Library Services

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Access to the collections and reading rooms

The library material is available to students, Erasmus students, University’s teaching staff, visiting professors, University staff, staff from partner institutions and external users who have an interest in the collections.

Wherever possible, the collections are on open shelves: books, journals and other materials located in the reading rooms or in other rooms, that can be accessed directly by users.
To access materials located in reserved reading rooms or on closed stacks, readers must submit a request to the library staff: they are normally retrieved at the time of request, except when the starage area is located off-site or when the organization of individual libraries does not allow for this.

The reading room is primarily intended for the use of the collections and services. Access to the reading room for the purpose of study using personal materials is permitted on a seat availability basis, as verified by library staff.
You have to reserve a seat through our web portal or mobile app LezioniUnimi.

Booking a seat in one of the reading rooms

To consult materials from the Libraries’ collections or study in the libraries, all visitors are required to book a seat in one of the reading rooms via the LezioniUnimi app or the web interface.
By selecting New booking, you can choose the library, date and time of your visit depending on the availability of seats.
To confirm a booking, students and staff of the University of Milan can authenticate with their own University email credentials, while non-university visitors can enter their email address, name, surname and tax ID code (codice fiscale) in the corresponding web form.

If you show up in the reading room with a delay of more than 30 minutes, your place will be returned to the pool of available seats, so that more people can benefit from this service. For the same reason, from your user area in the LezioniUnimi app or in the web interface you can free your place if you are leaving earlier, or even cancel your booking if you are not planning to come to the library any more.
To log into their user area, students and staff of the University of Milan have to use their University email credentials, while non-university visitors can authenticate with the temporary credentials they used for booking their seat.

Please note that booking a seat is required to study and consult volumes in the reading rooms, but not to check in or out the books you have borrowed.

Borrowing: general information


University of Milan students, Erasmus students, University teaching staff, visiting professors, University staff, staff from partner institutions and users from partner hospital centres, are all registered with the libraries' loan service.

Interested external users can request temporary registration by submitting a completed application form filled in and signed by a member of the teaching staff or researcher from the University. The form can be collected in person from the library or downloaded from the Library Service portal


How it works

Accessing the Catalogue using University login details, users can send loan requests and select the library where they want to pick up the books reserved.
Readers must wait for a confirmation email before going to the library: it will be sent as soon as books are available for pick-up at the chosen location.
It is also possible to return books to any of the University libraries, choosing the most convenient. Just take the book to the reception desk, or use the return boxes located outside each library.

The loan status of an item will be indicated in Minerva, the University Catalogue. In any event, old, rare, valuable works and musical scores cannot be borrowed. There may also be specific conditions governing the loan of non-book materials (music CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs, etc.).

Materials may be borrowed on a personal, non-transferable basis. The loan ends with the return of the volumes by the due date, in the same condition as at the time of borrowing. Volumes can be collected by a third party on presentation of a written letter of authorisation and a photocopy of the requesting party’s identity document.

Renewal is allowed as long as the books have not been reserved by others. Renewals cannot be authorised for books that have exceeded their loan due date.

Seat reservation is not required to borrow or return a book.


Minerva Online services

Users can access the personal area of the Catalogue in order to:

  • send a loan request and select the library where they want to pick it up: the reader must wait for an availability notice sent by the library; he then has 3 days to collect the volumes;
  • reserve books that are currently out on loan: when the reserved volumes are returned, the  library will email the user by the following day to notify them. The user then has 3 working  days in which to collect the documents;
  • monitor loans and due dates;
  • request a renewal.


Failure to return items by their due date

It will result in the user being barred from using the services provided at all Library Service libraries until the item is returned; the return of the item more than three days after its due date will result in the user being suspended for the number of days overdue.
Students who fail to return items within 60 days of their due date will have a temporary block put on their academic studies and will be excluded from exam sessions; the block will be removed once the borrowed item is returned; however, the student’s suspension from using the library service will remain in place.

