Library FAQs

​Library FAQs. If you have a question, are a member or are entitled to membership, please don't hesitate to contact the Library. 

Where is the Library?

​The Library is based in Ryton-on-Dunsmore at the main College of Policing site. We are located on the ground floor of the Edgbaston bulding.

Can I join the Library?

​All UK police officers and staff can join the Library. This includes Specials and other volunteers, so long as you have a PNN email account.  To join please complete a registration form which can be accessed here. Please save before sending or we will receive a blank form.

We do not routinely allow membership for any other group, but exceptions may be made for individuals at partner government policing agencies on a case-by-case basis. Contact the Library for more information.

I'm an academic, can I use the library?

At present only serving police officers and staff are able to join the library and access our online resources, our subscription licenses do not permit wider access. If you are an academic studying policing or teaching on a policing degree course, you students may be able to join the library if they are officers, police staff or specials, but we cannot provide you with full access to our resources. However, you can still search and access some of our e-collections:

  • We index many Free and Open Access materials, and have collected together policing literature either difficult to otherwise find or not available elsewhere. You can freely search both the catalogue and Police Library Search. Where an OpenAthens login is required you will need to refer to your own institution for access.
  • You may visit for "reference only access" to unrestricted print resources at the librarian's discretion.  A small fee is charged for a day pass and security clearance.  Email us:
  • Your university librarian may contact us on the possibility of an interlibrary loan (unrestricted items only).

Can I access the Library on my mobile?

Yes. Library access is provided to you via Police Library Search and Classic Catalogue. These services are inteconnect and mobile responsive and it is easy to create a quick-login shortcut on your phone:


Turn off data/wifi. Now paste/follow this URL into Chrome:

Click in the top right on the 3 dots and select ‘Add to home screen’. Name as suits, e.g. Police Library. Click ‘add’. Place wherever suits. Now turn back on data/wifi.

iPhone/Safari -

Turn off data/wifi. Now paste/follow this URL into Safari:

Tap the bookmark icon and tap on ‘Add to home screen’. Name as suits, e.g. Police Library. Click ‘add’. Now turn back on data/wifi.

I'm having problems completing the registration form, is there an alternative?

​The Library Registration form is an interactive pdf form, which enables us to import data into our system and register you quickly for the Library. Occassionally forms that are submitted to us come through blank; when completing the form please make sure you:

  • Download the form and complete it in Acrobat or equvalent software.
  • Once completed, save the form and send as an attachement to the Library.
If you are still struggling to complete the form you can request a Word version of the form from the Library.

How do I know if an article or book is available online?

​The Library systems are designed to make it as easy as possible for you to find content. Police Library Search pulls together all our subscription content, the catalogue, and some Open Access (free) resources so you can search in one place. We have produced various guides which can be found on our membership pages, and updated versions will soon be on the Training page.

If you decide to search another way, e.g. Google Scholar, then it will be harder to identify whether we provide full text access. If you are unsure, look for the title of the article in Police Library Search, or the title of the journal in 'Journal titles by subject'.

Can I renew my books online?

​Unfortunately you are not able to renew your books online. In order to keep your data safe, our public facing catalogue is not a live system and does not connect directly with our internal systems. You can use it to view books you have on loan but you are not able to renew them.

If you would like to renew a book please call (02476 931060) or email us.

How do I reset my OpenAthens password?

​If you have forgotten your OpenAthens password, you can reset it by going to   

Click on 'problems signing in? and enter the email address associated with your account. You will be sent a reset email for your password.

If you do not receive the reset email or are otherwise unable to reset, contact the Library and we will temporarily reset your password. You should then visit OpenAthens > My Account > Account operations and change your password.

I logged in with OpenAthens to X website, why can't I get full text access?

​OpenAthens is an authentication system that allows you to get access to content the Library Subscribes to. OpenAthens is used as an authentication system by many publishers, but just because you can login doesn't mean you will have access to all the content on their site. The Library's subscriptions can be clearly identified via Police Library Search's Journal finder. If you cannot find the title of the journal you are looking to access in Journal Finder it is not likely we have access. If you cannot access a particular article you need, contact the Library and we will see if we can source it for you through our collections or Open Access means.

Why can I not get full text through a green Police Library Search 'Available' link?

​Police Library Search (PLS) is a very powerful tool which use data from various sources to find and provide you with full text access to resources. Because it is trying to use and link such varied data, occassionally this causes errors within the system. These might include:

- Providing an incorrect link to Full Text

- Providing a link to Full Text the Library doesn't have access to

- Providing a record without a green 'Available' link

If you are experiencing any problems with Full Text links in Police Library Search, please contact the Library with the details of the item you are trying to access and how you tried to access it. We will supply a correct link or PDF if we are able. Work is always on going to improve PLS, and any issues we receive will be logged and fed back to the Systems Team and/or our suppliers.  


Why do I keep getting logged out of Classic Catalogue?

Classic Catalogue has a login timeout of 12 minutes. This is the maximum for the system that we are able to set. If you remain active on the page you should not be timed out, but if you are browsing in other windows or moving between Police Library Search and Classic Catalogue you may find yourself logged out.

Some people may experience difficulties staying logged into the Classic Catalogue when searching the Library via Smartphone. If you experience this problem, please email the library. For anyone experiencing issues we will happily accept requests directly via email.

I'm having problems accessing Oxford University Press articles

​We are aware of an issue with accessing Oxford University Press journals 'Policing: a journal of policy and practice' and 'Criminology' using the EDGE browser.

If you are experiencing a login 'loop' where you keep being returned to the authentication page, please do one of the following:

  • Clear cookies from your browser. When using EDGE you may have to do this each time you access an Oxford article.
  • Use a different browser to access Oxford journals e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari.

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