How to borrow items from other libraries
If you can’t find a specific book or audiobook in our libraries, you might be able to borrow it from a library outside Brighton & Hove.
About our group of partner libraries
We’re part of a group of libraries in South East England called the South East Library Management System, or SELMS.
You can find out more about the participating libraries on the SELMS website.
How to borrow an item from a SELMS library
You can reserve books or audiobooks from any library in the SELMS group, and collect them from any Brighton & Hove library. There is a fee of £3 per item for this service, which can be paid by phoning us on 01273 290 800 or visiting us in person.
To reserve an item complete the following steps:
- Search the Library Catalogue for the book or audiobook you want.
- If you can’t find it in our catalogue, you can click the option 'Try this search in the SELMS catalogue', which is underneath the search heading.
- If the item is available in the SELMS catalogue, select it and click 'Place Reservation'. You will need your library card number and PIN to do this.
- Choose which library you would like to collect your item from.
- To complete the reservation, you must set 'Items to reserve' to 'Any item held at SELMS'. By selecting this option, you agree to your library membership information being shared with the other library services in the SELMS network.
When the item is ready to collect we will send you an email with the latest collection date. Items reserved from our partner libraries will take longer to arrive at our libraries than standard reservations.
You can also visit any library in the SELMS group, and use your library card to borrow their items directly.
How to borrow items from other British libraries
If you can’t find the item you’re looking for at any library in the SELMS group, we may be able to get it from another British library. We call this an Inter-Library Loan (ILL).
When we arrange an iInter-Library Loan, we search the British Library's stock, as well as the stock held by various other academic and public libraries.
There is a charge of £10 per item for this service. This is payable whether we can obtain the item or not.
To request an Inter-Library Loan complete the following steps:
Search the Library Catalogue for the item you want. If you can’t find it in our catalogue or the SELMS catalogue, you can click the option: Request an item on interlibrary loan, which is under the 'Other Options' heading on the results screen.
Enter your library card number and PIN.
Complete the Inter-Library Loan request form. Please provide as much information about the item as possible, including the title, author, date of publication and ISBN number.
Click the 'Continue' button. We will keep you informed with the progress of your request.
If we are successful in obtaining the item, we will send you an email with the latest collection date. Items reserved via our Inter-Library Loans service will take longer to arrive at our libraries than standard reservations.
You can also ask a staff member at any of our libraries to place an Inter-Library Loan request for you or send an email to ILL@brighton-hove.gov.uk.