Your library card

Your Imperial ID card is also your library card

Use your Imperial username and password to sign in to your library account, access online resources and request items
Search for books and articles
Once you have received your Imperial ID card, you can borrow books and other items.
To find a book on the shelf:

  • search for the title using Library Search
  • note the floor number or "Level" and the shelf mark e.g. 333.91 FEL
  • visit the level indicated where the books will be in numerical order
  • look for the number followed by the letters to locate the one you need
If a book is at another campus library, sign in to Library Search to request it and it will be sent to the library you choose, see Requesting a book.

Our online collections: the library is bigger than it looks

Although we have a large number of books, most of our collection is online. This means we are well-equipped to help you if you are studying on or off campus. 
Once you've activated your Imperial computer account you will be able to use our collection of over 430,000 e-books, e-journals and databases. Our e-journals give you access to millions of articles. 
Search for what interests you and click on the results that show "Online access". Then sign in with your Imperial username and password.

Recreational reading

As well as books and resources for your course, we support you with our fiction and recreational reading collections.

You can find most of these items on display on levels 1 and 5 at Abdus Salam Library, as well as at the campus libraries, and as e-books and audiobooks. You can use the Libby app from Overdrive to download some e-books and audiobooks to your phone or tablet.

Borrowing books

Take the book to a self-service machine and use your Imperial ID card to borrow it - at the Abdus Salam Library they are on level 1.

Alternatively, take it to a member of staff at any of our service points.

You can borrow up to 40 items, they'll be issued for 1 week (3 weeks for research postgraduates) and we'll renew them automatically for you.

If someone requests a book you have on loan, we'll ask you to return it and there will be a fine if you're late (50p per day).

If you can't find the book on the shelf check Library Search - someone else might have it.

Look for information like "checked out" or "on loan until".

To get hold of it you need to Request it. Sign in to Library Search to see the Request link.

If we do not have the book in stock you can ask for it to be borrowed from another library using Document Delivery or suggest that we purchase it.

If we don't have the book you need, you can:


These services are free!

Each week we'll send you an email telling you which books you have on loan.

Look out for other emails from Library Services - they will tell you when a book is overdue for return or if someone else has requested it.

You can also see all the books you have by signing in to your account on Library Search.

Your books will renew automatically for up to a year unless they are requested by another library user.

After a year we will ask you to bring the books back.

Look out for emails from Library Services, this is how we'll contact you if the book is requested or has been on loan to you for a year.