How to borrow?

Ready… Steady… BUW! How to borrow and return books.

How to borrow a book?

• In order to borrow a book from BUW you need to establish its location, that is you need to check if it is kept in open stacks (Wolny Dostęp) or in closed stacks (Magazyn) outside the reach of library members. You may find such information in the online catalogue.

Having found a book, click on its title and select the Copies tab:

  • if the record location says BUW Wolny Dostęp (open stacks) – you need to write down its LC Classification symbol, find the book on a shelf in the relevant subject area and bring it to the Circulation Desk or use the SelfCheck kiosks (situated next to the Circulation Desk),
  • if the record location says BUW Magazyn (closed stacks) – the book must be ordered through the online catalogue by clicking on the Request button.
  • If the Copies tab says Return and a date is given in the Status box, it means the book is borrowed. You may reserve it, using the Request button.
  • If the book fails to appear in the online catalogue but it appears in the BUW Web Card Catalogue (CKK), it means it is located in the closed stacks. In this case you need to order the book by clicking on the Order button on CKK website.
  • Books ordered from closed stacks shall be collected from the Circulation Desk within 3 days since placing an order.
 What can and can’t be borrowed?

In order to find out in the online catalogue if a book can be borrowed or if it can only be accessed on the premises, please check the Copies tab, Status box.

  •  “Available” means the book can be borrowed.
  • “Return date: Due 2018-12-26 21:00” means that the book is currently on loan and it can only be reserved.
  • “Non-circulating” means the book can only be accessed on the premises.
  • Status “Awaits pick-up” appears when the reserved book is returned to the library. The person who first reserved the book may borrow it. A library member receives an email with information on the possibility of borrowing the book.

At Open Stacks items that can be borrowed are marked with blue, white or yellow labels. Books that cannot be borrowed are marked with a red label or a red dot.

 BUW does not lend out:
  • items from reference collections of library departments and reading rooms,
  • items from special collections,
  • encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographic publications or any other publications of reference character,
  • periodical publications,
  • newspapers,
  • items published before 1950,
  • items in poor condition or unbound offprints and reprints of small size,
  • items that are rare, difficult to purchase or containing numerous tables, maps, illustrations and prints or files with loose sheets of paper,
  • prints marked as rare with Cim. symbol,
  • microforms,
  • items from Open Stacks marked with a red label or a red dot.
Borrowing limits
UW employees,
Doctoral students
20 books for up to 90 days
Independent researchers  from outside UW who are holders of an ID card issued in Poland 15 books for up to 60 days
UW Students of all undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programmes 10 books for 30 days
Other individual readers with borrowing rights 3 books for up to 30 days

Please note! Some books are lent for a shorter period to all Readers, regardless of their borrowing rights. An employee of the Circulation Department informs a reader if they wish to borrow such a book.

Change of borrowing rights:
If your borrowing rights are due to change, please inform the Circulation Desk or the Registration stand staff of this fact.

Where and when to return a book?
Circulation Desk
  • Monday – Saturday 9 am – 9 pm
SelfChecks (level 1, next to the Circulation Desk)

How do the selfchecks work at BUW?

during opening hour
Return box (in the passage way) 24/7
  • Only books returned at the Circulation Desk shall be removed from your library account instantly.
  • Books left at the BUW entrance and at the Information Desk shall be removed from your library account within a few hours. Books returned after 9 p.m. shall be removed from your account on the following day.
  • Readers who wish to borrow other items on the same day are advised to return books at the Circulation Desk.
  • Security employees are not entitled to give out books left at the library entrance.
  • The Circulation Desk employees are not obliged to search books returned by readers onto the trolley at the library entrance and at the Information Desk.
  • Books may be returned personally or by any other person.
  • After returning a book please check if it has been removed from your library account within the next five days. If the book still appears on your account, please send an email to or refer the matter personally at room 143a (Requests and Complaints Office at BUW). The employees accept visitors: Monday 2 pm – 9 pm, Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 4 pm. In view of the above, please note that complaints will not be accepted after more than 5 days.
 Book renewal

Readers are informed by email if any of their items are due to be returned (if an email address has been provided beforehand).
You can renew your book after you log into your library account or in person at the Circulation Desk provided that an item has not gone overdue or it has not been previously reserved by another reader. There are five possible renewals.

 Reservation of a borrowed book

If a book is borrowed by another reader, you can reserve it. When the book is returned, its status changes from “In progress” into “Awaits pick-up” and the reader receives an email informing them of the possibility to borrow the book. Reserved books wait to be collected at the Circulation Desk for 5 days.

 Overdue items

Any borrower who fails to return an item or a Kindle reader on time will have their library account blocked.
Until you settle your obligations with the library, you won’t be able to borrow any more items, renew or reserve any other items.


  • PLN 0.40 for each day of failing to return an item in time since 1.02.2015,
  • PLN 0.25 for each day of failing to return an item in time before 31.01.2015,
  • PLN 1.00 for each day of failing to return a Kindle reader in time
  • PLN 5.00 for each day of failing to return a key to a self-service locker at the cloakroom

Please note! A fine is automatically charged for each day that elapses before the item is returned.

A fine for an overdue item, after returning the item, may be paid:

  • at the Circulation Desk (only by card) or
  • to the selfchecks (level 1) (only by card) How do the selfchecks work at BUW? or
  • by a money transfer to a bank account (only in case of books borrowed from BUW):
    Uniwersytet Warszawski Bank Millennium S. A. – 69 11602202 0000 0000 6085 0087  (and in case of transfers from abroad: BIC/S.W.I.F.T.: BIGBPLPWXXX
    IBAN: P L 6 9 1 1 6 0 2 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 6 0 8 5 0 08 7) with a title „Opłata za przetrzymanie książek z BUW” (“Fine for overdue BUW items”).
    Please note! The information about your outstanding payments shall be removed from your library account after receiving the information about the payment (money transfer) made from the UW Bursar’s Office, which takes a few days.

Please note! Fines for overdue items borrowed from other UW faculty libraries are paid solely to the bank accounts given on the faculty websites!

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