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How to Use the Library: for Students

Learn how to use the BU library for academic research

Borrowing physical items from the Library

The library stacks are once again open for browsing and books can be checked out in person. Online requests for books can still be placed through the library catalogue (this requires logging in) and books can then be picked up in person. If you need assistance, please use 'Chat' from the library homepage, or email


  • Log 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 be contacted and you can book an appointment to pick up the item(s).
  • There are no return slots on the outside of the building. To gain access to the Book Return just outside the Library doors, use your current BU ID to 'swipe' into the Richardson Centre building (7 am - 11 pm, Mon. - Sun.) and drop books in the shute. 

Loan periods

Loan Periods
  • Back issues of Periodicals are 1 week loans.

  • Books and most other stack items are 4 week loans

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.
  • You will receive an email notifying you of the new, shorter, due date.
Loan Restrictions
  • Periodicals = 5 items at a time; 2 of any one title.
  • Stack Item = 5 items in each subject 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