Terms of Use of the British Library Reader Services

1. Definitions used in these terms and interpretation provisions

Account Credentials means a Reader’s personal details provided on registration as a Reader, Reader Pass number, any user names and passwords associated with a Reader for the purposes of on-line Reader Services including without limit Remote Access.

Content means any content in any format, including without limit hard copy and digital versions, which the Library subscribes to, acquires, creates, receives by legal deposit or which is subject to open access, that the Library makes available or accessible as appropriate from time to time.

Eresources means any Content provided electronically by a third party to which the Library subscribes or has purchased perpetual access rights.

Library means the British Library Board a statutory body incorporated by the British Library Act 1972 whose principal place of business is at 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB and/or the British Library, being the national library of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and its premises for the time being, wherever situated, including without limit the Reading Rooms and in each case as the context may require from time to time.

Prohibited Items are items which could damage the Content or are otherwise inconsistent with the conducive use of Reader Services which the Library may in its discretion determine from time to time including without limit pens, sticky notes, adhesive tape, food, drink, liquids, chewing gum, scissors, knives, blades, portable scanners, adhesives.

Readers means those individuals and each and any of them of them holding a Reader Pass and using any of the Reader Services.

Reader Pass means a valid and current photo pass issued to a Reader following successful completion of the Library’s reader registration process from time to time.

Reader Services each and any of those facilities and services that the Library makes available from time to time for Readers including without limit Reading Rooms, use of Content and Remote Access.

Reading Rooms means the Library’s reading rooms and any of them situated at its premises at 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB and the British Library at Boston Spa, Wetherby, LS23 7BQ.

Remote Access means access to Eresources from non-Library devices.

Words, including defined terms, used in the singular shall include the plural and vice versa.

2. Applicability

2.1 These terms apply to the use of Reader Services.

2.2 All Readers are subject to these terms.

2.3 By each use or attempted use of Reader Services Readers (and any other persons using or attempting to use Reader Services) confirm acceptance of these terms and agrees with the Library to comply with these terms as a Reader for the benefit of the Library, other Readers, other persons lawfully using the Library, and suppliers of Content.

3. Reader Registration and Reader Passes

3.1 Reader Passes are issued at the reasonable discretion of the Library in accordance with its application process and requirements from time to time.

3.2 Reader Passes are personal to, and for the exclusive use and benefit of, the Readers to whom they are issued.

3.3 Readers shall not:

  • share their Reader Pass with any other person;
  • allow any other person to use their Reader Pass;
  • share their Account Credentials with any other person; or
  • use their Reader Pass for the benefit of any other person.

3.4 Readers must advise the Library of any change in their personal details supplied on registration for a Reader Pass including without limit any name change, change of address or change of contact details.

3.5 Readers must report the loss (howsoever arising) or any suspected or actual unauthorised use of their Reader Pass to the Library in writing without delay on becoming aware of such loss or use. Loss may be reported by email to: customer-feedback@bl.uk or electronic-services@bl.uk.

4. Access to Reading Rooms

4.1 Any person who requires special assistance to use Reader Services is invited to speak with a member of Library staff who shall engage reasonable assistance and guidance to facilitate use of Reader Services where practicable. Readers may bring their assistance dog into Reading Rooms where necessary.

4.2 Save in exceptional circumstances as agreed in writing with the Library, only Readers in possession of a Reader Pass may enter a Reading Room. Readers shall duly produce their Reader Pass to any member of Library staff who requests to see it.

4.3 Readers may take one small bag into a Reading Room together with one clear plastic bag for a laptop computer and/or other non-Restricted Items. Clear plastic bags are available from the Library on request. Readers must not take any bag larger than 29 x 21 x 10cm into the Reading Rooms. The Library may inspect bags and personal possessions taken into a Reading Room (with or without notice to the Reader) and Readers shall provide all reasonable assistance to facilitate such inspection.

4.4 Readers shall not take any Prohibited Items into Reading Rooms.

4.5 Readers shall not take outdoor coats, jackets or umbrellas into Reading Rooms. The Library provides a cloakroom and lockers in which such items may be placed during a Readers visit to Reading Rooms.

4.6 Readers must follow all emergency procedures as displayed in the Library as instructed by Library staff or emergency services, including without limit the evacuation of the Library buildings in the event of a fire, or fire drill.

4.7 Readers shall comply with the Library’s stated operational hours and closures as prescribed by the Library from time to time.

4.8 Access to Reading Rooms is subject to capacity levels set by the Library from time to time.

5. Consideration of others

5.1 Readers shall at all relevant times:

  • treat staff and other Readers and Library users with respect and courtesy;
  • respect the privacy of others;
  • behave in a manner so as not to disturb or inconvenience others at all relevant times; and
  • not act in a threatening, disorderly or offensive manner whilst on Library premises.

