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Borrowing, Renewing & Returning

Automatic renewals - Frequently Asked Questions

We have provided answers below to some of the questions you may have about the introduction of Automatic Renewals and how it affects you. We hope that these help with any initial queries you have, however please do get in touch with us if you require any further clarification. Please also be aware that our wider associated policies for charges and loan limits will remain unchanged.

Why is the Library introducing automatic renewals?

Automatic renewals are a new update to our existing item renewal process. We are introducing this in response to user feedback. We are also aspiring to develop the way in which library users interact and engage with our physical resources, to reduce anxiety and stress around account management and improve accountability for items on loan. 

What does this mean for library users?

One of the intended outcomes of Automatic Renewals is to make it easier for you to manage your library account. The important thing to remember is that automatic renewals work in the same way as regular renewals, except that they are applied automatically. Automatic renewals only apply to one- and four-week loan items

Why won’t an item Auto-Renew?

There are a few different reasons:

  • It has been requested by another library user.
  • It became overdue whilst it was requested by another library user.
  • Because your library account is blocked.
  • Because your library account has expired/is approaching expiry.
What doesn’t affect Auto-Renewals?
  • Outstanding library fines
  • Having overdue items will not stop the automatic renewal of other items which are not overdue unless your account is also blocked.
What items are NOT covered by Auto-Renewals?
  • 24 loan Laptops.
  • Headphones, calculators, other miscellaneous items.
  • Rolling 24-hour loan items.
  • Inter-library loans (ILLs) which cannot be renewed due to suppliers’ policies.
  • ebooks.
Will I still need to contact the Inter-Library Loans team if I want to renew my ILL?

No, the Library is introducing a new service at the same time as automatic renewals whereby we will manually renew all ILLs without library users having to request their renewal. Please note though, that due to suppliers’ policies, ILLs quite often cannot be renewed, in which case the Subscriptions and Interlending team will inform the user.

Are there any limits to the number of times an item will be automatically renewed?

No, items will continue to be auto renewed until requested by another user, or the user’s account expires. We decided to keep the auto renewal process very simple.  As with our other services, we will review the impact of auto renewals at the end of the first year and revise elements of it, if necessary.

Will having a one-week or four-week loan affect the maximum number of times they can automatically renew?

N/A, we are not imposing a limit on the amount of times an item(s) can be renewed, regardless of loan status. However, please note that only one- and four-week loans will be automatically renewed.

Will automatic renewals affect all library users? Including Alumni, SCONUL, NHS.

ARs will apply to all users who can currently borrow and renew books. We do not apply a maximum limit on the amount of time an item(s) can be renewed.

How long is an item renewed for?

Depending on the loan status of the item: one week (two weeks for extended loan permissions) or four weeks from the date of renewal; or to the expiry date of your library account, whichever comes first. 

When will my items be automatically renewed?

One-week loans will be automatically renewed two days before the item is due.

Four-week loans will be automatically renewed seven days before the item is due.
The new due date will be one or four weeks from the date the item is auto-renewed, not from its original due date.

Will I be notified when another user requests the book that I have on loan?

Yes, you will receive a loan recall email the day after a request has been placed on a loaned item.

Will I receive an email telling me when an item has automatically renewed?

Yes, every time your borrowed items are automatically renewed, you are sent a new email, called a loan renewal notice. This email informs the user which items have been successfully auto-renewed and any that have not, with the reason why they haven’t.

The loan renewal notice replaces the existing courtesy notices, as it performs the same function in advising you which items are due for return e.g. if an item has not been auto renewed because it has been requested.

Will I receive a separate reminder for items dues back soon?

No, the loan renewal notice will remind you which items are due back soon, having failed to auto renew, and replaces courtesy notices, to avoid repetition and email traffic.

Will I receive a separate reminder for items which are now overdue?

Yes, overdue notices are automatically sent if your items are not returned or renewed by the due date/time. We will send you three separate overdue letters at two, eight and fifteen day intervals.

Will I receive a separate reminder for items, which are now overdue?

Yes, overdue notices are automatically sent if your items are not returned or renewed by the due date/time. We will send you 3 separate overdue letters at 2, 8 and 15 day intervals.

I didn’t receive an email telling me that a loan on my account didn’t automatically renew – will I still have to pay a fine?

If auto renewal notices were being sent out successfully, a fine would still be due. The loan notice renewal letter acts as a courtesy, as all library users are encouraged to check accounts regularly to review the status of loans. The letter should not be relied upon as the sole point of information about fines

If, however, there was a problem with sending outbound notices in general, the decision to waive fines will be made as per current policy and on a case-by-case basis.

Can I still manually renew items via My Account? Will this affect the automatic renewing of my items?
Yes, you can still manually renew your loans as many times as you like. The automatic renewal process will only kick in two days before a one week loan is due, or seven days before a four week loan is due.
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