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Library Essentials - get started with using the library

A guide for students

Book Borrowing

Borrowing books

Books can be borrowed from the open shelves using our self-service machines. If all copies of the book that you want are out on loan you can reserve a copy by placing a hold, following the steps below.

To reserve books
  • The ‘Locations’ tab in Hunter will tell you if there are any copies available. If all the copies have the status ‘On Loan‘, you’ll need to sign-in in order to place a hold on the book.
  • Log in to Hunter. You will need your Library username and password. If you have trouble logging in, please call 020 8725 5466 Mon-Fri 8am – 6pm or email
  • Once signed in, select 'place a hold'. Have a look at our Place a Hold video for more information.
  • You will receive an email when the reserved item(s) become available including instructions on how to collect them.
  • You have 7 days from the date of the email to collect your item(s). After this time, they will be returned to the shelves and will have to be requested again if still needed.

If you have any questions, please email

Borrowing rules

You can borrow up to 15 books, DVDs or CDs.

You can borrow books for 1 week or 3 weeks
- 1 week loans have 'Week Loan' labels on the spine.
- Print journals and books marked 'Reference only' cannot be borrowed.

Your loans will be automatically renewed until the end of your course or employment at St George's 
- To manage your account, view your loans and check your fines, sign in to Hunter using the login option in the top right-hand corner.

- SGUL staff and students should login using their University
username and password.
- Loans for NHS staff will be renewed until their Library account expires.
- NHS staff can obtain their login by emailing

Renewing is not always successful, these are the main reasons why:
- An item will not be renewed if another person has reserved it
- You cannot renew any items if you have outstanding fines of £10 or more

Remember! If items are lost, damaged or returned late you will have to pay a fine or charge:
- Overdue fines (per day): 20p per day on recalled items.

- An invoice for the cost of replacement will be issued for non-returned, lost or damaged items.



The following video will show you how to use Hunter, the library's discovery tool,  to find books and articles by title or topic. Hunter will likely be sufficient to meet most of your literature searching needs, at least in Year 1, but you may need to use a more sophisticated tool - like Medline (Ovid) - for more systematic searches. Take a look at our Resources for Literature Searching page and our Literature Searching and Ovid guides for more help. 

Finding the book you need

Step 1. Follow the instructions in this YouTube video to find the book using Hunter and note down the call number.

Step 2. Use this call number to find the book on the shelves in St George's Library.

All items are labelled with a Call Number on the spine

Books are shelved in alphabetical, and then numerical order of the call number.

Borrowing items

You can check out multiple books at once on our self-service machines by placing them together on the scan bed.


1. Place your book(s) on the glass plate.

2. Scan the barcode on your ID card.

3. Press the 'Check out' option on the screen.

4. When you are finished, press
'Print receipt' or 'E-mail receipt' to find out when the books are due back.

Return books in the book return slot outside of the library

Reserving items

If all the copies of the book that you want are out on loan you can reserve a copy by placing a hold.

When a copy of that item is returned it will be held at the Helpdesk and you will receive an email notification.

You then have one week to collect the item.