[Last updated: 21st Feb 2023.]

To help improve your library experience, we are upgrading our Library Search and Library Management System. This means that you will still be able to use the Library Search to access all of our resources, but there will be a host of great new features, including access to WorldCat, and an improved library account.

To help you navigate this change, we’ve put together some FAQs. We will be keeping you updated throughout the changeover, and as always, you can get in touch if you have any questions.

You can find a quick guide to the new system here.

What is changing?

At the moment, we have two systems to help you find resources:

Library Search (Summon) which is our discovery tool and where you can use the search box to search across all of our resources (both physical and online), and access the online resources we subscribe to.

Library Catalogue (OLIB Folio) which is for the physical items on our shelves and where you can request postal loans and log in to your library account.

We have used OLIB for over 20 years to manage the physical library resources, and we have made the decision to upgrade to a more modern, integrated system. Now, we will be able to manage our physical items and e-resources using the same system.

For our library users, the main change will be a new-look Library Search, which links to WorldCat – a database of libraries which will enable you to explore resources in libraries worldwide. There will also be added features, such as the ability to request interlibrary loans, and an upgraded library account where you can manage your loans, see your borrowing history, create lists of resources, and save searches and items. You will have seamless access to online resources and print materials via single sign-on (SSO) utilising your IMechE account credentials.

When is the new library system going live?

We are planning for the new system to go live on 1st March 2023. We will keep you posted on this page, via our social media channels, and via IMechE email newsletters.

Will the current Library Search continue to work until the new library system goes live? 

Yes. There will be a freeze on borrowing books and interlibrary loan requests for a short period (Monday 27th Feb – Wednesday 1st March) before we go live while we move the circulation data from the old system to the new system. You can contact us if you need to borrow anything during this period and we will be happy to help.

How do I renew my items on loan during the freeze period?

Please contact us at and we will arrange this for you.

How long can I continue to use the old Library Search?

Once we go live you won’t be able to use the old Library Search, as we will remove the access points from our pages. If you have it bookmarked, you will still be able to access it, but we do not recommend this, as you will no longer be able to request physical items or renew your loans.

What are the key features of the new Library Search?

  • Modern interface which is accessible from all devices. 
  • Improved library account which enables users to manage their loans easily and check on interlibrary loan requests. 
  • Ability to request interlibrary loans. 
  • Access to WorldCat, the world’s largest library catalogue. 
  • Export citations to EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley, and more. 
  • Ability to save searches and items, and create personal lists.
  • Access to both print and electronic resources.
  • Ability to request postal loans.

How will this affect me as a member?

You will no longer need to log in to a separate system to borrow items from our shelves – you will be able to access everything using Library Search. You will have more features on your Library Account, including the ability to see your search and borrowing history, save searches, create lists of resources, and manage your loans. You will be able to expand your search to libraries worldwide and request interlibrary loans with the click of a button. You will still have access to all the key online ebooks and ejournals as you do now.

Why have I received two library overdue notices?

You could receive duplicate overdue notices for a short period while we transition over to the new system. This should be resolved in due course, but please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

I am not an IMechE member, will I be able to use the new Library Search?

Yes. You will be able to use Library Search by clicking on the ‘continue as guest’ option. However, you will need to log in as a member to access any subscribed content.

If you have any further questions about the new Library Search, we are happy to help!


Call us: +44 (0)20 7973 1274


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