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During Phase II of the health emergency, our libraries will gradually resume the book loan service for their paper collections.

See the list of open loan points. 

All other services continue remotely. Read the FAQs on this page to find out which services are available.


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How can I request a book loan?

Loan requests MUST be submitted through the University Catalogue. The loan request service will be made available gradually, according to the library re-opening schedule.

What you need to do:

  • Check if the loan point of your library is already up and running
  • Request a book from the Catalogue
  • Check in the confirmation pop-up where and when you can collect it
  • Check your university email: if there are any problems you will be contacted by the library
  • Go to the library as instructed, wearing a mask, and with an ID
  • Users will be asked to stand in line at the library entrance observing distancing measures.

Remember that it can take a few days from your request to the book being available for pick-up, but you have a week to collect it.

Access to the loan points will be regulated in compliance with Covid-19 safety measures. At the entrance of the university buildings, your body temperature will be measured (if it is higher than 37.5 you will not be allowed to enter or return books). You will then be asked to stand in line at the library entrance, observing distancing provisions. Procedures and times have been designed to ensure safety for both users and staff. However, should the daily influx exceed the library capacity, we may consider providing the loan service by appointment only.


I have to return a book. What should I do?

To facilitate return procedures, all expiring loans will be extended until 8 june or later (depending on the loan date): you can check the expiry date of your loans in your Personal Area of the Catalogue.
The books should be returned to the loan point of the library from which they were borrowed. See the calendar of loan-point openings (constantly updated).
If you cannot go to the library to return a book, contact the librarians or consider sending it by post or courier at your charge to: University of Milan, via Festa del Perdono 7, 20122 Milan. (On the envelope, write in full the name of the library from which the volume was borrowed.)
For the safety of users, between one loan and another, books are kept in isolation for 10 days, as suggested by the Guidelines drawn up by the Central Institute for the Pathology of Archives and Books.

For loans expired before 24 February, the closing period will be taken into account at the time of return.


How can I contact library staff?

Librarians are working remotely, but they can always assist you with bibliographic research strategies and sources. During this period, they will also try, whenever possible, to point out bibliographic resources that can be accessed from home: above all e-books and e-journals in our Digital Library or quality resources available on the web.
You can contact them through the usual online channels:


What are the library services currently available?

During Phase II of the health emergency, our libraries will gradually resume the book loan service for their paper collections.

See the list of open loan points. 

Remote services are always available:

  • access the collections of the Digital Library with your University e-mail credentials (e-books, scientific journals and databases)
  • Ask the librarian: librarians can provide you with bibliographic assistance, indications on research strategies and sources. During this period, they will also try, whenever possible, to provide bibliographic resources that can be accessed from home, namely e-books and e-journals in our Digital Library or quality resources available on the web
  • slides and  tutorials of the Library Service

Our librarians are working remotely and will not answer on the phone numbers indicated on the Library Service Portal, but they can be contacted using other channels: contact our librarians.


I have to return a book, but the library is closed. What shall I do?

All texts can be returned when the health emergency is over.

  • All expiring loans  will be extended throughout the emergency period ( check your loans in the Personal Area of the Catalogue)
  • For loans expired before February 24, the closing period will be taken into account at the time of return;
  • Access to graduation exams is allowed even to students with pending loans: the material may be returned after the health emergency

How can I access the University e-resources from home?

You can always access the University Digital Library using your University e-mail credentials.
To search simultaneously all resources you can use the search engine  EXPLORA which will retrieve articles, books, e-books and all the resources that are most suitable for you
Do you need help in identifying what resources are most useful to you?  Contact the librarians   
Do you need technical assistance? Write to bd.help@unimi.it


Which University e-resources are available?

You have more than 370,000 e-books and 70,000 e-journals available. Browse the list by title, subject or publisher.
The Digital Library has also subscribed to 225 databases, which are very useful tools for finding articles and essays contained in academic journals, publications by multiple authors or conference proceedings, or for data consulting. The list is alphabetical by title and subject.
Do you need help in identifying which resource is most useful to you?  Contact the librarians   
Do you need technical assistance? Write to bd.help@unimi.it

The University also provides   AIR  the institutional repository of scientific publications, where you can find doctoral theses discussed at the University since 2010. AIR also contains bibliographic data, and often full-text articles, monographs, essays, edited books, conference and working papers produced by the University researchers since 2004.

On the page  Unimi publications  you can also access journals and series edited by the University teachers


I would like to learn how to best use the e-resources in the University Digital Library. Do you have any suggestions?

You can look at the  slides  of the meetings organized by the libraries on available databases and software. To access the materials, login with your University e-mail credentials.

Please also check out the  SBA tutorial on youtube. You will find very useful materials especially for the biomedical area.


What if I can't find what I'm looking for, or can't consult it because the library is closed?

During this emergency period, you cannot access all of the library collections. University librarians are working remotely and cannot check citations.
Remember, however, that librarians can always help you check whether an electronic version exists or provide you with alternative sources that can be accessed immediately.  Contact the librarians  


I am writing my thesis, what about the bibliography?

Our paper collections are currently not available, but our librarians can help students find sources and useful resources for their thesis:  you can contact them  directly from home. They will help you retrieve books and articles from the Digital Library and, upon request, they will acquire any e-books as soon as possible (if they are on the market and can be made available through the University Digital Library): suggest purchasing an e-book.

Don't forget that you can manage bibliography using the software listed on the page  Bibliography tools. We recommend in particular Citavi or Mendeley, available to our users under ad-hoc agreements with software producers.

Please also check out our Towards the thesis course materials, available on the dedicated page.


I need a book for my degree thesis or doctoral dissertation. What shall I do?

Have you checked whether there is an electronic version in the Digital Library? You can also do this with the librarians.

Otherwise you can suggest purchasing the e-book: fill in the online form available in the Suggestions section in the  Personal Area of the Catalogue. If the e-book is on the market and meets our Digital Library technical requirements, it will be purchased by the University Library Service.


Which e-books can be purchased by the Digital Library?

In order to meet the needs of our upcoming graduates and doctoral students during this emergency period, we will purchase e-books whenever possible, and will make them available through the Digital Library.
However, please note that:

  • there is not an electronic version for all books on the market, especially for Italian books.
  • the supplier must provide purchase or subscription options for academic use. For example, we cannot purchase e-books from retail platforms, such as Amazon, IBS etc.

I need a chapter from a book that you have in your library, can you digitize it and e-mail it to me?

The copyright law does not authorize the digital reproduction, in whole or in part, of works protected by copyright. Therefore, we cannot send you book scans, as this would imply changing the format from analogue to digital.

Moreover, our librarians are working remotely, with no access to the collections, not even for citation checks. But they can help you find electronic resources to be accessed from home: Contact the librarians.


I found an article on the internet, how can I access the full text?

As a student of the University of Milan, you can access all the articles in our Digital Library. How to identify them?
If you are in Google Scholar, go to: settings> link to libraries. Search and select: University of Milan. In the search results, you will find the link Full text UNIMI next to our Digital Library resources.
Otherwise, type the title of the article in  EXPLORA, the search engine of the University Digital Library.


Can you provide a selection of reliable sources on Covid-19?

We highlight a selection of open resources on COVID-19, available on the websites of several scientific publishers and biomedical libraries. Check our list.