Loans of books and e-books

Borrowing books

Loans are personal, therefore users who wish to borrow a book from the Library must visit the Loans Office in person. You can only pick up books and other resources for a third person if you bring your own ID, a proxy letter and a copy of the ID of the person you’re acting on behalf of.
You can borrow books also with the self loan stations available in every location. With your badge you can loan, renew or return in any moment.

On the other hand, anybody can return a book, even on behalf of someone else, with no special formalities. Library drop boxes are available outside each library. These can be used to return books when the Library is closed, or to avoid going inside.

Any user who damages or loses a book must replace it with a new copy. If a book is no longer in print, the user will be required to pay a commensurate fee.

There is a two-day “grace period” after the return date for each loan. If a further delay occurs, the user will be suspended from all services (loans, renewals, reservations, inter-library services) until they return the book, and after that, for a period of time that equals the total delay. If more than one item is late, the suspension period will be the sum of the total delays (e.g. 2 books, one 4 and the other 3 days late = 7 days suspension after returning both books).

A few days before the return date, the Library will send a reminder to the user’s email address.

Once the return date has passed, the Library will send a total of four reminder emails. After the fourth email, a paper reminder will be sent via registered mail. If no response is forthcoming, a disciplinary proceeding will be opened in accordance with Article 27 of the Student Regulations.

Loan terms by item status


Libri di testo prestabili (Textbooks) All users 3 30 days 5
Prestabile 30 giorni
(30-day loans)
All users 3 30 days 1 for 15 days
Multimedia resources/films/DVDs All users 3 8 days Not renewable
Prestabile week end (Weekend loans only) All users 3 From Friday at 16:00 to Monday at 10:00 Not renewable
(Other books)
Students, Bicocca graduates, alumni, external users 5 30 days 5
(Other books)
Graduands (with declaration) 8 60 days 5
(Other books)
PhD students, graduate students, scholarship holders 10 60 days 5
(Other books)
Lecturers, staff, experts, contract staff, research associates 10 60 days 10


By clicking on our Opac Prometeo and logging in using your log-in details, you can access your Profile and view your current loans, reservations and inter-library loans.


You can place a hold on a book in Prometeo to make sure it’s kept aside for you. When the book becomes available, you will be sent a notification email to your university email address. Books can be picked up at the Loans Office.

Books are kept aside for five working days from the email notification.

The reservation expiry date is specified in the notification email. When the reservation expires, the book is either shelved or kept for the next user in the holds queue.


All loans can be renewed provided the book has not been reserved by another user.

Loans can be renewed online, using Prometeo, or by visiting the Loans Office with the book the user wishes to renew. All renewals must take place before the book’s due date.

Renewals have the same duration as loans and start from the date of renewal.

Borrowing e-books

Within the context of e-books, “borrowing” refer to the action of downloading an e-book in order to read it offline for a predetermined period of time, just like the loan of a print book. At the end of the period, the file expires and can no longer be opened.

In order to use this service, users need university log-in details and DRM software. It is reserved for university users or users with an active or email address.

The digital loan service is available for e-books from the EBSCO eBook Collection and MediaLibraryOnLine (MLOL) platforms, based on the following:

  • EBSCO: up to ten books can be downloaded at any one time, with a maximum loan duration of 30 days;
  • MLOL: up to ten books can be downloaded per month, with a loan duration of 14 days.

EBSCO also allows users to read online and save portions of books as pdfs, while the loan service is the only way MLOL books can be consulted.

All other e-book platforms allow users to save books as DRM-free pdfs (complete books or by chapter) and do not require any special software.

In order to use the digital loan service, users must:

Once the loan period is over, users can immediately start another loan.

For more information and for troubleshooting tips, please see the EBSCO and MediaLibraryOnLine FAQs pages. Alternatively, send an email to