5.2 When in Reading Rooms, Readers shall:

  • talk only where necessary and then quietly; 
  • refrain from dictating notes;
  • use personal headphones only at a level that does not leak sound;
  • not take or make phone calls; and
  • switch off or turn to silent mode all personal devices

5.3 Readers shall ensure that their use of Reading Rooms, Reader Services and Content is at all times lawful and in a manner that will not cause distress or offence to any person, including without limit when using the internet within Reading Rooms whether on Library or personal devices.

5.4 Readers shall at all relevant times have due regard for the safety of themselves and others.

5.5 Readers shall treat as confidential any data information or documents not clearly intended for unrestricted sharing.

5.6 Readers shall not smoke, use e-cigarettes or vape on Library premises other than where expressly designated for such purposes.

6. Use of Content

6.1 Readers shall not remove from Reading Rooms any Content unless expressly permitted in writing to the contrary.

6.2 Readers shall follow all Library procedures for the issue and return of Content and in particular shall return Content to appropriate Library staff at the end of use by the Reader or when otherwise requested to do so by Library staff at any time.

6.3 Readers shall not share Content issued to them personally with, or pass it to, any other person.

6.4 Readers are responsible for Content being used by or issued personally to them.

6.5 Readers shall not use Content for any commercial purposes unless expressly prior authorised in writing by the Library and then subject to such further terms as the Library may reasonably require.

6.6 Readers shall comply with any notified, displayed or reasonably apparent terms applicable to the use of any Content including without limit eresource, which terms may be prescribed by third parties interested in such Content.

6.7 Readers shall comply with directions and requirements from time to time given by Library staff concerning the use of Content.

7. Care of Content

7.1 Readers shall at all times take utmost care of Content.

7.2 Readers shall comply with advice given by Library staff along with any guidelines displayed in the Reading Rooms regarding the care and protection of Content.

7.3 Readers acknowledge and understand that any deliberate damage, theft or unauthorised use of Content may constitute a criminal offence and result in prosecution.

7.4 Readers may use only pencils and, subject to these terms, personal devices for the purposes of writing and taking notes once inside Reading Rooms.

7.5 Readers shall not write in or otherwise make any mark on Content.

7.6 Readers shall not make rubbings or tracings of Content without prior express written permission from Library staff.

8. Copying Content

8.1 Where Readers wish to copy or photograph Content Readers shall:

  • comply with Library procedures adopted and displayed or otherwise notified to Readers from time to time in this regard; 
  • make only such copies or photographs as are permitted at law and as would be deemed “fair” and not prejudicial to the interests of any copyright owner; and
  • for in-copyright material make only one single copy for non-commercial research only unless otherwise expressly permitted in writing.

8.2 Readers shall use any copies or photographs of Content for reference purposes only.

8.3 Readers shall be responsible and liable for any copying or photographing which they carry out or undertaken on their behalf which may infringe copyright, other intellectual property rights or proprietary rights of any person.

9. Computers and technical equipment in Reading Rooms

9.1 Readers must not connect any personal portable storage device or software to the Library network or computers.

9.2 Readers shall allow Library staff to undertake safety checks of Readers’ personal devices and equipment when reasonably requested.

9.3 Except where expressly prior permitted in writing to the contrary, Readers shall not photograph or download onto external networks or personal equipment any Content.

10. Remote Access to Eresources

10.1 Subject to these terms and any other requirements notified or advised to Readers from time to time Readers may be permitted Remote Access to certain Eresources.

10.2 Readers’ Remote Access to Eresources is conditional upon satisfactorily completing a secure authentication process adopted by the Library for this purpose from time to time and acceptance of such further terms and conditions applicable to the relevant Eresource as required by the Eresource provider concerned and/or the Library.

10.3 Readers may access Eresources for personal use only.

10.4 Readers shall not systematically or programmatically download or print any Eresource. Readers may only extract, download and/or print insubstantial portions of any Eresource for personal use. Such permitted extracts, downloads or prints shall be retained on a temporary basis only and Readers shall not share the same with any other person.

10.5 Readers shall not distribute, repurpose, re-sell, re-publish or otherwise make available or deal with any Eresource in any manner without the prior written permission from the relevant provider of the Eresource.

10.6 Readers shall not do or omit to do anything which may cause the Library to breach any agreement, arrangement or licence with Eresource providers. Where Readers have any concern about the permissibility or legal compliance of their proposed actions or inactions Readers shall seek guidance from Library staff as soon as practicable and in any case in advance of any such action or inaction.

10.7 Readers acknowledge and agree that:

  • they shall be responsible for any use of Eresource made by them; and
  • the Library may share Readers’ personal details and/or Account Credentials with relevant Eresource providers where there is an actual breach, alleged breach or suspected breach of use of these terms or other applicable terms and conditions for the purposes of investigation of and to allow redress for any breach.

