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Access to the James Hardiman Library

For information on accessing the library at NUI Galway click on the link below that applies to you -

I am a registered student of NUI Galway

I am a staff member of NUI Galway

I am an NUI Galway graduate (alumni member)

I am a visiting student or staff member

I am a member of the public looking to access the NUI Galway library

How do I apply for access?

Students of NUI Galway

Registered students of the University are entitled to use the Library.  All registered students are issued with a Student ID card which also acts as a Library card.  Access to the Library is via access control gates; therefore you must have your current Student card with you in order to gain entrance. 

Can I get into the Library if I forget my student card?

If you have forgotten your student card you may obtain a one day temporary access card per semester, the cards costs €2.00 and are available at the entrance desk in the foyer of the Hardiman Building.

What do I do if I lose my card?

It is essential that you report a lost or stolen student card immediately to the Student Information Desk.  Once you have reported your card missing, it can be deactivated, preventing others from using it.  A replacement card can then be issued to you at a cost of €20.  (Note: students will receive a replacement student card free of charge in cases of a reported crime e.g. assault, burglary).

To avail of the free replacement card, students must produce a copy of the Garda crime report.  The report must contain the investigating Garda name, Garda Pulse Incident Number and be signed by the Superintendent in charge.

Failure to notify the University places you at risk of serious allegations of collusion in the fraudulent use of your NUIG student card. 

Please return found cards to the Student Information Desk.

Staff of NUI Galway

All staff of the University are entitled to use the Library, the Human Resources department issues staff cards, read more about staff cards.  Access to the Library is via access control gates; therefore you must have your staff card with you in order to gain entrance. If you have not previously used the James Hardiman Library please request that a library account be created for you by logging a ticket through the Library & IT Ticketing System.

Graduates of NUI Galway

All graduates (alumni) of NUI Galway are entitled to free lifetime access to the library. There is a charge if you want to borrow books shown in the table below. In order to join the library as an alumnis you will need to provide proof of graduation such as a copy of either your transcripts or your conferring parchment. Alternatively you can contact the Alumni Office to obtain proof of graduation. Once you have the proof of graduation please follow the How to apply section below.

Visiting Student / Staff Access

Graduates of NUI Galway, students from other Universities and members of the public requiring access for genuine research purposes or scholarly needs may apply to use the James Hardiman Library.  As the James Hardiman Library’s primary function is to serve the needs of its students and staff, the interests of External users or Reciprocal Schemes should not conflict with the needs of NUIG students or staff.  

Access to the Library is available to NUI Galway graduates, students of other Universities and external users through various schemes.  More information on these schemes can be found in the tables below.

Reciprocal Access Schemes

Type of VisitorAccessBorrowing RightsOnline ResourcesRequirements
ALCID Research Card Free No Onsite access only ACLID card issued by home institution
Atlantic Alliance Free No Onsite access only Valid ID card from UL or UCC
AUA Free Yes Onsite access only Valid ID card from UL or UCC and proof of course
GMIT Postgraduate Students & Staff Free Yes Onsite access only 48 hours notice via GMIT Library - GMIT Student/Staff card required
SCONUL Access Free Dependent on Band Onsite access only Request access online via SCONUL website in advance of visit 
SCONUL Summer Vacation Access Scheme Free
No Valid ID card from institution participating in SCONUL scheme

External Users / Members of the public

Please note due to high demand for study spaces from NUIG students during the University's exam period, the Library will not be registering any new external members from 1st December 2018 - 14th January 2019.

We cannot guarantee access to all applicants.  Please note that under the terms of our user licences with publishers, off-campus access to electronic resources cannot be made available to External users. Access if granted is only to the main library and not to the reading room.

The library closes at 5:30 pm from May to September and is not open at weekends during that period.

Type of VisitorOnline ResourcesCost Without Borrowing

Cost With Borrowing 

(2 items for 2 weeks)

Alumni (NUIG)

Onsite access only

Free - Proof of graduation required

6 months - €30

12 months - €60

Corporate (Self-Service access for 5 named personnel)

Onsite access only

12 months - €300

12 months - €600

Individual Members (over 16 only)

Onsite access only

3 months - €30

6 months - €60

12 months - €120

6 months - €90

12 months - €180

Open University

Onsite access only

12 months - €60

12 months - €180

Document delivery of journal articles, books and other material 

The Library can provide document delivery of journal articles, books and other material. The cost of this services is 20 euro per item.

Research service

There is a research service for in-depth enquiries. Research will be carried out by an information specialist using the full range of Library resources. The hourly rate is €75, with a minimum charge of €25. Please note that there will be additional charges for online searches, photocopying and fax.

How to apply

Fill out the ‌‌ ‌‌Library Membership Application Form and return it by email to, by post or bring it along to the Library and IT Service Desk, James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway. All users of the library agree to adhere to the library's Code of Conduct.

You will be issued with a card which will allow you to access the library.  Please note replacements cards are at a cost of €5.

Processing and approving of applications can take up to 2 days to complete. 

Please Note, failure to complete all sections of the application form or provide sufficient information can delay the application process.  In order to process your application a passport sized photo (jpeg or actual photo) is required with all applications, photos can also be taken at the Library & IT Service Desk.

Once your application is approved you will receive an approval email.  You will be requested to present yourself to the Library & IT Service Desk with:

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Address
  • Proof of Graduation if applying for Alumni status
  • Approval email from Sconul if new application, if applicable.
  • GMIT Approval Email in advance of application, if applicable.
  • The relevant fee (if applicable)

NOTE: During busy periods, such as coming up to exam times, access to the library may be limited to just registered NUI Galway students.

Library and IT Service Desk, Library

Tel: +353 91493399