About the Library

The University of Glasgow Library is one of the most important and widely used facilities on campus.  Central to the student experience at Glasgow, and important to the wider community, it aims to provide exceptional services and resources.

In order to enhance its excellent work, the Library Fund has been set up to allow funds to be directed to the priority areas, and in particular those demanding expertise and resourcing beyond the capacity of core funded operations.

Our current priority is the Library Foyer Redevelopment to include the creation of an exhibition space to showcase treasures.  Donor support can also assist with the work of Special Collections and Archive Services.

These examples are not exhaustive and philanthropic investment will help shape the future of this facility adding something extra to one of the best University libraries in the UK.  Please consider making a gift in support of our ambitions.

Click here for more information on the wide range of library activities.

Click here to make a gift to the Library Fund.

The University of Glasgow Library welcomes donations and bequests of material which support and develop existing collections. It will however not normally accept donations which do not match its collection development strategy. The appropriate College Librarian will advise on whether any donation matches this strategy.

While the Library is also willing to consider arrangements for the deposit or long-term loan of collections or individual items, it no longer accepts material which duplicates existing library holdings.

All donations or bequests which add to existing collection strengths are particularly welcome. Potential donors of sizeable collections (more than 300 books) should contact the office of the University Librarian in the first instance. Potential donors of smaller collections are requested to contact the appropriate College Librarian or e-mail donations@lib.gla.ac.uk. Library staff will take into account the wishes of donors or testators where practicable in considering whether to accept collections. Library staff will inform donors of the decision to accept or decline collections following any discussion. The Library reserves the right to deal with all accepted donations as it deems in accord with its policies, including the right of further disposal.

Within the context of the University's arrangement of responsibilities and services, and in support of its corporate objectives, the Library undertakes:

  • to satisfy from its own resources or elsewhere legitimate information needs of the University in furtherance of teaching and research programmes
  • to preserve, promote and develop for the benefit of research and scholarship those parts of the national documentation heritage that are within its care
  • to extend access to information throughout the academic community by collaborating with other information suppliers within the University
  • to optimise the use of resources by collaborating with other institutions at local, regional, national and international levels
  • to offer services, based on those provided for its prime users, to assist business, industry and the professions

Library retention policy derives from the overall Library Collections Policy. Three options are considered and apply to all materials, irrespective of format:

  • Permanent retention
  • Interim retention
  • De-selection

Criteria for Permanent Retention

  • Material identified and agreed with academic staff as required for teaching or research.
  • Material reinforcing heritage collections in Special Collections or in areas of known, particularly historical strengths
  • Material constituting a critical mass sufficient to provide the basis of a new special collection in GUL or contributing to a collaborative collection.
  • Material covered by contractual agreements, such as official deposit (e.g. EU documents) or collaborative management schemes (e.g. CoFoR), or donation.
  • Material with a significant University of Glasgow association.
  • Material meeting any of the following specific criteria:
  • Published before 1851
  • Published before 1900, containing colour plates
  • Manuscripts
  • Original photographic prints
  • Evidence of important ownership or association
  • part of a limited edition (max. 100 numbered copies)

Criteria for Interim Retention

  • Material where the above criteria for permanent retention does not apply
  • There is evidence of only light recent use
  • Levels of future use are sufficiently uncertain to justify immediate de-selection
  • The status of materials held under interim retention should be reviewed at least every 5 years and either a) designated for permanent retention, b) confirmed for a further period of interim retention or c) deselected, as circumstances require.

Criteria for De-Selection

  • Material which does not meet the criteria for permanent or interim retention.
  • Duplicate material not in heavy demand.
  • Superseded editions not liable to retention under subject-specific policies of agreements with academic staff.
  • Actual and likely future use do not justify retention.


On the basis of feedback from internal consultation, staff engaged in the movement or de-selection of material will undertake any necessary consultation with academic staff. The final decision on retention and location rests with the Library.

The Charter describes your rights and responsibilities as a Library user. It will help you to make the best use of our services and safeguard your interests. Some of the rights referred to, notably access to electronic services, apply only to staff and matriculated students of the University.

Admission to the Library

  • All staff, students issued with a current matriculation card, staff identity card, or GUL card are entitled to use Library facilities.
  • You must have your card with you to enter the Library and to borrow books. Please carry it with you at all times.

