:

  • check your personal details
  • Check your loans
  • renew your loans – as long as they have not been reserved by someone else
  • read any messages – that Library Staff may have left for you
  • place your own reservations – for items on loan to other users
  • cancel reservations – by displaying the list of your reservations and selecting the Cancel option.

Remember to click on Reset Session? to log out.

In-house loans

Reference books, periodicals and other material not normally loaned may be taken out of the library, with the Counter Librarian’s permission, for the following reasons:

  • For use in seminars/tutorials – To be returned by 6.45pm
  • To have slides made – To be returned within two weeks

Please take any material you wish to remove from the library as an in-house loan to the Counter Librarian. In-house loans are not to be taken out of the building and should be returned promptly to the issue desk.

N.B. This service is not available to visitors.

Short loan collections

Find out more about short loans

Closed Access Material (inaccessible until early February 2019)

Closed Access Material is normally indicated in the catalogue as “CABS” (Closed Access Book Store) or “Apply to Librarian”. It includes MA Reports, PhD Theses, Special Collections and Pamphlets. MAs and PhDs need to be ordered at least 48 hours in advance to allow for delivery. Forms are available in the Book Library, or via the dissertations and theses page.

To request C.A.B.S. material please complete the form, available from the counter, in advance of delivery times.

The Closed Access Material delivery times are as follows:

Term-time Vacations
  • 10.30
  • 14.30
  • 16.00
  • 11.00
  • 14.30
  • 16.00


Periodicals are not normally loaned except on an In-house loan.

Find out more about periodicals

Photocopying, scanning and printing

There are currently two self-service machines in Vernon Square Library. They are located in the IT helpdesk room (off the corridor leading to the Burgundy Room). These machines can be used to photocopy, scan or print, either in colour or black and white. They are operated from a swipe card: either your id card if you are a member of staff or a student at The Courtauld Institute of Art, or a card purchased from the Book Library Issue Desk (£1) if you are a visitor. Monochrome copies cost 5p for A4 and 10p for A3. Colour copies cost 20p for A4 and 40p for A3.


Please do not leave valuables unattended.

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