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Loans and borrowing: Postal Loans

The Loans service remains a primary Library service, with over a million items you can borrow.

Postal loans

If you are away from campus, we can send you books via our postal loans service. There is no charge for the service (the cost of posting items to you will be met by the Library).

The Library does not post items to Southampton (SO14, SO15, SO16, SO17, SO18 and SO19) or Winchester (SO22 and S023) postal addresses, unless you have accessibility needs or other mitigating circumstances that prevent you from collecting items from our libraries - please contact us for further information. This applies to items held in the Library and those requested for inter-library loans. If you live in Southampton, you can select your preferred collection point from any of our four libraries located in Southampton and Winchester. Please check our opening hours before collecting an item.

Inter-library loan items and print items we hold in the library are sent 2nd class, unless another postal method is specified for purposes such as insurance or international transportation.

We can post items within the UK (excluding Southampton and Winchester postal addresses) and to international addresses.

How do I request a postal loan?

  • Login to Library Search with your University ID & password and search for the item you need.
  • On the item details page, select: Click & Collect (Hold)
  • Under Pick Up Options, select the Postal Loan option
  • Supply us with your address (use the ‘Anything else we need to know about your request?’ field)
  • Submit your request

We aim to dispatch postal loans / requests within two working days of receiving your request. 

Please email if you have any questions.

How long can I keep an item?

Standard loan items can be borrowed until they are requested by another user or recalled by the library. Login to your library account to see when books need to be returned.

How do I return an item?

If you are a UK-based member of the University of Southampton you can use our tracked postal return service to return library books. This is funded by the University and you will not have anything to pay. 

This service is also open to UK-based students, academics and postgraduate researchers who have left the University. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not covered by this service.

Please click the Collect+ link and enter your email address. This will generate a postal returns label for you to print. Please securely wrap your book(s), attach the returns label and take the parcel to one of the 7,500 drop-off locations

Please keep your proof of posting receipt until Collect+ have acknowledged receipt of your items. There is no limit to the number of books you can send in one parcel.