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University Library Australia
a national borrowing scheme for students and staff

Updated 18 August, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions For ULA borrowers:

Q. What is University Library Australia (ULA)?

A. University Library Australia is a national borrowing scheme that allows all staff and students of Australian universities to borrow in person from any other interstate university in Australia.  The scheme is a cooperative arrangement between CAUL member libraries
Regional borrowing schemes may exist for borrowing from other universities in each state. Local conditions may apply so it is important to verify eligibility with the University library you wish to register with.

Q. Who may borrow?

A. All students and staff from Australian universities are normally eligible to register with any university library that participates in the scheme. Local conditions may apply and it is important to check with the library from which you wish to borrow. You can only borrow in person at the libraries with which you register.  Membership is personal and not transferable. 

Distance education students and students based at remote campuses are eligible, however students enrolled in pre-tertiary university college or university preparation / foundation year courses are not eligible. 

Q. Where can I borrow?

A. You may borrow from any Australian university outside your regional borrowing scheme.  To see a list of participating university libraries link to noting that those with an asterisk may require a $50 registration fee.

Q. How do I apply?

A.  You need to apply directly to the library you wish to borrow from.  There is no need to contact your own university library.  Applications are made in person unless the library has an online registration scheme. 

Link to and check the web page of the library you wish to join for any details about registration and borrowing conditions.

Q. What documents do I need?

A. Students will be asked to present a photo ID as well as proof of current enrolment. This could be your enrolment advice form or other proof from your university.

Staff members will be asked to present a photo ID and proof of current employment with a university participating in the scheme.  Where applicants are not currently employed at an Australian university, for example, a visiting scholar, proof of affiliation with an Australian university that specifies arrangements for indemnity for borrowing must be provided.

The library will supply you with a borrowing card, usually on the spot. Check the local borrowing rules for that particular library.

Q. Is registration permanent?

A. No.  Membership is for the current calendar year only, no matter when you join throughout the year.  Borrowing privileges will expire on 28th February on the following year.

Proof of continued enrolment or employment will be required to renew your registration each year.

Q. What does registration entitle me to?

A. Membership privileges, such as what and how many items you can borrow, length of loans, access to electronic services and the internet, are at the discretion of the library at which you register.  Enquire about membership privileges at the Library you wish to join, or check their website for information.

Requests for inter-library loans and document delivery are not part of this scheme and should be made to the library of the university at which you study or work.

Q. Does it cost to register at a ULA participating library?

A. Some participating universities do charge a registration fee. An asterisk following the name of the Participating Universityís (link to name indicates a fee will be charged.

Q. How will I know what my obligations are as a ULA registered borrower?

A. Ask for details when you register as libraries policies and practices may vary. You may also find information on the website of the ULA library you are joining.

Q. Where do I return items I have borrowed?

A. You must return material to the library from which you borrowed them.  Penalties and fines for late return of material are at the discretion of the lending library.  These will be set out in the local rules for the specific lending library.

The lending library may also send details of overdue material or monies to your university library, which may also impose penalties.

Q. What happens if I lose or damage an item that I have borrowed from a ULA library?

A. Borrowers are responsible for the replacement cost of items so you would need to report any loss or damage to the ULA library.

Q. What happens if I donít return borrowed items to the ULA library?

A. ULA libraries exchange details of outstanding loans and fines. This may result in penalties at your home institution such as blocks and sanctions. 

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This site is written, compiled and maintained by Diane Costello, Executive Officer, CAUL.