Library Regulations


RAS Library Regulations

The term Fellow, when used in the following regulations, shall be understood to include Associates.



1. The Library is open on Monday to Friday from 10h to 17h. It is closed on Public Holidays, privilege days and, occasionally, for other events which will be advertised on the website of the Royal Astronomical Society.



2. Fellows and Friends of the Royal Astronomical Society are welcome to visit the Library and browse during opening hours.
Non-fellows wishing to visit the Library must make an appointment.
Access to the Library may be given at the discretion of the Librarian (or in their absence one of the senior staff members) to those who have a need for information which cannot be fulfilled by public and national libraries. Access will normally be given to members of organisations with which the Society has reciprocal arrangements, and to independent scholars and staff members of recognised academic institutions from home or overseas, subject to adequate identification and filling in a registration form.
All people who use the Library must sign the Library readers’ book.
Anyone, Fellow or not, who wishes to consult material from the rare books and archives must make an appointment to view these materials under supervision in the Library office, following guidelines which have been provided for appropriate handling of rare and historic materials.



3. Books are normally lent only to Fellows, and Friends of the Society who have registered as borrowers, although books may be made available through the inter-library loan system.
4. Books or pamphlets shall not be removed from the Library until a borrowing slip has been signed by the borrower, and deposited with the Librarian. The duplicate copy of the slips will be returned to the borrower as a receipt on return of the item which has been borrowed.
5. No Fellow can have on loan more than ten volumes at any time. Friends can have on loan no more than 4 volumes at any time.
6. Periodicals cannot be borrowed, but a photocopy of an article can be supplied at a charge, that is reviewed annually.
7. In case any item borrowed from the Library be lost or damaged, the borrower shall be held responsible for the loss or damage; and, if it belong to any set, that Fellow shall be held liable to make good the set to the satisfaction of the Librarian.
8. When items are sent by post the borrower shall pay the full cost of postage and insurance fees. Items returned by post shall be adequately and carefully packed and such insurance fees paid as the Librarian may require.
9. In no circumstances may books be taken out of the UK without written permission from the Librarian. Requests for loans of modern books outside the British Isles will be considered on a case by case basis.
10. The period during which any item may be borrowed is two months but, on application to the Librarian, loans may be renewed for further periods of two months, providing the item has not been requested by another reader; at the end of six months from the initial loan the item must be returned to the Library. If a book that has been on loan for two weeks is bespoken by another Fellow, it shall be returned immediately on request from the Librarian.
11. Fellows retaining items longer than the specified time, or failing to return them on request by the Librarian, shall forfeit the right to borrow further items from the Library until the items so retained be returned or paid for.
12. It is prohibited to damage or deface any book or manuscript.


13. Readers can take photos of material for their own personal research only. If they wish to do so they will need to fill in the digital photography permission form. If at a later date readers wish to use any images in a publication (print or online) they must contact the Library again to ask for permission to do this.
14. Photocopies can be provided as along as copying is done in compliance with copyright law, and does not cause harm to the item, Readers requiring photocopies of library material will need to fill in the photocopy request form and will be charged at the current rate.



15. Readers in the Library shall show proper consideration for other users and should abide by the Code of Conduct for attendees at RAS meetings and events in Burlington House and elsewhere.
16. There is to be no eating or drinking in the Library except on RAS monthly meeting days and other events organised by the Society.
17. Any Fellow or Friend who shall have transgressed any of the above regulations may at the discretion of the Librarian be precluded from using the Library. If deemed necessary, their behaviour will be considered under the Society’s Code of Conduct for Members.