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Distance Learners: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start using the service?

This is an opt-in service. To be eligible for this service you must be one of the following:

  • a student on a designated distance learning course
  • a student referred to the service by their faculty
  • a student referred to the service by Disabled Student Support
  • a student referred to the service by the Inclusive Support Team

If you have used the service before, there is no need to register. If this is your first time using the service- once you have a request to make, fill out and submit the registration form and we will be in touch. 

We aim to reply to you within 2 working days of your request.

Can I borrow from other libraries near me?

The SCONUL Access scheme allows students to register for membership of other university libraries. You may be able to borrow books and other resources if you come under one of the following categories:

  • Part-time (including apprenticeships)
  • Distance learner
  • Postgraduate taught
  • Postgraduate research

The scheme does not allow you to access other universities' computers or electronic resources. If you take your laptop or tablet, you may be able to connect to WiFi through the Eduroam wireless network.

Apply for the SCONUL Access scheme. If you have any library fines, this may block you from borrowing from other libraries. Please make sure you have paid any library fines first.

Image references: Sconul, (2018). Sconul logo, retrieved from‚Äč.

Eduroam, (2018). Eduroam logo, retrieved from

How will I receive my books?

If the books are available for loan, we aim to dispatch them within 5 working days of receiving your request. We will inform you if any delays are likely. 

We use a secure and traceable service for posting the books to you. Please give us a home or work address where someone will be available to sign for the parcel.

We do not post books overseas, but may be able to supply copies of chapters. Please see 'How do I make a request?'. 

How do I send the books back?

You are responsible for ensuring the safe return of the books and will be expected to pay return postage. We recommend you use a secure and traceable postal service and use secure packaging to avoid any damage.  Books will remain on your account until they are received back in the library. 

The library’s freepost returns service is available to anyone who has borrowed library item(s) that have been recalled and recent graduates who still have items on loan. If you have an item that has been recalled or you have completed your studies you’ll receive an email with the details of how to use the freepost service. 

This service offer will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as we monitor demand for returns both on and off campus

Please return books to:

Adsetts Library
Sheffield Hallam University
City Campus  
Howard Street
S1 1WB

Where can I get help with my academic writing?

Have you tried Studiosity? 

Studiosity can help with:

  • structure
  • language choice
  • argument development
  • referencing
  • spelling and grammar

Submit your draft assignment and receive feedback from tutors.

Want to know more? Visit The Skills Centre for more information. 

Image reference: Studiosity, (2018). Studiosity logo, retrieved from

How do I make a request?

To make a postal loan request

Please contact us with the details of book(s) you wish to borrow. 

Please give us a home or work address where someone will be available to sign for the parcel. 

You can borrow up to 25 items at one time. 


To make a request for a copy of a print journal article, or book chapter

Please fill out and submit this form: DLSS request form

We will send you a link to the article to your email address. 

There are a number of limitations that apply to requests of this type:

  • We cannot copy more than one article from a single issue/part of a journal per student.
  • We can only copy one chapter or up to 10% of any one book.  
  • We cannot copy articles that have been added to our collection as 'reprints'.
  • We cannot supply core course readings through this service, as these are available through Reading Lists Online.

These limitations are due to UK copyright law - see our Copyright guide for more information.

We ask that you send no more than 10 copy requests per month so that we can maintain the service for everyone.

Can I request all types of library material?

We are unable to post the following types of library material:

  • Theses and dissertations
  • Reference books
  • Journals and newspapers

How can I request material not available in the SHU library?

If you require a book that we do not currently stock, we may be able to obtain it for you from another library. This can take two weeks or more. To request a book that is not in our collection please complete the form below:

Document Supply Request form

When completing the form, please state that you are a distance learner in the 'Other useful information' field.

Books borrowed from another library must be returned by the due date, as we cannot renew Document Supply books. 

How long can I borrow the books for?

Postal loan books are issued for an initial period of 3 weeks.

We can then renew the books for an additional 2 weeks at a time, unless:

  • Someone else has requested them
  • They have been renewed for a total of 52 weeks
  • Your account has expired (because you're due to finish your course)

You are only guaranteed the book for the current loan period. Please return any that can't be renewed as soon as possible.

Fines will be charged on overdue books. Please note all recall and overdue notifications will be automatically sent to your SHU email address. It is recommended that you check My Library Account regularly to keep track of your loans.

If you cannot renew or return a book by the due date, please contact the Distance Learner Support Service.

Adsetts Library [map pdf]
Collegiate Library [map pdf]

Sheffield Hallam University
City Campus, Howard Street
Sheffield S1 1WB
Sheffield Hallam Library Signifier