Skip to Main Content

How to Use the Library: for Students

Learn how to use the BU library for academic research

Borrowing physical items from the Library

You are welcome to come to the library and browse through the collection for items to borrow.  

Online requests for print books and other physical library materials can also be placed through the online library catalogue. This requires sign in.  See "Online Requests for physical library items" below. The items can then be picked up in person.


Online Requests for physical library items
Sign into your Library account from the Library Catalogue page:
  • Sign-in from the top right-hand corner with your BU username and password. 
  • You will be returned to the Library Catalogue page, but now you will see your own name in the top right-hand corner.
  • Proceed with searching the Library Catalogue for your desired item(s). Click on the title(s) of any item(s) you would like to request, to bring up the long record for that item.
  • In the long record, under “Get It” you will see the “Request” button beside the word "Holdings". Click on “Request” and complete the required fields. (contact Chat on the Library home page or email if you require assistance)
  • Click “Request” again to submit.
  • This will create a Pickup List for Library staff to pull the item(s) from the shelf.
  • When the item(s) are available for pickup, you will receive an email letting you know that you can come to the Library and ask for the book(s) at the Circulation Desk.
  • There are no return slots on the outside of the building. Books can be dropped into the Book Return slot in the hallway outside the Library doors, or the slot at the end of the counter at the Circulation Desk.  

Loan periods

Loan Periods
  • Books and most other Library items are signed out for 4 weeks 

  • Print journal issues are signed out for 1 week

Recall of a loan
  • If an item you have signed out is requested by another person, your due date will be reduced to 1 week from the date the request was placed by the other person
  • You will receive an email notifying you of the new, shorter, due date.
Loan Restrictions
  • Print journals = 5 items at a time; 2 of any one title.
  • Stack Item = 5 items from a specific call number area
Loan Renewals
  • As long as the item has not been requested by another patron, you may renew it twice.
  • You can renew by signing into your account through the Library website (as long as your account is in good standing and the books are not already overdue), or by emailing