Your rights

  • Library collections are acquired to support research, teaching and learning, and you are entitled to have access to them.
  • You may use the study space provided during Library opening hours.
  • You may access the Common Student Computing Environment (CSCE).
  • You may use photocopiers, microfilm readers and audio-visual equipment, subject to the provisions of the current Copyright legislation.
  • You may borrow materials, except those designated for consultation only, when the Lending Services Desk is open.
  • You may recall and reserve most items out on loan.
  • You can view your own Borrower Record on the Library Catalogue.
  • You may use the Document Delivery service to obtain items not held by the Library.
  • You should expect the Library to provide up-to-date guides to its services and regulations.
  • You may contact the Enquiry Service in person, by telephone, by letter or by email for information, help and advice on all aspects of Library services.
  • You may contact your subject librarian for subject-related information.
  • You can make suggestions, comments and complaints and expect a response within one week.
  • You should expect to be treated with courtesy and respect.
  • If you think your rights have been infringed, ask to speak to the Duty Officer, who will try to resolve your concerns.

Your responsibilities

  • You should be familiar with and abide by Library Regulations at all times. You will find the text of the Regulations here.
  • You should treat other Library users and Library staff with courtesy and respect.
  • You must show your Library card whenever requested by a member of Library staff .
  • You must treat all Library materials with care. Wilful damage of Library equipment and materials contravenes University Regulations, and may lead to disciplinary action.
  • You may not remove any items from the Library which have not been issued to you. Unauthorised removal of Library materials contravenes University Regulations, and may lead to disciplinary action.
  • To ensure that the Library is a pleasant and hygienic place in which to work, and to avoid damage to stock and equipment, you may eat or drink in the Library only in the refreshment area on Level 2.
  • Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the Library.
  • You should show consideration for others by observing silence in public areas.
  • Mobile phones should be kept switched off in the Library.
  • You should use designated group study rooms when you need to discuss your work
  • You are responsible for all materials borrowed using your card and for knowing when they should be returned. You must return or renew all items on or before the due date.
  • Recalled items should be returned by the date requested.
  • You must not lend your card to any other person, and must present a valid card in order to borrow. If you lose your card, please notify the Lending Desk immediately.
  • Library users are bound by the Joint Academic Network Acceptable Use Policy and the University's Computing Regulations, under which you may access the Internet . Inappropriate use of the Internet may lead to disciplinary action.
  • You are responsible for notifying the Library of your current e-mail and postal addresses.
  • You should return items you have consulted to their correct place on the shelves or to a shelving trolley.
  • You should leave the Library promptly at closing time.

Mission Statement

Providing effective access to the University’s Collections

The Library is committed to developing, maintaining and promoting its collections, in all formats, for the support of the University research and teaching, internationalisation and public engagement strategies at local, national, and global levels.

Strategic Objectives

  • Supporting University teaching and research
  • Improving access to collections
  • Excellence in collections development and maintenance
  • Maximising fundraising and workforce development

Operational Priorities

  • Maximise effective use of collections as a dynamic resource for research and teaching.
  • Maximise access to other collections and resources.
  • Co-operate with, and participate in, local and national strategies aimed at increasing access to information, including alternative methods of publication.
  • Develop service models that enhance access to and delivery of information to support research, underpin new teaching initiatives, and promote wider participation in learning.
  • Preserving, promoting, and developing historical and cultural collections within in line with University strategies.

Collection Development


  • Materials to support current teaching and research are selected primarily by academic staff and subject librarians.
  • Priority is given to the purchase of material to support current teaching and research.
  • Other items, such as those in Archive Services, Department of Special Collections and the Maps, Official Publications and Statistics Unit, are selected by library staff according to their own collection development strategies.
  • Reference and bibliographic materials are selected primarily by lending Services staff based on user demand.


  • Materials of local or national significance.#


Choice of format

  • The Library will acquire information based on optimum access, functionality, and cost-effective use of its resources.
  • E-resources are preferred when stability, accessibility, and reliability criteria are fully met.


  • Most current materials are bought from the University block grant allocated by the University Services to the Library and subsequently distributed to colleges.
  • The Library aims to maximise the purchasing power of its grant and benefits from its membership of purchasing consortia and from discounts negotiated by national bodies, such as JISC.


  • The Library is willing to consider exchange agreements with other institutions where the material corresponds to known teaching or research strengths.

Collection management

Collaborative Agreement

  • The Library is a signatory to the Scottish Collections Policy  developed by the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL), the National Library of Scotland (NLS) and the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) have come together to develop this policy for all Scottish libraries.


