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Borrowing from the library

Here you find information on how to obtain a library card and how to borrow and renew books. There is also information about loan dates, reservations, blocks and much more.

Borrowing and returning your books

In order to borrow books, you will need a Umu card (students and employees) or a library card (the general public). Use our self-service machines to borrow and return items.

You can obtain a receipt when you return or borrow an item at our self-service machines. When the libraries are closed, you can return your loans in any of our book-drops located close to the libraries.

Loan periods and renewals

The loan period is minimally:

  • 14 days for textbooks
  • 30 days for regular books.

You can often keep an item longer.

  • Items are automatically renewed two days prior to their due date unless they are requested by another user.
  • Log in to “My account" in the library search tool in order to renew your loans.
  • You cannot renew a book if another user has requested it. We will send you an e-mail if you need to return an item, but you are always responsible for returning your books on time.

Get a library card

If you are a student or an employee, your Umu card serves as your library card. You need to get your Umu card before you can borrow books from the library.

Anyone over the age of 18 can obtain a library card, even if you are not a student or an employee. Fill out our online application form “Library card for the general public” to register.

FAQs on borrowing and returning books

Borrowing, renewals and requests

How do I borrow books using the self-service machines?

When using our self-service machines, you can verify your account with your

  • Umu card/Library card
  • Umu-ID
  • personal identity number.

You will need to enter your PIN. It is the same four-digit PIN you have chosen for your Umu card or library card. If you have a Umu-card, you can change your PIN via the Umu card portal.

Place your books on the marked area on the self-service machine and make sure that all titles appear on the screen. Once you have finished you will receive a receipt with information about your borrowed items and when they are due.

How do I change my PIN?

Students and employees

If you are a student or an employee, you can create a new PIN in the Umu card portal.

The general public

If you have a library card that is not a Umu card, you must visit the library to change your PIN. Please bring a valid photo ID and talk to the staff at one of our information desks.

How do I request a book?

You can only request books that are out on loan.

  • Find the book you want using the library search tool and choose “request”.
  • You will receive an e-mail notification as soon as your book is available. If your mobile phone number is registered with us, you will also receive a text message.
  • Collect your requested book from the pick-up shelf, next to the information desk. To locate your book on the shelf, look for the personal code in the notice you received.
  • You must collect the book within three days.

Your requests are visible when you log in to “My account” in the library search tool.

My account

Is there a limit to the number of loans or renewals?

There is no upper limit on how many books you can borrow.

It is possible to renew a book indefinitely, as long as no one else has requested it.

How do I borrow books as a distance student?

If you do not live in Umeå municipality, you can order the books you need for your studies through your local library. Your local library will arrange an interlibrary loan from Umeå University Library. We will send the books to your local library, where you will borrow and return the books.

If you want to borrow a textbook, it is important for your local library, to state in its order that you are a distance student at Umeå University. It is important to consider that course books often have a short loan period.

If you live in Umeå municipality, you cannot make an interlibrary loan. You have to borrow your books at any of our libraries, for which you will need your Umu card.

Return books

Where can I return items when the library is closed?

When the library is closed you may return your books in book drops located at

  • the Social Sciences Building entrance opposite the Humanities Building (outdoors) (temporarily closed due to construction work)
  • in Atrium Betula under the Medical Library (indoors)
  • the Arts Campus Library entrance (indoors).

The indoor book drops are only available when the buildings in which the libraries are located are open.

Can I return a book to a different library than where I borrowed it?

Books borrowed from Umeå University Library can be returned at the University Library, the Medical Library or the Arts Campus Library.

Books borrowed from other libraries cannot be returned to us.

Can I return books by mail?

It is possible to send your borrowed books to the library by mail. You are responsible for a borrowed book until it has been checked in at the library.

Addresses to the libraries

E-books, interlibrary loans and purchase of books

How do I borrow e-books?

If you are a student or an employee, you have access to the library’s e-book collection and our other e-resources when you log in to the library search tool. Find the book you need. Once you are able to view the full text version, you will find further information about what applies to a specific book.

If you do not have a Umu-ID, you will need to visit the library and use our computers to access e-books and other e-resources.

Read and download e-books

Can the library buy or make an interlibrary loan for books that I need?

If material that you need for your studies or research is missing, it may be requested.

  • We primarily purchase requested literature that is not available in our library collection.
  • If a book is available as an e-book, we will purchase it in that format.
  • If we determine not to purchase an item that you have requested, we may make an interlibrary loan.

Read more and place your order here:
Suggestions, interlibrary loans and article copies

Is your request related to a textbook? Our purchases of textbooks are based on the course literature lists in the educational administrative system Selma. Therefore, it is not possible to submit a purchase suggestion if a textbook is not in the library's collection. Instead, the teacher of the course needs to update the information in Selma.

Overdue books, blocks and fees

Will I be blocked if a book is late?

Blocks and fees:

  • If your items are due and you have not returned them, your library account will be blocked until you return the overdue items.
  • If you are late to return a textbook, you will be blocked for six weeks from the day the book is returned.
  • If your account has been blocked, you are still able to renew your loans.
  • If you receive an invoice before you have returned late items, you still need to pay an administrative fee for each late book.

The return date for all your books is visible when you log in to “My account” in the library search tool.

My account

Loan and visiting rules

What happens if a book is missing or damaged?

It is your responsibility to replace lost or damaged books.

  • Pencil marks and notes in a book are considered damage.
  • If the book is repairable, you will have to pay for the repair cost. The library’s bookbindery handles all repairs.
  • Contact the library if you want to supply the library with a replacement copy instead of paying an invoice.

Read more about library rules and fees:

Loan and visiting rules

Contact the library

Contact information (e-mail, phone number and address)

How do I update my contact information?

I am a student with a Umu card

The contact information for students is retrieved from Ladok (the university's system for student records). Log in to “My Settings” on the Student web to update your phone number and e-mail. Contact Infocenter for more information.

My settings on the Student web


I am an employee with a Umu card

Contact information for employees is retrieved from the university’s personnel administration system. You may change your information via the staff self service system PASS.

Staff self service (PASS)

I have a library card (not a Umu card)

If you have a library card that is not a Umu card, you must visit the library to change your contact information. Please bring a valid photo ID and talk to the staff at one of our information desks.


Things you can borrow besides books

When studying in the library you can borrow more than books. Here you can find information about what you can borrow:

• adapters
• book/tablet holders
• laptops (only at the Medical Library)
• hand-held scanning translators (only at the University Library).

The Medical Library offers some special equipment for the medical field:

• anatomical models (brain, heart, torso, skeleton, dentur model, pelvis, foot skeleton and knee joint)
• stethoscope and blood pressure cuff
• reflex hammer and tuning fork
• suture practice leg
• ECG rulers.

Please note that not all equipment is available at all libraries – feel free to ask the staff where you can borrow different items. Let us know if there is something special you think we should lend out.

Our libraries also offer aids such as ear defenders, headphones, Pilates balls and standing mats. You will find them openly available in the library premises. More information can be found here:

Group study rooms and study spaces

Latest update: 2023-10-25