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Welcome to Solent Library

A basic guide for new users to the library.

Borrowing Books

How many books can I borrow?  

Undergraduate students = 25 library items
Final year students = 25 library items
Postgraduate students = 25 library items
Academic, research and support staff = 25 library items

How do I borrow books?

You need your campus card to borrow books.  Use the self service machines in the Library to issue your books to your account.  The video below provides guidance. 

How do I renew books?

Your books will automatically renew for you.  So you don't need to renew them yourself unless:

  • Someone else has reserved the book - if so, the Library will email you and ask for the book to be returned as someone is waiting for it.
  • Your books have been renewed for an academic year - the library will email you and ask for the book to be returned (you can borrow them again straight away if you wish)

So keep an eye on your Solent email account!

Select the image below to watch a short video on how to return books using the self-service system.

Returning screen

Select the image below to watch a short video on how to access your library account using the self-service system.

My Account

Using the Library Catalogue

Search the Library Catalogue to find books and more for your studies.

The Library Catalogue will link you to thousands of ebooks (online books) that you can access away from campus at any time.  There are also thousands more print books available in the library.

You can also sign into your Library account via the Catalogue to keep an eye on books you have borrowed, reservations you have placed plus access lists of favourite titles you want to follow up.  

 Watch the videos below to find out how to access print books and ebooks and sign into your library account.

Searching for Books

Searching books

Select the 'Books' option to find a specific title search by author surname and one or two keywords from the title:

Library catalogue books search



Use the options in the right hand menu of your results list to limit your results to print and online books etc if needed.

To find books on a topic: search using a few, relevant topic keywords:

Library catalogue book search by subject


Browse results list and click on relevant titles (note that different editions or titles held in print and ebook format are grouped together under one top level link)

Book results screen

Find print books on the shelves by noting the floor location (e.g. 2C or 1A) and the shelf number (e.g. 160 COT - always note the first three letters of the author surname).  Click through to view the number of copies available and sign in to view full details:

Book results new catalogue search

Access ebooks

Access ebooks by limiting the results to 'Online resources'.  Click on the ebook title you want to access to link through to it.  If you need to login (on or off campus) you will need your university email address and password.


All copies of a book out on loan? 

Sign in to the Catalogue and then click on the link to 'Request' a copy.  We will email you when the book is then back in the Library and put it aside for you to pick up.

Searching the Library Catalogue

Solent library has an extensive collection of books, and over 30,000 are ebooks, to support students who are working from home or who just prefer this online format. This following video will show you how to search and find print and the online ebooks and how to access and use them.

Signing into your library account

You do not need to sign into the library's catalogue to find books, ebooks or journal articles, but you do if want to use some additional features.