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Request a Resource

Get material the library doesn’t have

Accessing resources

We know it can be frustrating when you're trying to access resources but can't find what you are looking for. The tips below talk you through the options you have to make sure you can still complete your assignments and research.

Take a look at our Accessing Resources Flowchart if you prefer to see information more visually.

Looking for a book from one of our Libraries?

  1. Search the Library's online collection to see whether we have an e-book version. Take a look at our video demonstrating how to search for e-books here.
  2. If there is no e-book available, we may be able to purchase one. Fill in a purchase suggestion form, and we'll look into it for you. We'll get back to you within 2 working days, and can normally send you the link to the e-book within a week if it is available to buy.
  3. If it's only a chapter you need, we can try to get an online copy via Interlibrary Loan. Complete a chapter request form, and we'll aim to get to the chapter to you in around a week (please note, this time will vary as a result of Library closures). We'll also let you know if we won't be able to source the chapter.
  4. If we have the book on the shelves at Colchester and you are unable to come onto campus, you can also use our scan and deliver service to request a scan of the chapter or journal article you need. Please note, any requests are for personal study/research purposes and non-commercial use. We are unable to supply scans for reading lists or sharing in class.
  5. If you're looking for something similar to read while you wait, or if we haven't been able to source the material you need, search the Library website for similar e-books or journal articles.

Looking for help to search for similar resources?

  • Make an appointment with your subject librarian via Zoom, or email them with your query to discuss your information needs in more detail. They can help with tailored advice on alternative resources and search strategies.
  • If the original reading suggestion came from your lecturer, you can ask them to suggest an alternative text. Our reading list team can help support and advise lecturers about what is available online.
  • Check out your subject guide for a whole range of subject-specific databases and other key resources, alongside guidance on search strategies.

Accessing resources flowchart