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Borrowing entitlements

All current undergraduates, graduates and university staff are eligible to borrow from the MMLL Library and can borrow up to 12 items from us at a time. All new undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Cambridge are automatically registered with the MMLL Library. If you’re not sure whether you are registered, ask a member of staff – they will be able to check and sign you up to borrow if you aren’t already.

Different groups of borrowers can borrow books for different lengths of time:

Undergraduates can borrow books and films for 1 week at a time; loans will automatically renew until the end of their course or someone else recalls the item.

Postgraduates can borrow books for 4 weeks at a time; loans will automatically renew until the end of their course or someone else recalls the item.

University staff can borrow books for 4 weeks at a time; loans will automatically renew until the end of their contract or someone else recalls the item.

Please make use of the recall system if you need a book or film on loan to someone else: it is the only way to ensure that the material comes back to the MMLL Library for you to borrow it.


Reference books cannot be borrowed.


During the holidays, the recall system is switched off, which means that you are guaranteed to be able to keep your books and films for the whole of the vacation. Short loans can be taken out over the Christmas and Easter vacation, but they remain short loans over the long summer vacation.


We cannot loan books to students on their Year Abroad, but we do still provide access to electronic resources and can assist you with accessing libraries in other countries. We can also scan chapters or articles of material not available electronically, within the constraints of copyright law.


Alumni are welcome to come and use the MMLL Library for reference purposes only.


How to borrow books and DVDs

The easiest way to borrow items is via the self-issue machine. You can find a video tutorial for it below and library staff will be happy to assist you with using it.


Renewing items

All normal loans on books and films are automatically renewed for you; short loans and items that have been recalled by someone else cannot be renewed.


Recalling items

During term, please log in to iDiscover to recall a book or film on loan to someone else. This lets them know straightaway that another user wants this item, and gives them 3 days to bring it back for you. You will be notified as soon as the item has been brought back to the MMLL Library, and you will have 2 days to pick it up - after which it will go back on the library shelves or be issued to the next person who has requested it.

Outside of term, it is not possible to recall items.


Returning items

Library books and DVDs can be returned to us at any point during our opening hours. Outside these times, you can use one of the two Sidgwick site drop boxes to return your MMLL books and films; they are collected every afternoon. The two 'Sidgboxes' are located outside the English Faculty and outside the Lady Mitchell Hall.



Only short loans that were not brought back on time accrue fines, at a rate of £1 per item per day.

If you are ill or are otherwise unable to make it to the library, get in touch with us. We’re always happy to make allowances, but we can’t do anything unless you let us know!

If you lose or damage a book or DVD, you will be charged the replacement cost of the item.

You can pay fines in cash at the Information Desk, or by card from My Library Account in iDiscover.

Library news

Welcome to Melendra!

11 September 2023

We are delighted to welcome Melendra Sanders to the post of Research Support Librarian, also with responsibility for Film and German in the MMLL Library. We're glad to have you here Melendra!

Summer closure

7 August 2023

The MMLL Library is now closed until Tuesday 22nd August inclusive; we look forward to welcoming you back in the Library on Wednesday 23rd August from 9:30am. Have a good summer break!

Keep in touch