We hold an extensive collection of printed publications on health policy, healthcare management, organisational development and research methodologies in the social sciences. You can obtain details on our holdings by searching our online library catalogue.

In addition to this, an ever increasing number of items are available in electronic format - access is via the main UoB catalogue for current students and staff only.

Postal loans

All our users are entitled to postal loans. To request books to be posted out to you, please complete the appropriate online form.

Cost: We post out books free of charge, but you will be expected to bear the cost of return postage. When returning books through the post, please ensure that they are safely packed and send them by registered post. You will be required to pay for the replacement of damaged or lost items.

How many books can I borrow?

You can borrow up to six items at any one time.

How long can I borrow books for?

You can borrow items for a period of three weeks. Unless your books are reserved by another library user, you can renew them twice.

Renewals and reservations


You can renew your items twice, provided they are not requested by another user. You can do this either yourself by logging on to our online library catalogue, or you can contact us directly and we do this for you.

Please note that if you want to renew the books yourself you will need to enter your full HSMC borrower code (e.g. 00001234).


If you would like to reserve an item currently on loan, click the "reserve" button – you will then be required to enter your borrower code, and once you have done this your reservation is placed.

Reserving an item does not alter the original due date. Once the book is back in the library we will notify you by email of its availability and ask you if you would like to pick it up or have it posted out to you. We keep reserved books aside for seven days.

Do please note that you cannot reserve items available on the shelf. 

Late returns

Whilst we do not charge for overdue items at present, we do expect books to be returned by their due date, for the consideration of all our users. Please keep your items renewed and let us know if you are unable to return them by the specified date.

Lost books

Get in touch with us straight away.  It might have been returned to us and be in the library on the shelf.

If the book is lost then you can either pay for its replacement or provide us with a new copy.

Books held at other University of Birmingham libraries

Unfortunately we cannot accept books that belong to other UoB libraries, nor can we provide access to such items.

Inter-library loans

We can provide access to material that we do not hold ourselves through inter-library loans. In most cases this will mean applying to the British Library in order for us to obtain the article, chapter or book that is required.

Obtaining material from other libraries will usually mean that it takes a few extra days until you receive what you requested. We will always keep you informed about any further delays that might occur - but expect to wait for 5 days to receive an article and 2-3 weeks to receive a hard-copy book from the British Library.

Current HSMC students

Inter-library loans provision for current students works the following way: you will receive an ILL voucher from us. You can then place your request with the Document Supply team at the Main Library via MyBham. For further details check their intranet page online.

Book Crossing Scheme

We are part of the Book Crossing scheme.

You can pick up a free book in the library (fiction or light non-fiction) to take away to read and you can leave your read or unwanted books and we will make them available for others.  

  • When books are left in the library, we register them with the Book Crossing website.
  • We note a unique Book Crossing ID (BCID) down in the book, put in a label and make them available for anyone, staff, students, visitors to pick up and take home to read.
  • When you have finished the book you are encouraged to use the BCID to make a journal entry on it on the Bookcrossing website. You will see the place to do that here on the home page.
  • Then you can "release" the book out into the wild, a park bench, a hotel lobby, somewhere on holiday - home or abroad – anywhere where someone might see it and pick it up.
  • You can then wait for it to write home to you!  If you check the web site you can follow its progress – sometimes they go around the world.
  • You could also give the book to a friend, send it on a book ring etc, just be sure to make a release note on it when you send it off into the world.

Quote from the Book Crossing website:

Bookcrossingis earth-friendly, and gives you a way to share your books, clear your shelves, and conserve precious resources at the same time. Through our own unique method of recycling reads, BookCrossers give life to books. BookCrossing books are not stagnant dust collectors, but living entities travelling the world as true BookCrossing emissaries. Our books find new readers and introduce them to the wonders of BookCrossing.

We think it will be a great resource for our students who might like a little light reading in between studying and for staff to read in their lunch hour. The beauty of the scheme is that you don’t have to remember to bring the book back to us!

So please feel free to bring in your books and pick up some to take away too.

If you want to see what books we have, look at on our virtual bookshelf.