Library: study zone

Our study zone is a first-class library service, where we focus on making sure we meet your needs as an individual learner. There is a wealth of information available to you - in print, online and multimedia format - and we will ensure you have all the skills you need to navigate the library's resources independently.

With more than 20,000 books, an ever-growing e-book collection and access to some of the best industry databases and journals, you'll find everything you need to support your studies in the Study Zone.

We use the latest, innovative technology to make sure you can easily find and access the resources you want, when you want them - our Pinterest account is just one of the ways you can see the latest we have to offer.

Our library staff are on hand with specialist knowledge of the best materials for your area of study, and can advise you how to get the most out of them to reach your full potential.

With more than 80 study spaces, including a group work area and a silent zone, you can choose how, as well as when, you want to study. And as our online resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you don't even have to be on campus to make the most of our collection.


1 . How do I join the library?

As a student or member of staff at Ravensbourne, you do not need to "join" the library. Your ID card is also your library card, which you can use to borrow books. .

2 . How many items can I borrow?

Undergraduates, postgraduates and members of staff can borrow up to 18 books, and 2 DVDs each.

3 . How long can I borrow them for?

  • Books can be borrowed for 3 weeks.
  • DVDs and CDs can be borrowed for 2 nights, unless it is a box set or series, in which case you can borrow it for 1 week.
  • Journals cannot be borrowed from the Study Zone.
  • Reference books cannot be borrowed. These are marked with a red sticker on the front cover, spine and on the inside label.

4 . How do I borrow them?

To take out books and DVDs, you need to use the self-service machines. Scan your card, and then lay the items flat. The books will then register on the screen. When they have been successfully checked out, they will turn green. If there are any problems, the items will turn red and instruct you to see a member of staff. Remember to click finish to end the session. If you have borrowed a DVD, you need to take this to the desk to get the discs.

5 . How do I renew my books?

If no-one has placed a request on this book, you can renew your books in a number of different ways:

  1. Online - via the library catalogue by clicking "My Account."
  2. On the self-service machines in the Study Zone. Just click "Borrow/Renew" and then, "Renew all items."
  3. Email the Study Zone:
  4. Ring the Study Zone on 020 3040 3768

6 . When I try to renew my loans I am not able to do so. Why?

If you are unable to renew your books this is probably because there is a request on the item.

7 . What if someone has the book I need and I want to request it?

You can request any book which is out on loan via the library catalogue by clicking "Place Hold." Alternatively, you can email the Study Zone: or ring us on 020 3040 3768.

8 . Where do I return my books?

You can return your books using the self-service machines in the Study Zone. These are located opposite the DVD stand, on the right hand side as you come in through the double doors.

9 . How does the Study Zone keep in touch?

The Study Zone generally keeps in touch via email regarding any library-related issues. Students will receive automated notifications to remind them when their items are due back, when they are overdue, and also when items are ready for collection.

10 . What is SCONUL?

SCONUL is a scheme which gives staff and students at Ravensbourne access, and in some cases, borrowing rights, to other institutional library collections across the UK and Ireland.

11 . Can I use the SCONUL scheme?

SCONUL Access provides borrowing for staff, research students, part-time and distance learning students and full-time taught postgraduate students. Full-time undergraduates are not offered borrowing privileges, but are given reference access to other library collections. .

To apply for access, go to SNOCUL. We will be able to approve your application as long as you have no overdue items of outstanding fines on your library account. If you want to consult another Library's collections, please contact the Library concerned before making a special journey. You can consult the UK Active Map of Universities and HE Institutions for contact details.

The best way to search the catalogues of participating institutions is to visit the Search25 website that allows you to search for specific items, as well as narrow your search results by geographical area.

12 . How do I get hold of a book which the Library doesn't have in stock?

If the Study Zone does not have a copy of a book, please see a member of staff. We will be able to do one of three things:

  1. See whether it is possible to buy another copy
  2. Check to see if another SCONUL institution has a copy
  3. Arrange for an Inter-Library Loan.

13 . How do I use the library's e-resources?

All you need to access our E-Resources is your Ravensbourne IT credentials (i.e. your student number and your IT password). Just click on the resource in which you are interested > Select "Alternative Login" > Search for Ravensbourne from the list of institituions > and then enter your IT credentials when prompted. As a student you have access to a wide-range of resources, ranging from journal articles to e-books. You can access these in two ways:

  1. Online via Moodle - under Study Zone
  2. E-Resources 2. Online via the Intranet - under Resources > Study Zone > E-Resources (or E-Resources by Subject)

14 . Why can't I access the full text of the article I'm interested in online?

If you have logged in using your Ravensbourne IT credentials, you will only be able to access full-text articles if Ravensbourne has paid for them. If you have not logged in this way, this may be why you cannot access the full text.

15 . How do I search for books and DVDs?

You can search for books and DVDs from home or on site, using our online library catalogue. There are 2 computer catalogues in the Study Zone, and these are situated on the right-hand side as you enter through the double doors.

The most effective way to search is by typing in keywords relating to your subject - e.g. "Architecture, Hadid," or "film directing." This will retrieve relevant results which include these words in the title.

To refine your search, use the drop-down menu, where you have the option to search by title, author, or even ISBN number. Always make a note of the call number and the 3 letters following it so that you can locate the book on the shelves.

16 . Once I've made a note of the call number, how do I find a book?

The library's collections are organised according to the Dewey Decimal System used by most academic libraries in the UK. This means that the books are arranged numerically, from 000-999, and then alphabetically, but the last 3 letters on the spine. Each number relates to a specific subject - for example, 746 is "Textile Arts" and 823 is "English Literature." The longer the number, the more specialised the subject. At the end of each bookstack is a sign explaining which numbers are shelved down which aisle.

If you have any difficulties in finding a book, please see a member of staff who will be more than happy to help.

17 . What databases and e-journals do you have?

A list of the online resources to which we subscribe are available via the intranet, under Resources > E-Resources/E-Books (make sure you login first), or on our Moodle page under Study Zone 2: E-Resources.

18 . Why do you charge me for losing a book?

When books are lost, they need to be replaced immediately so that there is no gap in the resources available to other students and members of staff. As there is a cost involved when replacing a lost book, the Study Zone charges the cover price of the book so that it is not at a loss within its own financial budgetary restrictions.

19 . E-books

E-books are the preferred format for textbooks at Ravensbourne, and the collection is frequently added to on a regular basis. Ravensbourne has access to over 200 e-books provided by Dawson Books.

20 . E-Resources

Available for Ravensbourne staff and students only, the E-resource library contains a range of electronic journals and magazines. Click here.

21 . Central Loan Resource

Located on level 5 this service is only available for current students and members of staff. The CLR holds a variety of equipment that can be borrowed including, but not limited to, cameras, lighting, microphones, laptops and leads. 

22 . External visitors

External visitors may only access the Study Zone while staffed between 9 - 5pm Monday to Friday, and must meet certain criteria. 

23 . Visiting other libraries

Ravensbourne students are encouraged to visit other libraries and use their resources to complement and widen their studies. Speak to the team or click on the link to learn more. 

24 . Help for your subject

Detailed break down of the resources available for your subject. 

25 . Society of College, National, University, Libraries

Ravensbourne participates in the SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries) Access scheme which allows staff, full time postgraduates and part time postgraduates lending rights to institutions enrolled in the scheme.