10.8 Remote Access is reliant on and subject to the availability and capacity of third party software and services.

11. Temporary suspension of Reader Pass

11.1 The Library may at its sole discretion acting reasonably for all proper purpose suspend a Reader Pass and prevent Reading Rooms access and/or Remote Access where a Reader Pass is reported lost or where the Library reasonably believes there has been or is likely to be any suspicious or unauthorised use of the Reader Pass or associated Account Credentials. Suspension shall be for an initial period of ten days to allow investigation of the matter concerned and thereafter such period as the Library deems appropriate to allow the investigation to be concluded.

11.2 Readers shall provide all reasonable assistance and co-operation in the investigation as the Library may require.

11.3 If on investigation the Library is satisfied that there has been no unauthorised access to Content or breach of these terms and that unauthorised access or breach of these terms is not likely to occur then the Library shall at its option re-activate the Reader Pass; or issue a replacement Reader Pass (on equivalent terms to that suspended).

12. Breach of these terms

12.1 In the event of breach of any of these terms by Readers the Library may at its option:

  • temporarily suspend Reader Passes to allow a breach to be remedied where remediable, reactivating or issuing a replacement as the Library determines appropriate once remedied;
  • terminate Reader Passes;
  • remove Readers from the Reading Rooms;
  • prevent Remote Access by Readers;
  • recover from Readers reasonable costs and expenses (including legal and professional fees) incurred by the Library in investigating and managing the breach;
  • recover from Readers any amounts ordered or reasonably agreed to be paid by the Library to any third party rights holder in respect of any Content subject to access in breach of these terms; and/or
  • share personal details and Account Credentials of Readers with third party rights holders in respect of any Content accessed in breach of these terms to allow such right holders to enforce any rights they may have against any Readers and provide reasonable assistance to the third party rights holders in connection with enforcing their rights.

13. Complaints and feedback

13.1  Readers may provide feedback or raise complaints in relation to Reader Services to the Library’s customer service team by telephone: 01937 546060 or email: customer-feedback@bl.uk

14. Disclaimer

14.1 To the maximum extent permitted at law the Library shall not be liable for:

  • damage to Readers' personal property or equipment howsoever caused (including by the Library’s negligence);
  • loss incurred from access to, use of and reliance on Content;
  • the operation of any third party software, services or websites;
  • use by third parties of Readers' personal information provided by Readers to third parties; any loss incurred by Readers in the exercise in good faith by the Library of any of its rights under these terms; or
  • any loss caused by any action or inaction (howsoever arising) of any other Reader, Library user or other person whosoever.

14.2 No warranty or guarantee is given by the Library in relation to:

  • Content, its accessibility or its availability; or
  • third party software or services.

14.3 The Library’s total aggregated liability to any Reader arising in connection with Reader Services shall not exceed £100.

14.4 Nothing in these terms shall exclude or limit the Library’s liability for death, personal injury or fraud.

15. General

15.1 Law These terms shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England.

15.2 Jurisdiction The courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with the Reader Services and or these Terms.

15.3 Entire Agreement These terms and those matters and ancillary terms and policies of the Library referred  in them, anticipated by them or capable of application to Reader Services including without limit “How to Guides” published by the Library from time to time constitute the entire terms applicable to the Reader Services and supersede and extinguish all previous terms, promises, assurances, warranties, representations and understandings, whether written or oral, relating to Reader Services.

15.4 Severance If any provision or part-provision of these terms is or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable, these terms shall be deemed modified to the minimum extent necessary to make them valid, legal and enforceable. If such modification is not possible, the relevant provision or part-provision shall be deemed deleted. Any modification to or deletion of a provision or part-provision under this term shall not affect the validity and enforceability of the rest of these terms.

15.5 Third Party Rights No one other than Readers and the Library shall have any right to enforce any of these terms.

15.6 Privacy Policy In addition to the specific uses of personal details and Account Credentials set out in these terms the Library’s Privacy Policy from time to time accessible at www.bl.uk/about-us/privacy-policy shall apply the use of Readers' personal information held by the Library.

15.7 Variation These terms may be varied at any time by the Library acting reasonably and shall be effective once notified in writing to Readers.

15.8 Waiver No failure or delay to exercise any right or remedy provided under these terms or by law shall constitute a waiver of that or any other right or remedy, nor shall it prevent or restrict the further exercise of that or any other right or remedy. No single or partial exercise of such right or remedy shall prevent or restrict the further exercise of that or any other right or remedy.

15.9 Compliance with law Readers and the Library shall at all relevant times comply with all relevant and applicable legislation and regulations including without limit the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, Legal Deposit Library (Non- Print Work) Regulations 2013, General Data Protection Regulation (to the extent applicable to the UK) and Data Protection Act 2018.

June 2019