Borrowing books and journals

Much of the RSM’s 600,000 books and journals are readily available to borrow for RSM members, and over 90% are open access.

Members will need their membership card to borrow and renew items.

Those who have applied to join the RSM, but have not yet been accepted cannot borrow any items until they have become full members of the RSM.

Loans and limits

RSM members can borrow up to eight items at any one time.

Books may be borrowed for four weeks and journals for two weeks. Also do remember that items obtained via our Document Delivery Service count towards your overall borrowing entitlement.

Items may be borrowed, renewed and returned via the self service kiosk which is located on the first floor of the library adjacent to the Enquiry Desk.  

Materials not available for loan include:

  • Reference material
  • Items published before 1901
  • Journal issues received in the last 12 months (the date when the issue becomes available for loan is marked on each of the journal's cover). The only exception for this is the JRSM, The Lancet, BMJ, JAMA and NEJM. (Do note that members can access new journals electronically via our e-resources section).

The Library is able to post loans free of charge for packages weighing less than 2kg. If an item is over 2kg then members are charged for the postage. This service is only available for members who live in the UK and Ireland.

Please note that loaned items may not be transferred from one borrower to another, they must be formally re-issued by Library staff. In addition, items may be recalled at any time at the discretion of the Customer Services Manager.

The Library may also decide to decline to issue or restrict a loan either to protect a fragile or valuable item or to facilitate wider access for readers.

Renewing items

Items may be renewed a maximum of three times by phone or email. After this, the item must be brought back to the Library to renew the loan in person, should you still need the item. If an item has been reserved by another member then it will be unavailable for renewal.

To renew an item, contact us by emailing or call 020 7290 2940/2941.

Returning items

All items must be returned no later than the due date indicated on the date sheet at the front of the book or journal.

When the Library is closed, books and journals can still be returned via the book return box located by the Library entrance. The Domus Reception, located on the ground floor of 1 Wimpole Street, will also accept Library items.

Items can also be returned by post. If using this method of return, items should be adequately packaged and addressed to: RSM Library, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0AE. A recorded delivery is advisable.

Overdue items

Two overdue reminders are sent to people with overdue books: one after one week and one after three weeks past the renewal date. 

Members will not be fined if a book is returned late during this period, however if it is over six weeks late, an invoice will be issued for the replacement cost of the item, as well as a £20 administration fee. This administration fee remains payable even if the item is subsequently returned.

If books are not returned on time or invoices are not paid, we will withdraw borrowing privileges and access to services until the matter is resolved. This may also impact on your ability to remain an RSM member.

Reserving an item

If the catalogue shows that an item is on loan to someone else, members can contact the Library and ask for the item to be reserved. We will notify you when the item comes in and hold it at the desk for two weeks, or post it if you prefer.

To reserve an item, contact the Library by emailing or call 020 7290 2940/2941.

Members may request material to be kept aside for collection up to 10 days in advance. To allow staff adequate time to facilitate this, requests should be made at least 2 days in advance to ensure availability.