Library visitors

Members of the public

From Monday 9 January 2017 policy changes were introduced to promote fair and appropriate access for all library users. See the document below for full information.

Visitor policy changes

Members of the public (including users through Combined Universities in Cornwall) may use the library free of charge for reference purposes. 

The library is open to visitors between 07:00 and 22:00 daily.

Visitors must be 18 or over. Exceptions are:

  • under 18 sixth-form school/college students who have attended a group library induction session within the current academic year. See the school visits information below
  • children accompanied at all times by a responsible adult e.g. parent/guardian.

During busy periods visitor numbers may be restricted. Please check before you come that we are able to accommodate you.

The building can only be accessed between 22:00 and 07:00 by University members with a valid University card.  

If you would like to borrow books, you need to register as an associate member, for which a fee is payable. See below for more information.

To gain entrance to the library, visitors must sign in at the reception desk and provide photo identification from the following list:

  • passport or National ID card
  • current full UK/EU driving licence
  • bus pass/rail card
  • NUS card/ University/ college card
  • work ID.

Please note: copies of ID shown on a mobile device are not acceptable proof of ID and we reserve the right to refuse entry.

A visitor’s pass will be issued which should be returned to the reception desk on leaving.

Data gathering: we are currently recording visitor data as part of a review to gauge usage and ensure fair access to all library users. All data will be held strictly in terms of the Data Protection Act 1998. Please see the document below for full information:

Charles Seale-Hayne Library visitors notice

School visits

We welcome visits from local school/college post-16 students and their teachers to access the collection for research and study.

  • The University library is heavily used by our own students and staff. We are only able to accommodate school study visits at quieter times of the year (December-February or June-July).
  • School/college students are required to attend a library induction session prior to independent visits. Certificates of attendance will be issued during the induction to any 16-17 year olds who wish to make subsequent independent visits for research. Under 18s will only gain entry with the certificate. 

Access to books and print stock

As a guest at the Library, you are welcome to use our printed collection of books, journals and newspapers for reference purposes while you are in the building. You will have limited borrowing rights if you are a SCONUL Access member.

Use Primo to search our Library collections.

Access to e-resources

This includes access to a range of electronic databases covering the majority of subject areas delivered within the University.

Access to e-resources, where licences permit, is provided on the single computer reserved for this purpose on Level 1 of the Library, to registered customers visiting the Library in person.

Public Library Initiative – Access to research available at Plymouth Central Library

Discover a world of published academic research at your local library.

Over 1.5 million academic articles are available, free of charge, in participating public libraries across the UK. 

Students, independent researchers and small businesses can now access many of the world’s best academic papers through their local libraries, a result of a unique collaboration between librarians and publishers, who have made their journal content available for free. 

Library Associate membership

Members of the public, aged 18 and over, can apply for Library Associate membership.

Borrowing Associate

Annual membership is £60. You can borrow six books for six weeks.

Please complete the Borrowing Membership application form and enclose a letter stating why you wish to use the Library and which resources you would like to use.

Alumni – graduates of Plymouth University automatically become part of the alumni community and are entitled to 50 per cent discount on annual membership.

Reference Associate

A reference-only associate membership scheme is being piloted until the end of this academic year. A reference membership card will enable you to access the library to study and refer to print materials.

Please complete the Reference Membership application form and provide documentary evidence of a specific need for use of University library facilities. Further details available on the application form.

SCONUL Access Scheme

If you are a member of staff, postgraduate, part-time, distance learning or placement from a Higher Education institution participating in the SCONUL Access Scheme you can apply for Borrowing Associate membership of the Library.  

Please ask at your home institution for further information.

Membership lasts for a maximum of three years from the date of your application unless your course or contract ends earlier. If you are still eligible you can reapply for membership.

SCONUL Access also provides Reference Only access for most full-time undergraduate students.

Please allow three working days for your Library card to be processed.

Email:  libraryandITenquiries@plymouth.ac.uk

Tel: +44 1752 588588

Guest WiFi - withPlymouth

The University provides a guest WiFi service.

The first four hours of connection, every day, will be free. After this time a payment will be required.

1) Select 'withPlymouth' from the WiFi connection options on your device.

2) A ‘Sign-In Required’ message may appear. Select ‘ok’.

3) You will be directed to the ‘Connect with Plymouth University’ page. Scroll down this page for your options. Select ‘4 Hours Free’.

4) You will be asked to fill out your first name, last name, email address and agree to the terms and conditions. After you have completed this, click on submit.

5) You should now be connected to the Guest WiFi.

At the end of the four hours free period you will be redirected to authenticate and agree to a payment. Payment is by debit/credit card and is processed by the hosting company which is called WiFi SPARK. Should you have any problems with payment you will need to contact the Guest Wi-Fi help desk on +44 844 848 9555 or Support@wifispark.com.

School Work Experience placements

The library is able to offer two unpaid school work experience placements each year for school, academy or college students from year 10-13.

If you are interested in applying, please complete and submit the application form.

Email your application form to informationspecialists@plymouth.ac.uk or post to Academic Engagement, Charles Seale-Hayne Library, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA. You will receive a response within two weeks.