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Borrowing at the Walton Hall Library

Student in a wheelchair browsing books in the library

Who can borrow items?

Whilst the library building is open to all for reference and study purposes, only the following people are entitled to borrow items: 

  • OU staff, postgraduate research students, Emeritus professors, visiting academics and researchers, honorary associates, research fellows and consultants can borrow up to 100 items
  • OU taught masters and undergraduate students (all modules) can borrow up to 20 items
  • SCONUL Access members, retired OU staff, and staff and students from other universities can borrow up to 6 items
  • OU alumni who have been awarded a qualification can borrow up to 6 items 

Borrowing and renewing items from the Library

From 5 February 2024, you can borrow items for 30 days and your loans will automatically renew at the end of this period.  

We surveyed staff and students to help us refine our policies: 

  • OU staff, postgraduate research students, Emeritus professors, visiting academics and researchers, honorary associates, research fellows and consultants have unlimited automatic renewals 
  • OU taught masters and undergraduate students have six automatic renewals 
  • OU alumni, retired OU staff, SCONUL Access members and staff and students from other universities have three automatic renewals 

Please note that if another Library user has recalled an item that you have borrowed, the item will not automatically renew and you will have to return it to the Library.  

Interlibrary loans (books borrowed from other libraries) are not part of this new process and are not automatically renewed.   

To help you keep track of what you have on loan, we will send periodic email reminders. You can also check what you have on loan by logging into your account at My Library Account. If you have been a student but are now a member of staff or a postgraduate research student, please ensure you log in with your new credentials to access additional permissions. 

Before you borrow items

Before you can borrow any items you will need to join the Library. If you are an OU postgraduate research student, or a member of OU staff working at or visiting Walton Hall, you will need to activate the barcode on the back of your swipe card.

How to search for particular items:

Library Search allows you to search the physical and online collections held by the OU Library in Milton Keynes.

  • go to Library Search
  • enter your search terms (e.g. title or keywords)
  • select 'At Walton Hall library, Milton Keynes' to show only physical materials

How to borrow items:

Once you have found the items you wish to borrow, follow these steps:

  • take the items you wish to borrow and your Library card to a self-issue/return machine on the ground floor or first floor
  • follow the instructions on the screen to issue the items
  • you will have the option to print a receipt which gives the date your items are due for return

How to recall items 

From 5 February 2024, OU staff and postgraduate research students may recall items on loan. This means you can request a book that is on loan to another user be returned, so that you may have a chance to borrow it.  

You can place recall requests on five items at a time, and you will have 14 days to collect items once they are ready. Items will be available on a designated trolley near the ground floor self-issue machine and can only be issued to the person who has made the recall. If you are unable to visit the library, please contact the Library Helpdesk to make alternative arrangements. 

  1. Go to Library Search 
  2. Sign in. Make sure you are signed in with your staff or postgraduate research student details so that you can recall items 
  3. Search for the item you need and select the title to open it
  4. Under the Walton Hall section, select Request, add any comments and select Send Request 

You can check the progress of your recall requests by logging into My Library Account.

How to return items

  • Return them in the Library building using the self-issue/return machine.
  • Place them in the book return box found at the entrance of the Library building, when the Library is closed.
  • Post them back using recorded post, to: Library Services, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA.
  • OU staff based in the Nations can use the internal mail system to return items to Walton Hall.