Borrowing rules

The service is provided by all the libraries as follows:

  Students and those of similar status University teaching staff, technical and administrative staff, staff from partner institutions, and those of similar status External users with  Malleveria*
How many item?  at least 25 volumes  at least 25 volumes  at least 6 volumes
For how long?  30 days  60 days  30 days
Loan renewals  60 days as a whole (30 day each renewal)  120 days as a whole (60 day each renewal)  60 days as a whole (30 day each renewal)

* Guarantee form filled in and signed by a member of the University’s teaching staff. The form can be collected from the library in person or downloaded from the Library Service’s web pages

The loan duration differs for course reserve books, applying to all types of users.The rules are set as follow:

  Biomedical and Science Libraries course reserve Humanities, Law, Economics, Politics and Social Sciences Libraries course reserve
For how long?  30 days  15 days
Loan renewals  60 days as a whole (30 day each renewal)  30 days as a whole (15 day each renewal)


Thanks to overnight and weekend loans, when the library is closed for a brief period, the service allows users to borrow volumes that are not normally available for loan. Some types of items are excluded from the service, such as old, rare and valuable volumes, dictionaries, encylopedias and special materials.
This service is not provided by every library: ask at the reception desk for information.

Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery

The library provides the following interlibrary services to students, Erasmus students, University teaching staff, visiting professors, University staff and staff from partner institutions, as well as to users from hospital centres:

a) Interlibrary Loan i.e. ordering books not held in the Library Service libraries from other libraries in Italy and abroad;

b) Document Delivery, i.e. ordering copies of journal articles and book chapters not held in the Library Service libraries from other libraries in Italy and abroad;

c) Intra-system Document Delivery service, i.e. ordering printed copies of journal articles and book chapters from other libraries in the University. The service is not provided between libraries located on the same premises or adjacent premises: neither is it available at the via Festa del Perdono site or between the libraries located in the Città Studi district (Biblioteca di Agraria; Biblioteca Biologica; Biblioteca Biomedica di Città Studi;  Biblioteca di Chimica; Biblioteca di Fisica; Biblioteca Matematica; Biblioteca di Medicina veterinaria; Biblioteca di Scienze della Terra).

The services are provided with due regard for current copyright regulations and specific licence agreements covering certain types of resources, within the limits established for the purposes of preservation, and according to the conditions laid down by the supplying library.
Please note that the copy of the document requested through the Document Delivery service cannot be sent by email but must be collected from the library in person, regardless of its original format.

Service charges may vary among the different libraries, depending on tariffs set by the supplying libraries or costs borne by University Library System (SBA) libraries.

Guaranteed services:

Service Number of requests
 Interlibrary Loan

 at least 3 concurrent requests

 Document Delivery  at least 5 concurrent requests

The procedure for requesting documents varies from library to library and is described on the web pages of the individual libraries. In addition to the other request methods, some biomedical and science libraries (Biblioteca di Scienze del farmaco, Biblioteca del Polo centrale di medicina e chirurgia, Biblioteca del Polo San Paolo, Biblioteca Alberto Malliani, Biblioteca di Medicina veterinaria, Biblioteca Biologica, Biblioteca di Chimica, Biblioteca di Scienze della Terra e Biblioteca di Fisica) allow staff whose Departments refer to these libraries to send requests through the NILDE user account.

Delays in returning documents received through the interlibrary loan system, and damage to or failure to return borrowed materials will result in sanctions as envisaged under the borrowing service.

Through the Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery systems the library makes its resources available to those libraries and documentation centres that request access to them.
Other institutions must contact the libraries that hold the items, or the unified service points, as indicated in the catalogue details and on the libraries web pages, according to the methods indicated therein.

For more information, please consult the Charter of services

Document Delivery: NILDE user account

The service allows users to obtain a copy of a journal article or book chapter not available either in electronic format in the Digital Library or as a printed copy in the University libraries (University Catalogue).
The service is reserved to Milan University users: teaching staff, researchers, doctoral students, those completing a postgraduate specialisation, recipients of research bursaries and grants and technical-administrative staff whose Departments refer to the libraries listed below can register.

The service is offered by the following libraries:

Biblioteca del Polo centrale di medicina e chirurgia
Biblioteca Alberto Malliani (for students also)
Biblioteca del Polo San Paolo (also for students and for the staff of the Local Public Health Authorities Santi Paolo e Carlo)
Biblioteca di Medicina veterinaria (for students also)
Biblioteca di biologia, informatica, chimica e fisica
Biblioteca di Scienze della Terra (for students also)

IMPORTANT Since the the service is provided with due regard for current copyright regulations and specific licence agreements, the copy of the document requested cannot be sent by email but must be collected from the library in person, regardless of its original format.
Users should first check with the library as to whether the service is free or not.


  • Register with the service by creating a personal account. Fill in all the fields on the online form, including any non-mandatory fields, always providing the details of the library to which you are affiliated.
  • Once your account has been verified by the library, you can send requests by typing in the details.

