Clare College Cambridge

Using the Forbes Mellon Library


Term opening hours:

Michaelmas & Lent Terms 7am-midnight
Easter Term 7am-2am
Monday 18th June - Sunday 30th September 7am-7pm (Monday-Friday only)
Monday 27th August Closed


How to find a book:

  • We use the Dewey Decimal System.
  • Use iDiscover to see if a book is in stock.
  • The record will show the classmark and tell you if it is available.
  • Look at the floor-plan above the self issue terminal to see where it is shelved.

 Borrowing, renewing and returning:

  • All books can be borrowed except those marked not for loan or reference only.
  • Students can borrow up to 20 books at a time.
  • During Term there is a two week loan period.
  • Loans can be renewed for up to a total of 56 days before they have to be returned.
  • Library staff will renew beyond 56 days if the book has not been requested by another reader. To request further renewals please email
  • Vacation loans are for the duration of the vacation.

How to borrow:

  • Use the self-issue terminal next to the main desk.
  • Scan the barcode number on your University card to display your reader record.
  • Place the item(s) you wish to borrow on the glass plate.
  • The loan(s) will register on your Library record.  
  • If you have any problems borrowing books via the self-issue terminal please speak to a member of library staff.

What to do if you have lost your University card:


Requests for replacement University cards should now be ordered online. Please see the Porters section on the Clare website or follow the link

How to renew:

  • You can renew your books from "MY LIBRARY ACCOUNT" in iDiscover
  • Click on the link "Login to iDiscover" on the iDiscover homepage and select "MY LIBRARY ACCOUNT"

NB: Renewals are not permitted if the book has been recalled, but loans can still be renewed when they are overdue.

How to return:

  • Return books by putting them in one of the two book return boxes or return them to a member of staff.
  • There is a book return box inside the library building at the foot of the Bennett Room stairs, off the library foyer. There also a return box outside the building, beneath the library office window.

NB: Please do not return borrowed books to the trolleys in the library or to the shelves.

Overdues and fines:

  • After a grace period of one day, fines for overdue books are charged at 25p per day.
  • After a grace period of one day, fines for overdue books which have been recalled by another reader are charged at 50p per day.
  • College library fines are removed from your borrower account at the end of each term and added to your College bill.
  • If you lend a book to another student, it is still your responsibility to make sure that it is returned on time.
  • If you think that you may have lost a book, please renew your loan to avoid a fine while you are looking for it. Please speak to a member of Library staff if you think that a book may be lost, so that we can look out for it as well. If you are certain that a book is lost then we will charge a replacement fee.

NB: If for any reason you are unable to renew or return your books please email the Library and library staff will help.

Recalling a book that is on loan:

  • This can be done from iDiscover
  • On its return you will be notified by email.
  • Please then collect from the library office within 4 days.

How to suggest a purchase:

  • We welcome recommendations for book purchases from students.
  • If we do not have a book that you need please fill in a Book Recommendation Form online


Privacy Statement:

Privacy Statement for  non-Cambridge staff/students and members of the public, who are users of the Forbes Mellon Library.  For members of the College please see Data Protection section of the College website for further information on how the College holds and processes your information.