The SCONUL Access scheme is currently suspended

The current position
We are sorry to say that the SCONUL Access Scheme remains suspended at present as requirements for social distancing make it unfeasible for many institutions to open their library to external visitors. Universities, including university libraries, are required to abide by the relevant government guidelines. We are keeping the situation under active review and will reopen the scheme as soon as it is practical to do so. At present we cannot process new applications or renew applications, and participating libraries are not accepting visitors from other libraries under the scheme.  We are afraid that no exceptions are possible to this rule.  

Next steps
We remain fully committed to opening up the scheme again as soon as it is safe and practical to do so, and we are keeping the situation under active review in conversation with participating institutions.  We will share details on this page when the scheme is reopening.


Help in the meantime
In the meantime, our member libraries are doing all they can to ensure that their own staff, researchers and students can access the books and journals they need during this difficult time, and scheme users wanting to use particular resources should speak to the library staff at their own institution who will be able to assist.  Those wishing to access archives and special collections should do the same – staff at their home library will be able to provide advice and support on routes to access.


SCONUL Access is a scheme which allows many university library users to study spaces or books and journals at other libraries which belong to the scheme. Some library users may be able to borrow print books from other libraries too.

To find out more about the scheme, who is eligible, and how it works, explore the links on the left-hand side of the screen.

To apply for SCONUL Access: 

  • First, complete the two steps below and click ‘Find’
  • Select the library you wish to use. Note: once your application has been approved, you can use any of the libraries on this list. You need not reapply for each library.
  • Click 'Apply for Access' and complete the form.

Your application will be processed by your home institution library. Waiting times vary; for more information, contact your home institution. Once your application is processed, you will receive an approval email with further details on how to take part in the scheme.