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Coronavirus: changes to library services

Update - May 2021

Book renewals

During this academic year, the library service has been automatically extending the due dates on print books as library users have been unable to return them to their campuses. As we approach the end of the academic year we are now encouraging users to start returning the books they no longer require or renew them online or via email as they would have done pre-Covid.

Rest assured the library will be sympathetic about any long-term overdues and would like to remind users that none of the campuses charge late fees.

If you have books due before December 1st 2020, please contact your partner library as these have not been automatically extended.

You can check the due dates of your items in the library My Account area.

Access to Print Books

As access to the UHI libraries vary according to local circumstances and restrictions, please check the Book borrowing and study spaces guide for the latest information at your academic partner. Click and Collect is still possible at some academic partners; please use the relevant request form for your home library and a member of the library staff will be in touch to arrange a time for collection.

Print books provided in this way will have been quarantined for 72 hours since their last use.


Books located at other libraries within the University of the Highlands and Islands

This service is generally operational, though it may take slightly longer than usual at the moment to send books between campuses. Please speak to your local library if you wish to make a request, or use the appropriate Click and Collect or Postal Request form.


Books you have out on loan

Book dropoff is still available at some campuses. The latest details are available in the Book borrowing and study spaces guide. If you wish to return your books by post, you can return them free of charge by sending them to:


Please note that Lews Castle and Inverness have separate Freepost addresses which can be found in the Book borrowing and study spaces guide.

There is no need to worry about late return fines - these are no longer in force. Any library fines accrued since December 1st 2019 will be waived and no new fines will accumulate. Please note that as of the 18th March 2020 no university partnership library will being be charging late fees, even after the Coronavirus crisis has passed.

Some of our libraries have book return boxes at the entrance to the building, some allow books to be returned to the library itself and some require you to post them back (often with Freepost label) or make an appointment to return. Full details can be found on the Your Local Library page.

It may take longer than usual for the books to come off your account, as we quarantine all returned items for 72 hours.


Help from a Librarian

Need a quick question answered, or detailed help in finding resources for a research project? The librarians are here to help:

  • We are delighted to announce that we now have a Library Live Chat service. It is currently available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. You will get through to a duty librarian who will either answer your query straight away or pass it on to the correct person to deal with it.
  • Contact your Librarian by email - see the Your Local Library page for contact details.
  • Arrange a video appointment with your local librarian using video conferencing technology - contact your librarian by email to arrange this - see the Your Local Library page for contact details
  • The libguides homepage has further guides on electronic resources, ebooks, referencing and much more. You can also open a ticket on the Servicedesk and your query or problem will be directed to the relevant member of the team.


Access to electronic resources
  • We continue to purchase electronic versions of Core and Recommended reading wherever possible. Our module reading list software includes a huge number of items that are available electronically. Within your list, look for the 'view online' button. 
  •  Multisearch: on searching, remember to tick checkbox options like 'full text' or 'online' to view materials that are available electronically. This will remove print materials from search results.
  • Our A-Z Online Collections list continues to offer a huge range of online resources and collections.

 The libguides homepage has further guides on electronic resources, ebooks, referencing and much more.