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Library membership

06 October 2023

Most students and staff at UC automatically get library membership. If you're not a student or staff member, check if you you're eligible for library membership at UC.


Most students and staff of the University of Canterbury have automatic membership to the Library. Exceptions include some informal, visitor, or short-term classes.

The Library also offers membership to people who are not eligible as staff or students of UC including Canterbury residents, students or staff from selected tertiary institutions across NZ and Australia, and members of some organisations. See below for more information. 


Access to licenced electronic resources and UC IT Accounts

Unfortunately we are unable to offer access to electronic resources such as online journal articles and e-books. There is no provision for IT services or any login rights to services and databases that are only provided for fully enrolled students or staff of the University of Canterbury.

The University of Canterbury Library welcomes applications for external membership.



External membership is available for members of the general public who are not enrolled students or staff of the University of Canterbury, and are not enrolled students or staff of the NZ and Australian tertiary institutions with which UC has membership agreements

External membership will only be approved for those who are resident within the ECan defined Canterbury region. Applicants must be aged 16 years or over. 

Applicants will be required to provide proof of:

  • A physical Canterbury address for a period of at least three months
  • Photo ID such as Driver’s licence or passport

Membership is personal and non-transferable.



Canterbury resident membership $30 per annum. 

No charge for UC alumni, high school students (over age of 16), or members of associations that have agreemements with UC Library. 


Application Process

Register at the Information Desk of any UC library. 
Please provide photo ID and proof of address.
Please note that payment can only be made by EFTPOS.  

After applying, when can I start using the services?
Once the form has been completed you will be able to begin borrowing immediately and will be able to log in to your library account to request items.


Borrowing entitlements

See the External members section under borrowing for borrowing quotas.

Staff who retire from the University of Canterbury are entitled to retain access to some UC Library services for life.

  • Access to databases and other online resources is very limited, as licensing agreements usually only allow access to current students and staff.


Setting up or renewing a library account

If you do not have an active library account, you will need to fill in the following form:

The form needs to be approved by the department you worked in and then sent to HR. If you have any questions about this form, please contact HR. For more information please see Guideline: Services for Visitors.

Please note this form requires an active UC staff login; if you are unable to access the form please contact library staff for a copy.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have to keep lodging a service request form to get library access?

The system by which HR creates records for retired staff has a maximum span of 3 years, so you need to re-register at least every three years. However, the length of time you are registered for could be less than this depending on what your department specifies in the Service Request.


Do I need a new Canterbury Card every time I renew my record?

No. As long as your card is not damaged and can be clearly read, you will not need a new card.


Why isn't my library account reactivated as soon as HR processes my renewal form?

HR records don't update the library's records until the end of the expiry date (i.e. if your HR record expires on 31 October and you've lodged a form before this date, your HR record will update at midnight on 31 October). The library account can only reflect current HR staff records, so your library account expiry date won't be extended until your old service request has actually expired. The library is aware of this issue. Please contact library staff if this causes any issues.

The proxy borrowing service enables a borrower to authorise one other person to take out items from the library on their behalf.


Where do I apply?

You can apply at the Information Desk of any UC Library*. You will need to complete an Authorising agreement for the use of Proxy Borrower (link below). This form contains a description and conditions of the proxy borrower function. * Applications cannot be processed after 8:30 pm at the Central Library.


What is an authorising borrower?

The authorising borrower authorises another borrower to check out items on their behalf and all such items will appear on the authorising borrower's library account.


What is a proxy borrower?

The proxy borrower is authorised by another borrower to check out items on behalf of that borrower. None of these items appear on the proxy borrower's library account (if they have one).
The proxy borrower can issue items for the authorising borrower by presenting photo identification at the information desk, or they may use the authorising borrower's Canterbury Card to issue items using the self-loan stations.


Conditions of use

Ultimately the authorising borrower is responsible for items checked out by his or her proxy borrower.

  • An authorising borrower may have only one proxy borrower.
  • A person may be a proxy borrower to more than one authorising borrower.
  • The proxy arrangement will be valid for no more than 12 months at a time. This can be renewed on request.
  • The proxy borrower can only borrow library materials (using the authorising borrower's account) on the authorising borrower's behalf. He or she must use his or her own card when borrowing library materials for personal use.
  • Proxy borrowers are not able to pay fines on the authorising borrower's behalf. The library offers an online payment option for fines.

Reciprocal borrowing agreements

The UC Library has reciprocal borrowing agreements with many other tertiary institutions in New Zealand and Australia that enable UC students and staff to register as borrowers at these institutions' libraries and students and staff from these institutions to register as borrowers with the UC Library.


Participating universities

Each library has different terms and conditions; please check the information available for each library:

  • Auckland University of Technology
  • Lincoln University
  • Massey University
  • Otago University
  • Victoria University
  • Waikato University
  • Ara Institute of Canterbury
  • List of Australian universities


Information for UC staff and students

Borrowing/access is limited to physical collections only and each library has their own terms and conditions for reciprocal borrowers (including possible charges for library cards). You should check with the library you want to join to find out their conditions and registration process.

If you require access to material from libraries (New Zealand and overseas) not in the list above, see Interloans.

Information on borrowing from the UC Library for members of reciprocal partner institutions.


You must register in order to borrow items from the UC Library. We do not charge any fees for registration.

Your home institution staff or student card will serve as your library card at the UC Library and must be presented as proof of current enrolment or employment as part of the registration procedure. You will also be required to supply your home institution email address.

You can register at any time the library is open - just go to an information desk in any UC Library*. You will be asked to read and accept a Privacy Statement for ULANZ/CTA Registration (link below). 

* Applications cannot be processed after 8:30 pm at the Central & EPS Libraries.

Library staff will then set up a record for you, and once this is created you can start borrowing immediately.

All registrations for the current year expire on 28th February of the following year.


Please note:

Students from other tertiary institutions are always assigned undergraduate privileges. This includes borrowers who have research student privileges at their home institution. Staff will be assigned staff privileges. Information about loan provisions can be found here.

Forms and guidelines

Authorising Agreement for the use of Proxy Borrower

Download (application/pdf, 433 KB)

UC Library Privacy Statement

Download (application/pdf, 1 MB)
UC Library services for external and reciprocal borrower members

You may borrow from all libraries. Engagement and Learning staff will assist you with finding your way around and locating relevant materials. They can give you advice on where to find the information you need.

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