Use of Library reading rooms and collections

The National Library is open to all and, in registering to use the Library, you agree to accept our terms and conditions. These have been agreed by the Board of the Library and are essential to help preserve this national resource for future generations. We will manage any breaches of these terms and conditions using the guidelines outlined in 'Breaches of Library terms and conditions of use of the reading rooms and collections'.


Your details

You agree:

  • To provide the National Library of Scotland with the information needed to create and maintain your registration.
  • To tell us if you change your name and/or address.
  • To take every care in the management of your login details and password, for security reasons, by:
    • Keeping your login details confidential at all times and not allowing any third party to use them for any purpose.
    • Changing your password regularly
    • Ensuring that your password is difficult for someone else to guess — i.e. is a 'strong' password, including at least one number and at least one letter.

Data protection

  • You must ensure that you use any information relating to living individuals that you find in our collections in accordance with the Data Protection Act, 1998.
  • We will use the information you provide in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, and in line with our privacy statement.
  • We will monitor usage of our eResources (formerly called licensed digital collections) for statistical purposes and to ensure that conditions of use are followed.

Use of login

  • Your login is solely for accessing the Library's eResources (formerly called licensed digital collections) and password protected services.
  • We do not guarantee that you can access any particular resource or service, due to the publishers’ licensing restrictions and to circumstances beyond our control.


Third-party terms and conditions

  • Your rights and obligations relating to an external resource or website are governed by that service provider's terms and conditions, including any licence agreements.
  • We cannot accept any liability in connection with:
    • The operation of any external resource or external supplier's website which you may access using your Library login.
    • The use by external service providers or suppliers of any personal information you pass to them
    • The operation of any software other than the software used (whether on its own or in conjunction with the software) to authorise access to an external resource or external supplier's website.


Using the reading rooms

The following conditions do not cover every eventuality. Please follow any instructions you receive from Library staff.

  • The National Library of Scotland is a reference library. You can only consult items in the reading rooms. Theft will result in criminal prosecution.
  • You are responsible for all items issued to you until you return them to staff at the Collection and Return Desk. You should not allow another reader access to them.
  • You must abide by the JANET Acceptable Use Policy for internet access.
  • On the public computers you may only use software which we have installed.
  • Please be courteous to other users and staff as specified in the Library's customer charter
  • You may use laptop computers in designated areas, and you can take mobile phones and / or pagers into the reading rooms, but the sound must be turned off before you enter a reading room and you should not make or receive phone calls in the reading rooms.
  • You may use personal audio equipment with headphones but please ensure it is not audible to other readers.
  • You may not use unauthorised cameras, scanners and other portable copying devices anywhere in the Library.
  • You may only use pencils in the reading rooms.
  • You may not bring food or drink, including bottled water, sweets and gum into the reading rooms, as this could result in damage to the collections.
  • For security reasons you must leave bags, outer garments, e.g. coats, jackets, and anything which may damage the collections in the lockers provided.
  • Smoking is not permitted in any of our buildings.
  • Please follow the instructions given by Library staff for the safety and security of the collections and buildings and for your own personal safety.
  • In the event of emergency evacuation, follow the directions of Library staff.
  • You bring personal property into the Library at your own risk.


Changes to terms and conditions

We may revise these conditions at any time and any changes will be notified via our website. By continuing to use our resources and services, after we notify a change of condition, you are agreeing to these revised terms and conditions of use.


Using the Library