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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Information for FAMES undergraduate students (last updated August 2020)


1. General guide for undergraduate students

2. Registration                                                                                                     

3. How to find items on the reading lists                                                                                           

4. Library account                                                                                               

5. Borrowing, returning, renewing   

6. Fines and blocks    

7. Other Cambridge libraries    

8. IT     



You may need to register with us before you borrow items (i.e. books and DVDs) for the first time.  To register, please bring your University Card along. 

2. How to find items on the reading lists

You may be used to browsing the shelves of a school or college library to find the books that you need for your studies. However, at Cambridge University you will probably need to use iDiscover.This is the combined catalogues of most of the libraries in the university. It contains the details of most of the books, articles, newspapers, reports, films and more, that you will need for your studies. You will also use iDiscover to find out which library a book is in, which shelf it is on, or whether there is an electronic copy available that will save you having to come in to the library. These results are displayed side-by-side so you can see very easily if there is a print and/or electronic version available. It is also the place to check which books you have borrowed and recall books that are currently on loan to someone else.

A YouTube video on how to search this catalogue can be found HERE.

You are welcome to recommend print or ebooks for purchase by emailing:

3. Library account

When you log in to iDiscover, you may

  • view borrowed items

  • manage requests (i.e. recalls)

  • pay fines

  • save search results.

You will receive a monthly statement on the 2nd of every month with a list of what you have on loan.It is a good opportunity to check your account and keep track of items you might have forgotten you had on loan.

4. Borrowing, returning, and renewing

Our undergraduate borrowing allowance is 5 items.  There are two types of loan: ordinary loan (7-day loan) and overnight loan (1-day loan).  Overnight loans should be returned to the Library by the following day, or on Monday if borrowed on a Friday.  Ordinary loans are subjected to a recall.

You can use the self-issue machine to borrow or return items (except DVDs).  You can also bring them over to the issue desk.  To borrow or return DVDs, you may need to speak to a member of staff.

All ordinary loans will be auto-renewed at regular intervals.  We have a fixed due date at the end of each academic year.  No overnight loans are renewable: they need to be returned to the Library by the following day.

5. Fines and blocks

Fines are charged at a rate of £1 for overdue recalled items and overnight loans, including DVDs.  Fines will be accrued up to 60 days.  Payment can be made in cash, by cheque, or online via iDiscover.

If you have two or more overdue recalled items, your account will be blocked from borrowing at any library until the recalled items are returned.  If you have an outstanding fine of £100 or more, your account will be blocked from borrowing.

6. Other Cambridge libraries

You may borrow up to 10 books.  At the time of your arrival at the University, you are already registered.

  • The Library of your college: see their borrowing policies.

  • The other faculty or departmental libraries: for their borrowing policies, go to the Cambridge Libraries page. 

7. IT

  • Wi-Fi Access

  • There are two wireless Internet networks available in the Library: UniofCam and Eduroam.  There is no need to set up UniofCam, but you will need to log in with Raven each time you connect.  If you connect using Eduroam, you will only need to enter your password once and you will stay connected to Eduroam around Cambridge.  On how to set up Eduroam, see the page: 'How to set up and use the University of Cambridge Wireless Services via Eduroam'.

  • If you do not have a Wi-Fi-enabled device, you can use a computer in the IT room.  All the computers there have access to the Internet.

  • Printing, photocopying and scanning

  • Photocopying, printing and scanning are available from the multi-function machine in the IT room.  The machine prints and photocopies in black & white or colour and single or double-sided (default setting) on A4 or A3 paper.  Scanned materials will be sent to your Cambridge email address.

  • There are three devices through which you can send print jobs to the machine: the designated computer in the IT room; your own computer; or your USB memory stick.

  • As you enter the room you find the designated computer on the right-hand side near the door.

  • To use your own computer, you may need to set up both Eduroam and a connection to the machine before printing for the first time.  For further details, see

  • If you use your USB memory stick, insert it into the USB port on the right-hand side of the machine, and then follow the instructions on the menu screen.

  • You may need to convert a Word document into a PDF before printing if it contains non-Roman scripts, syllables, or characters.

  • You may pay via the cashless payment system Common Balance.  To replenish your account, go to the My DS-print (Raven login / debit or credit card required).