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UHI Orkney Library

Sconul Access Scheme


The university is a member of the SCONUL Access scheme, a co-operative scheme which supports the learning resource needs of distance learning, part-time and placement students, along with academic and support staff, in the UK. 

As a student or staff member you can access other libraries within the scheme.

  • To join, visit
  • Complete Step #1 by selecting what kind of user you are and Step #2 by selecting the name of your institution and click on find
  • You will then see a map of libraries you can apply to
  • Click on the red marker on the map of the chosen institution and click on apply for access
  • Complete the online library access application form and submit
  • You will then receive an email to confirm your application has been sent*
  • Once your application has been approved you will receive an email which you must print off and take with you to the institution along with your home university library or ID card.

The borrowing arrangements, for example the number of books you may borrow, is at the discretion of each individual university. There may be some restrictions on the types of materials you can borrow, such as books in high demand at that particular institute.  You should also appreciate that local libraries, even academic ones, may not stock books or journals relevant to your area of study.

Note that licensing agreements usually restrict access to electronic resources to staff and students enrolled in that particular university or college.

Be prepared to abide by the rules of the library you wish to use. You will be responsible for any fines or replacement costs incurred.

Should you have any queries please contact your academic partner library for details.

*If there is a problem with your application, we will email you.

Using other libraries

National Library of Scotland (NLS) and the British Library

The National Library of Scotland, the largest library in Scotland, has a collection of over 6 million items. As a 'legal deposit' library it can claim a single copy of every publication produced in the UK. NLS is however a reference library so its stock is not available for loan. The Library also provides access to a number of useful electronic resources.

Accessing NLS

Make sure you read the advice about what forms of identification NLS will accept on your first visit on the relevant pages above.

The British Library

If the resource you require is not in stock at a university partner library, please enquire about a British Library loan.  Books can be borrowed for 6 weeks, with an automatic extension.  This service is free to you along with the first renewal, but if you require more than one extension you will have to pay the BL renewal fee (£5.35 per item).  The British Library can also supply copies of journal articles if the item you are looking for is not available via the university's journal subscriptions.