Using the Library

Join the College of Policing to access the National Police Library's services - access journals online and borrow material.

Joining the Library

UK police officers and police staff

Library membership is free to all serving UK police officers and police staff. You will need to register to become a member of the College of Policing to access the National Police Library. You will find the library registration form on the membership site (login required).

Non-police researchers
If you are working on a research project in partnership with the College of Policing, such as Police Knowledge Fund - please contact us for temporary membership. From summer 2017, other non-police personnel may contact us in advance to purchase a day pass to access library resources in-person. The visit provides access to resources on-site only; must be by prior appointment and is at the Library's discretion.

Non-police personnel

eResources licencing and copyright restrictions prohibit us from offering library services to non-police personnel and retired police officers at this current time. Due to limited funding and resources, we are unable to purchase commercial licences and we are focused on prioritising services to support serving officers, until the College can offer a membership category for non-police personnel.

Accessing eResources

Following registration, you will be provided with an OpenAthens username and password which will unlock access to eJournals, eDatabases and eBooks subscribed to by the National Police Library. Registered library members can login to OpenAthens here.

If you do not activate your OpenAthens account within 3 months, it will be deleted. Once activated, if it is dormant for 6 months, it will be deleted. You will need to contact us again if you later require an account.

By registering with the National Police Library you agree that:

  • your OpenAthens account is for your use only and will not be shared with anyone else;
  • your OpenAthens account is only to be used in the period you remain employed in the UK police service; and
  • you accept the licence terms for eResources and all data will be used solely for academic or research purposes; data must not be used for financial or commercial gain; and copyright of the data will be observed.

    If you do not comply with these conditions you may be liable to disciplinary procedures and legal action.

Borrowing resources

Terms and conditions of borrowing resources

The loan period for books is 4 weeks, the date label will show the due-back date. If the book is in demand or a special loan it may be issued for a shorter period. You can request a renewal of your material by phone or email. Renewal will not be possible if there is a waiting list.

Items may be renewed a maximum of five times, after which they must be returned to the Library. We reserve the right to recall loaned items ahead of the due date. Please respond promptly to requests for the return of material reserved by another borrower. All items remain the property of the National Police Library and must be returned to the Library within the stipulated loan period, or renewed in good time.

You must take care of Library materials and not deface them in any way; this includes highlighting, writing in them, damaging their binding or removing any part of them. If you lose a book or it becomes damaged, let us know and we will invoice you for the full cost of replacement.

If you wish to return books in person, remember to let us know you will be visiting, and bring photo ID with you.
Books that cannot be returned in person should be sent through the post in a padded envelope, using a delivery service which is trackable and insured, as you are personally responsible for all material issued to you until it is received safely back in the Library. We do not recommend using internal mail systems as items have been lost or damaged in transit in the past.

Overdue books
We do not charge fines but you will be sent a series of overdue notices, initially asking if you wish to renew, then requesting the return of the item within 7 days. If you do not respond, we will invoice you for  a minimum standard replacement fee of £50 per item and your borrowing rights will be suspended until the matter is resolved. In cases where any invoice for costs has been settled and the book is subsequently found, it is not possible to arrange reimbursement, as replacement costs will have already been incurred.

If the item you require is already out on loan, you can place a reservation. It is helpful if you can provide a cut-off date after which you don't require something, and also if you no longer wish to reserve an item.

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