The IMechE Library provides a wealth of resources, most of which can be accessed by Members wherever they’re based, but we know that Members also value a library space and quick access to physical books from time to time. Since many Members do not live close enough to One Birdcage Walk to benefit from our space at IMechE HQ, we recently joined the SCONUL Access scheme, so Members can access nearly 200 academic libraries across the UK.

What is the SCONUL Access Scheme?

The SCONUL Access scheme began as a means by which University students could access other University libraries around the country. Since then almost 200 libraries have joined the scheme, and it is no longer strictly limited to academic institutions. It is a reciprocal scheme; because we offer reference access to users from other SCONUL institutions, our Members can access to their collections too. This access is for reference (so you won’t be able to borrow) but walk-in access to online resources is often offered as well.

How do I register?

  • Visit:
  • Mark yourself as a full time undergraduate (SCONUL know this terminology doesn’t work for us and are working on an alternative, but for now advise we recommend this).
  • Select Institution of Mechanical Engineers as your institution, then click find.SCONUL
  • This will offer you a list of libraries participating in the scheme. You can view them as a list, or on a map. The map view also allows you to search by postcode.


  • Select the library you’d like to visit. This is just for statistical purposes – once you’ve registered, you’re able to use the same registration to access any library in the scheme.
  • Fill in the details, including your IMechE membership number as your Library/ID card number


  • This will send an automated request through to the IMechE Library team. They’ll check your details are correct and that you’ve no overdue books on your account.
  • You’ll receive an automatic email when your application is approved . This is the email you need to take with you to visit any libraries in the scheme. You’ll also need to take your IMechE membership card.

We recommend contacting any library you intend to visit in advance. Tell them you’re a Band R SCONUL User and they’ll be able to give you more information on what to do on arrival and what you’ll be able to access.

Library, Institution of Mechanical Engineers.



  1. Thank you. Never thought that the facility is available and to be able to use the local University library is extremely useful. Sometimes it is painful trying to get technical information, Birdcage Walk is virtually too far, being a member for so long and never actually make use of the IMechE facility and library loan is not economical. I have started to use the facility and found that it is useful. Thanks

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