Practical advice:

  • Before sending your request, use Minerva, the University Catalogue, to check whether the periodical that you are requesting is available as an e-journal in the Digital Library or as a printed copy in the library.
  • Remember to monitor the status of your request and read any messages that you may be sent by the library via NILDE.
  • Please make sure you do not request the same document more than once.
  • Please also avoid requesting unnecessary documents.


Access to archives

Some centres and libraries in the University hold documentary archives pertaining to people and institutions of the academic, cultural and publishing spheres, as well as the University’s historical archive. A list and brief description of the resources can be found on the University Library Service portal and on the web pages of individual libraries.
Most of the archives have been organised and described; many have an electronic inventory which can be consulted through a web interface managed by the University’s Library Service.

All interested users can access the collection by appointment. Specific methods for accessing and using the archives are defined by the libraries based on the specific nature of the resources and/or documents.
Access to and disclosure of the documents must take place with due regard to current legislation on the protection of personal data and copyright laws. All quotations or use thereof must be accompanied by an explicit reference to the repository where the documents are held, the archival collection, the series and unit consulted.

Library orientation, assistance and bibliographic information (reference service)

Library staff help users navigate the library services in the first instance and to provide basic assistance for searching the catalogues and using the printed and digital collections.
With regard to the library's field of specialisation, by appointment the library provides personal assistance for specialist bibliographical searches and compilation of bibliographies, and help in developing effective search strategies. It also offers tips for the advanced use of catalogues and other bibliographic search tools, both printed and online, as well as help in finding information and even documents where possible.

The libraries provide a unified remote reference service called BiblioHELP (Ask your Library).
BiblioHELP home page offers you answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about our services.
In addition, using an online form, requests for guidance and basic assistance (information on library services, simple bibliographical queries, advice on search strategies and resources) can be sent to the libraries, while enquiries to the Digital Library (electronic resources) and to the University archives can be sent via dedicated email addresses.
Requests will be answered within 3 working days.

Internet access

The PCs in the library provide access to the University Catalogue, the University Library Service portal, the Digital Library and other key online resources for study and research.
Users must identify themselves using unimi University login details to browse Internet sites other than the University’s websites.

Users who have a University email account can also access the University’s wireless network from their own computers, smartphones or tablets in Eduroam mode. The service is also available to external users from member institutions of the Eduroam Federation of Universities and Research Institutes (access to the Digital Library is not available to logged in external users).

Photocopying and printing

Libraries offer a photocopying, scanning and printing service with self-service machines, available to all users. Within the limits of existing copyright regulations, these printers can be used to:

  • Make photocopies
  • Print documents from a USB drive
  • Scan non-published materials (class notes, summaries of volumes, charts etc.) to a USB drive.

Pre-paid cards to use the printers can be bought from the dedicated vending machines. Each card has a value of 5 Euro (125 credits) and is non-rechargeable. Cards must be stored properly, in order not to damage the magnetic stripe on the back.
For each print, credits are deducted which correspond to the price of the print
The following prices and credits apply to photocopies, prints and scans:

  • A4 black&white: 0.04 Euro (1 credit)
  • A4 colour: 0.24 Euro (6 credits)
  • A3 black&white: 0.12 Euro (3 credits)
  • ?A3 colour: 0.48 Euro (12 credits)

Card-vending machines are currently available at the following locations:
Biblioteca di Studi giuridici e umanistici, Via Festa del Perdono 7
Biblioteca di Scienze politiche, Via Conservatorio 7
Biblioteca del Polo di mediazione interculturale e comunicazione, P.zza Indro Montanelli 11 (Sesto San Giovanni)
Biblioteca del Polo San Paolo, Via Antonio di Rudinì 18 
Dipartimento di Informatica, Via Celoria 18
Biblioteca di Medicina veterinaria, Via dell'Università 6 (Lodi)
Biblioteca di Storia dell'arte, della musica e dello spettacolo, Via Noto 6
Biblioteca Alberto Malliani, c/o ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco Via G. B. Grassi 74 
Biblioteca del Polo centrale di medicina e chirurgia, Via della Commenda 19

The Italian copyright legislation allows photocopying of up to 15% of the total pages of any volume or paper file. Users can also print the results of queries performed in the Digital Library, within the limitations provided for by the relevant subscription license.

Copying is not allowed if it can damage the item.

Courses and training activities

Libraries offer orientation and training sessions on the services, resources and tools available in its area of specialisation, with the general aim of improving information literacy.
Classes are taught in Italian. The schedule of courses and information in Italian are published on the University’s Library Service portal.