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Library: Getting Started

Finding books and journals

Library Search

Use Library Search to find books, e-books, journals articles and more to use in your studies and assignments.

Everything you find through Library Search you will be able to access and read in print or online as it only includes items purchased by Library, Archives and Learning Services to support your studies and research.  

Use the 'Tweak my results' options to narrow your search down, for example use the 'Availability' filter to only view things available online.

Books and more

To search for a specific book enter the title of the book and the surname of the author/editor in Library Search.  If it is available online you will be able to follow the links through, login with your UEL ID and password, and read online.  Books available in print will show which library they are in and give you a shelfmark which you will need to find the book in the library.

You can also search for books, journal titles, e-books, theses, DVDs, maps, CDs, and other publications by keyword.


You can search for journal articles, conference papers and reports, using keywords.  If they are available online you will be able to follow the links through, login with your UEL ID and password, and read them online.  Journals available in the Library can be consulted from the open shelves.

Borrowing and returning items

Borrowing items

Once you have found the details of the books you need using Library Search you can find them on the shelves using the shelfmark.  Items are shelved in numerical order of their shelfmark, and then in alphabetical order of the three letters following the shelfmark.   

Once you have found the items on the shelves you can take them to the self-issue machines to borrow them.  You will need your ID card to use the machines and borrow items. 

Borrowing limits

Students 20 
Staff 20


Items will issue for seven days, and will then automatically renew for one year, until your library account expires or it is requested by someone else (whichever is sooner). 

If someone has requested an item you have borrowed we will email you to let you know and give you a new due date.  If you do not return it by that date you will get charged overdue fines.

If you want to check the due dates of your items or see what you have on loan then you can login to your Library Account to check.

Returning items

You can return items using the self-service machines as either library during building opening hours, it does not have to be the site you borrowed it from.

  • Docklands the self-service machines are on the first floor near the helpdesk
  • Stratford the self-service machines are on the ground floor opposite the helpdesk

Items will be removed from your account immediately and you will be emailed a receipt to confirm they have been returned.

Requesting items

The university is operating at Tier 0 and we are no longer offering a click and collect service. 

If you need a book that is available in the library then you can visit to borrow it from the shelves.

If a book you need is on loan or at a different site then you can place a request:

  • Find the book(s) you want in Library Search
  • Click on Sign in under 'Get It'
  • Login with your UEL username and password
  • Click on Request
  • Under 'Pickup location' choose the library you want to collect the book from
  • Click Send request​​​​​​

You will be placed in the queue for the item and it will be made available once a copy had been returned. 

You will receive an email to your UEL email address when the item is available to collect, and you will have 7 days to collect it.  You will then need to use the self-service machines to borrow the books and take them from the library.

Your Library Account

You can login to your library account by clicking on sign in from the top menu bar in Library Search.  You will be prompted to login with your UEL IT username and password.

You can use your library account to:

  • See what you have on loan and check the due dates
  • Renew your loans ahead of the automatic renewal date
  • View the progress of your requests


Using online journals and databases

For more in-depth, focussed searching for your subject area you can go straight to one of the specialist databases for your subject.  The key databases for your subject are highlighted in our Subject Guides.  You can also browse our A-Z Databases list to see all the resources we subscribe to.

Although Library Search provides access to almost all the content that we have subscribed to there are some subject areas that are not included.  If you are looking for legal information or market and industry reports then you should go straight to one of the specialist resources highlighted in your Subject Guide, or contact your Academic Services Librarian for advice.

You can browse our subject list of electronic journals to see what we have access to in your subject area, as well as using Library Search to find journal articles. 

Subject support

Our Academic Service Librarians are available to help you search all of these resources and find and evaluate information for your assignments. They have produced subject guides to introduce you to the best resources for your subject and you can contact them for an appointment.

Inter-Library Loans

If we do not have a book or journal that you need then you can place an inter-library loan request and we will order it from another library.

More details of the service are available on the intranet.