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Library Access: The McClay Library

Access Control

The McClay Library operates a controlled entry system. In the interests of security and efficiency, and to prevent delays at the entry and exit turnstiles, members are required to use their Smart Card (Library Card) to obtain admission.
Non-members should enquire about admission in advance of their visit. See below for more information.

Members of the University

Queen’s staff and students, Health Service and AFBI staff, and, Associate and SCONUL members will gain automatic access by scanning their Smart Card at the entrance gates. Alternatively the Smart Card function on the Queen's University App. may be used.


Members of the public: Associate Membership

Non-members of the University who are over the age of eighteen and resident in Northern Ireland, may join the Library as an Associate Member on payment of an annual subscription. Associates may borrow books from the open collections. However, due to licensing restrictions, access to electronic resources is limited. Further details about Associate Membership and an application form are available on the Library Website under Access.

Academics and research students: SCONUL Access Membership

Queen’s University supports Band A of SCONUL Access. This means that Academics and PhD students from participating institutions may apply for access and borrowing rights under the terms of this reciprocal scheme. The initial registration has to be made online at and the home institution is responsible for approving the application. A Queen’s Library Card can be obtained from the Borrower Services Desk in the McClay Library on presentation of this confirmation email from SCONUL and a valid staff/student card from the home institution.

Taught undergraduate and postgraduate students: Student Vacation Access

Students from other higher or further education institutions, including the Open University, are allowed access to the Library during the University’s Christmas and summer vacation dates. However, there is no entitlement to borrow material or use the computer facilities. Students can apply for Vacation Access up to one month in advance by completing the online Student Vacation Registration form at Please allow five working days for the application to be processed. A valid student card and proof of identity will be required.

Members of the public: Visitor access

The Library permits visits from members of the public who have a genuine need to consult printed material not held in other libraries. Applications should be submitted online by completing the Visitor Registration Form at here. Visitor Passes are valid for one-month and are non-renewable.

Members of the public: Access to Special Collections

Members of the public who would like to consult material held in Special Collections must complete a Visitor & Consultation Form. Further information is available 

School Students

Students under the age of eighteen are not normally admitted to the Library except as part of a organised school visit or when accompanied by an adult who is a member of the Library.


Safety information is displayed throughout the Library and it is important that patrons familiarise themselves with this information on arrival. If a person has any particular evacuation requirements, they should inform a member of staff at Reception or at the Borrower Services Desk who will advise accordingly.

Further information

Queen’s University Library

Further information about the Library, including the opening hours, is available at

Application forms for library membership

Online registration forms for membership are available as follows:

Academics and Research Postgraduates at SCONUL Institutions

AFBI (Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute) Staff

Health Service Staff

Members of the Public



Application forms for library access

Online registration forms for access are available as follows:

Special Collections 

Student Vacation Access Pass 

Visitor Pass 

Updated May 2023