  • The Library aims to retain indefinitely material which remains useful for teaching or research.
  • Material may be located on the open shelves, in Archive Services, Special Collections Department, or in the Library Research Annexe.
  • Location is determined by one or more of the following criteria: rarity and value of the items, physical condition, level of use and availability of space.
  • Material required for current teaching or research will be housed on the open shelves or made available in a print or electronic surrogate.
  • Unique, rare or valuable material will normally be housed in Archive Services or Special Collections Department or in the Library Research Annexe.
  • Non-current research material in all formats will normally be located in the Library Research Annexe.
  • Responsibility for deciding the most appropriate location for specific materials rests with Library staff, following consultation with academic staff where necessary


The Library will normally dispose of:

  • Duplicates or superseded editions of monographs. Generally, only first and current editions will be retained but significant intermediate editions may be retained.
  • Duplicate journal sets.
  • Isolated issues, short or incomplete journal runs that closed more than five years prior to consideration.
  • Abstracting and indexing journals in print format where access is available electronically.
  • Material in poor physical condition and beyond repair, especially where the may be a risk of contamination of neighbouring volumes.
  • Print editions of materials available in electronic format, where the stability, accessibility, and reliability of e-resource are fully met.
  • Small collections that lack the critical mass necessary to support teaching and research.
  • Material that falls outside the scope of the collections strategy.


  • The Library aims to preserve its permanent collections by maintaining appropriate standards in regard to their storage, handling, re-formatting and display. It also seeks through robust mechanisms to ensure sustained access to its digital resources.


  • The Library will liaise with users regarding major relocations or disposals from the collections.

Disclosure and Delivery

  • The Library aims to deliver information in the format and the location most convenient to users.
  • All material added to the collections is catalogued and classified in a timely manner.
  • The Library promotes disclosure and delivery of research information via its institutional repository.


  • The Library will promote its collections to all its users using appropriate media.

Collaboration and Research

  • The Library will continue to contribute to the work of national and international organisations including the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL), Research Libraries UK (RLUK), the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) and OCLC and to participate in research projects intended to increase the resources available to researchers and improve their access to them.


The basics

  • You should treat all library users and university staff with respect, whether in person, on the telephone, via email or on social networks and can expect the same treatment in return.
  • Students and staff should use their university ID card to access the library.  All other members should use their library card.
  • It is your responsibility to have your card with you at all times. You will not be able to access the library without it.
  • You should never give your student/staff/library card to anyone else to use.  If you do you may have your access to the library restricted.
  • You should provide your card when a member of university staff asks for it.
  • You are responsible for ensuring your contact details are up to date. You should supply an email address and a term-time and home address.
  • You may only have one active library account at any time.
  • You should comply with copyright law when you use any of the library’s resources, both print and electronic.

Using the building

  • You should respect other library users and observe the rules for each area of the library.  The library is divided into 3 different study zones.  Green zones (levels 2&3) are for group study, amber zones (levels 4-7) are for quiet study and red zones (levels 8-11) are for silent study.  For more information about the rules for each zone, see our zoning pages.
  • You should treat library resources and facilities with respect.  You are responsible for any damage to library property and if you damage anything you will be charged for the cost of replacement/repair.
  • You should help keep the library clean and tidy by disposing of rubbish responsibly.
  • You should contact Library Services if you wish to put up posters or distribute flyers in the library.
  • Do not reserve study spaces or PCs for yourself or for your friends.   Your belongings may be removed if you do.
  • Unattended items may be removed by library staff.  The library is not responsible for any lost or stolen belongings.
  • Announcements will be made 15 minutes before the library closes. You should leave the library promptly at closing time.


  • You must issue books using the self-service machines or at the Library Services Desk before taking them out of the library.
  • All library items are issued subject to recall.  We will notify you of the new earlier return date if an item is recalled. You must return any recalled items by the new date.
  • You can renew items up to a maximum of 5 times, provided they have not been recalled by another user.
  • If you return library items late you will be fined. More information about fines.
  • If you borrow an item through the inter-library loan scheme you should abide by the rules of the original lending library.
  • Some users may be charged for inter-library loans.  Any user wishing to renew an item borrowed through inter-library loan will be charged a renewal fee.  More information on inter-library loans.
  • Library stock is security-protected.  If the alarm sounds as you leave the building or the Short Loan area, security staff may ask to check your bags.
  • You are responsible for all items borrowed on your library account and will be charged for any items not returned or damaged.
  • Library stock may not be taken out of the UK.
  • Student borrowing permissions.
  • Staff borrowing permissions.
  • Subscription member borrowing permissions.
  • If you have fines or loans outstanding at the end of the year you will not be able to graduate.

 Electronic resources and IT

  • Access to electronic resources is by GUID, which is available to registered students and staff of the university. 
  • You should never share your GUID and password or any other password with anyone else.
  • The PCs in the library are primarily for study.  Be considerate of other users at busy times of year.


  • Registered staff and students of the University of Glasgow have library membership
  • Staff and postgraduate students from other UK universities may be able to join the library through the SCONUL Access scheme. Please see the SCONUL website for more information: http://www.access.sconul.ac.uk/index_html
  • Graduates of the University of Glasgow or of other UK universities may join the library for a fee.  Corporate membership is also available. More information.
  • Any other people interested in membership should contact Suzanne Hartley, Library Services Manager at Suzanne.Hartley@glasgow.ac.uk