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Getting started with the Library: Home

Everything you need to know about using the Library

Getting started

Your University ID card is also the card that you need to use to access and use  resources at our libraries.  You are required to keep this card on you at all times when on campus. 

The 10 digit number above the barcode is your library borrower number which you will need for many library services.

If you have an associate ID card you may be required to register for a barcode first at the library Help Desk. You will need to provide a letter from your faculty/department stating your contract end date.

You will need your four digit library PIN to borrow items using the self service machines, and renew/reserve items online. Your PIN is emailed to your university email address when your card is printed.

If you have forgotten your PIN, you can reset this on the library catalogue or ask at the library Help Desk.

More information.

You can use the Library Help page to chat to us 24/7 or send us an email.

Curzon Library

The Curzon Building, 4 Cardigan Street,Birmingham, B4 7BD 

0121 331 5282 

Kenrick Library

Franchise Street, Perry Barr, Birmingham, B42 2SU

0121 331 5281

Mary Seacole Library

Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3TN

0121 331 7071

School of Art

Margaret Street, Birmingham B3 3BX 

0121 331 5977

School of Jewellery

Vittoria Street, Birmingham, B1 3PA

0121 331 6470


If you have a complaint, comment or suggestion, please use the email form above or complete this form on iCity.

Subject guides are curated by subject specialists from the Learning & Teaching and Collection Management librarians.

They include lists of key databases, a dedicated Summon subject search box, and important websites.


Subject guides

Your reading list is a list of items which your lecturer considers important for your module. They are usually divided into:

  • Purchase
  • Essential
  • Recommended
  • Background

You can search for a list by module code/name or by tutor.

Reading Lists Online

You can book private or group study rooms using our online bookings system.

Rooms are available at Curzon and Kenrick Libraries. You can book up to 2 hours at a time, with a limit of 4 occasions in 21 days. There are 5 first-come-first-served rooms available at Mary Seacole Library.

More information available here.       


Room bookings website.


Disabled students who have been given permission to use the disability study room at Curzon Library will need to book this at the library Help Desk. This room can be booked for 4 hours in one day.

Staff and students can borrow up to 20 items.

Loan periods:

  • Normal loans (4 weeks students/10 weeks staff)
  • Two week loans
  • One week loans
  • Day loans (kept in the High Demand Room C003 in Curzon)
  • High Demand items (Curzon Library only - 4 hours)

All items except day loans/High Demand items can be renewed via the red iCity tile if they have not been reserved by somebody else.


More information.

Late returns/renewals

We charge fines for overdue items:

  • Normals loans 10p per day
  • Two week loans 40p per day
  • One week/day loans 75p per day
  • High Demand items 75p per hour or part hour

Charges apply throughout the year including vacations and placements. A maximum charge of £10 can be incurred per transaction.  In this instance a transaction relates to every late renewal or late return of an item.  Accumulated charges can exceed £10 on each item.  You will temporarily lose your borrowing rights if items are not returned after 28 days.

You can pay fines at the library Help Desk, on the iCity red tile (£5 or above) or on the self service machines (£1 or above).

Non-returned/lost/damaged items

In the following cases we will request that an item is either replaced* or the replacement cost is paid for in full:

  • The item is 28 days past its return date
  • The item has been lost
  • The item is damaged beyond repair
  • The item is returned with a part missing, e.g. book without a disc.

If a request for payment is not acted-upon then it may become a University debt and be passed onto the Finance Department which may result in legal proceedings.

*  If you supply a replacement copy and the original is later found then the replacement copy of the item will be returned to you.

Inter-library loan and journal requests

You may be able to renew an inter-library loan at a cost of £4.50.

External borrowing schemes

Please see this page for details regarding external borrowing scheme charges.


Finding Resources

The Library has a large range of print and eBook titles to meet your needs. Print books can be a great place to start your research, but remember that demand can be high, so you'll need to plan in advance.

eBooks are a quick and easy way to access material. They are available on or off campus and can be used 24 hours a day. If you own a tablet device, these books can be viewed easily wherever you have a connection to the internet. These titles also allow limited printing.

You can access our print and eBook collections through the Library Catalogue or on Summon.


Help guides

Finding a book on the shelf - a guide to Dewey [pdf]

Accessing MyiLibrary e-books [pdf]

Downloading DawsonEra e-books [pdf]

Finding your way around an e-book [video]

Creating a MyiLibrary account [video]

There are a number of ways to find out if we have a journal article:

1. Search SummonThis search engine will look across a number of our journal holdings, plus the library catalogue. If you are logged into iCity, it will tell you if we have the Full Text or if the article is Citation Only (the abstract).

2. Search individual databasesYour subject guide (see the tab above) will have a list of recommended ones.

3. Check the catalogue to see if we have the journal title in hard copy or online.

4. Check the A-Z of eJournals to see if we have the journal title online.



To get the best out of searching, we recommend that staff and students log into iCity. This is the only way of ensuring you can access the full range of resources that the library subscribes to.

What if I haven't got access to the full text?

We have created an in-depth guide which lists a number of resources:

  • Financial information
  • Market research
  • Statistics
  • Stocks and shares

Company information guide









The Digital Library is where we hold exam papers, dissertations, and particular scanned copies of articles and book chapters that your lecturers have asked us to upload.

You will need to use your borrower number and library PIN (see tabs above) to log in and search.

Digital Library



We're running tours of Curzon Library on the following dates. No need to book, just turn up and meet by the Library help desk.

Monday 18th - Friday 22nd September 2017 (except Wednesday 20th) - 11.15am, 1.15pm, 3.15pm

Monday 25th - Friday 29th September 2017 - 11.15am, 1.15pm, 3.15pm

Wednesday 20th September - Welcome Fair - no tours