Welcome to the University of Leeds Libraries. We want to support you in your learning and this guide gives you the essentials to start using the Library.

Welcome Continued...

Our libraries

The Library has four main buildings on campus, with a study space to suit everyone. Find out about all of our library buildings on our website.

Your student card

Your student card is essential for using the Libraries. It lets you in to and out of Library buildings and contains your University username, which you'll need to access electronic books and journals.

Reading lists

Most of your modules at Leeds will have reading lists to help you to find out more about your subject. Some lists might be short, with less than five books or journal articles to read; others might be longer and split into sections. Your tutors will give you advice about what to read and when.

Finding your reading list

Screenshot of reading list item in a module menu

To find your reading list, log into Minerva, select the relevant module from your list and click to open it. Look for the Reading List item in the left hand menu.

Reading lists

Top tips

  • You may need to use all four libraries at Leeds to borrow books.
  • Many books are available online.
  • Sometimes you will be asked to read just one chapter from a book. This may be available online in your module reading list area.
  • Most of the journal articles that you will need to read are provided online by the Library, rather than as a physical copy. You can find them with links from your reading list, or by using Library Search.

Find out about Library Search in the next section of this guide.

Library Search

Your reading list is a good place to start, but you will be expected to read more widely too.

Use Library Search to search for information on your topic, and to find books, journal articles and other materials in the Library. Leeds University Library has a huge range of online resources available to you as a student. Guidance on using the online library catalogue and finding resources is available on the Library website.

Using Library Search                

Go beyond Library Search

Every subject studied at Leeds has its own webpage dedicated to helping you to find information sources and subject specific databases for your discipline.

Screenshot of Library website, showing links to subject-specific resources

Go Beyond Library Search

Special Collections

The Library's Special Collections are housed in the Brotherton Library, and are open to all visitors. Students will need to book to visit.

Special Collections has nearly 200,000 rare books and hundreds of thousands of manuscripts, ranging from illuminated medieval manuscripts to business archives to modern poetry archives. Digitised parts of the collection are available online.

To find out more, and to search for material that might interest you, have a look at the Special Collections website.

Finding material

Library Search will give you all the information that you need to find material on the shelves in the Library or online. Most of the journal articles that you'll need to read will be available online; just follow the links from Library Search.

Finding your books                

Finding your journal articles

Borrowing books

You can use our self-issue machines to borrow and return books. You will need your student card! There are instructions on screen but please ask Library staff if you need help.

To find out how many items you can borrow and for how long, and for more details about using the self-issue machines, see our website.

Requesting Books

Sometimes the books you need may be on loan to another student. If this happens, you can use the request a book system. Once you reach the front of the queue for a particular book, you will generally be able to borrow it within a week. To encourage students to return them, fines are charged on recalled books that are overdue.

Requesting a book

If all copies of the book you need have been borrowed, you will notice a green "Request" box on the catalogue record. Click this box to recall the book.

Screenshot of the Library website, showing the 'Request' link on a book record

The person who has borrowed the book will be sent an email asking them to bring it back. You will receive an email to your University email account once the book is available.

Requesting a book

...And finally!

  1. If a book is on loan, you need to request it. If you don't, it may be a long time before the book comes back into the library as the borrower can keep it as long as they want
  2. The longest that you should have to wait for a recalled book is 7 days. All library users are asked return books that have been recalled within 7 days.
  3. Fines are charged on overdue items that have been recalled, to encourage you to return them on time. Fines are also charged on 1 day loans. To find out more about fines see our website.
  4. Don't forget that books you borrow can also be recalled by other students.

Managing Your Library Account

Your library account is where you can view details of the items you have borrowed and any requests you have placed.

Managing Your Library Account

Viewing your account

You can check your library account online. The easiest way to do this is through Minerva. From the My Leeds homepage, scroll down to the Library section and click on My Library account to see details of your account.

Screenshot of the Library section of My Leeds on Minerva

Managing your library account

Viewing your account continued...

This is what your account looks like when you have logged in.

Screenshot of a user's Library account webpage

Managing your library account

Key features

  1. Loans: Which books have you borrowed, when are they due back, and has another customer requested them?
  2. Requests: If you have requested any items, they will appear in this list. The Library will email you when they are available to collect.
  3. Fines + Fees: Any fines that you owe will be displayed here. You can pay these online or in any library. Fines are generally only charged on overdue books that another customer has requested, the only exception being 1 day loans; you will be fined if you return these after the due date. Avoid fines by checking your account regularly.

Study spaces

The Librares have a great selection of spaces where you can get down to work.

Whether you need somewhere quiet to work alone, a place to work with friends, or even a bookable room to focus on group work, the Library has somewhere for you.

All libraries on campus have computers, printers, photocopiers and staff to help you. Visit the locations and hours webpages to learn more.

If you're looking for other places to study across campus, try our Spacefinder web app.

Looking after our study spaces                

  1. Keep your belongings safe, within sight. Don't leave them
    unattended when you go for breaks.
  2. Leave your workspace clean and tidy when you leave.
  3. Only drinks with lids are allowed within the libraries.
  4. Eating isn't allowed in any of the libraries.
  5. Let staff know if you have any problems with the facilities.
    We're here to help.

Study spaces

Our partnership

The Library has developed a partnership that sets out what we can all expect from each other. We value your feedback, so please let us know if any of these expectations are not being met. Find out more about the Library Partnership on our website.


Skills@Library is a service that supports you in developing your academic skills. You can talk to a learning advisor, attend one of our workshops or webinars or find advice online.

For training to help you develop your IT skills, see the IT website.



Skills@Library run workshops and webinars throughout the year on lots of different topics, including:

  • Planning and structuring your essays
  • Critical thinking
  • Speaking in public
  • Revising for exams

To see our full list of workshops and to find out how to book, have a look at the workshops page on our website.


One-to-one Appointments

Want to speak to a Learning Advisor individually? We can help you develop your academic skills and provide guidance on topics such as academic writing, reading and finding information. For more information, and to find out how to book an appointment, see the one-to-one support page on our website.

Student feedback:

    "Thank you so much for the meeting; it really helped me and put my mind at ease."

    "I feel much more motivated and confident to just start writing now."

    "Thanks for your help! The exam really went well. I was so happy as that was what I was struggling with."


Skills collection

You can also find a fantastic collection of books on developing your academic skills in the Skills Zone. Look out for our book reviews on the shelves.

Your library

Thank you for using Library Quickstart. For more information about your library, please visit our website.

Please leave feedback about Library Quickstart by using the form on the next slide.