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Visitors' guide to the Library: Membership

This is a guide to Sheffield Hallam University Library for students and staff from other universities and members of the public.

What can an Associate Member do?

As an Associate Member, you can borrow up to 3 books at a time.  All of them can be borrowed for 1 week and will be renewed automatically by the library system unless someone else requests them.  DVDs, and audio visual equipment can only be borrowed by Sheffield Hallam students and staff.

If you want to come in and work in the libraries but don't need to borrow any books, you can register as an Associate Member (Reference).

Become an Associate Member for free

If you fall into one of the following categories, you can register for Associate Membership of the Library free of charge.

  • Former students and retired staff of the University who live in Sheffield
  • Open University students
  • Sheffield City Council staff
  • South Yorkshire Fire and Police officers
  • Teachers from schools in Sheffield and the surrounding area
  • Lecturers at Sheffield College
  • Lecturers and tutors from the NHS
  • Centre for Sport and Exercise Science (CSES) Associates
  • Staff from Sheffield Health Promotion Centre
  • PhD students on placement at the Michael Carlisle Centre
  • Student at another university (application for SCONUL Access Band A, B, or C)
  • Teaching staff at SHU collaborative partner colleges*

If you would like to register under one of these categories, please bring photo ID and proof of your home address, which must be in Sheffield or the surrounding areas, to the library Helpdesk. Please note the Helpdesk opening hours. Helpdesks are not open on weekends and your initial visit must be during our staffed hours.  We also need evidence of your entitlement under the categories above, e.g. payslip or original degree certificate for former Sheffield Hallam students.

*Teaching staff at Sheffield Hallam's collaborative partner colleges who are teaching on a SHU-validated course can register for Associate Membership of the Library free of charge by bringing their College staff ID and proof of home address to the library Helpdesk.


If you are a student at another UK university but live locally, you may be able to become an Associate Member of Sheffield Hallam's Library through the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Access Scheme.  To find out more and to sign up for the scheme, visit the SCONUL Access webpage.

You need to apply for SCONUL Access online before you visit us.  Bring the confirmation email, your university library card and proof of your address with you to the library helpdesk.

Generally, full-time undergraduate students using Sheffield Hallam's Library through SCONUL will not be able to borrow any books.  Part-time undergraduates and postgraduates may be able to borrow up to 3 books at a time.

Associate Membership by subscription

If you are not eligible for associate membership under any of the categories above, you can apply to join as a subscription member. To register

  1. Visit one of the libraries, bringing photo ID and proof of your home address, e.g. passport and utility bill
  2. Fill in a short form
  3. Pay the subscription fee of £30 for one year (by cash or credit/debit card)

You will receive an Associate Member SHUcard, which you will need to bring with you each time you visit the libraries to gain access the building and borrow books.

All memberships are subject to approval by the Head of Library Services.