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Can't Find What You Need?: Home

Can't Find What You Need?

Can't Find What You Need is our new combined service for purchasing books. If you previously used ILL, please now use this new service.


We can try and get it for you, using our combined suggest a book and Inter-Library Loan service. Scroll down below and explore the tabs on the guide for more information. We’ll let you know the best way we can provide the resource, and how long it will take to arrive.  

Please note that requested material MUST be required for your University of Westminster coursework or research. 

Not sure what you need and what is available for your course, or can't get an item on a reading list? Please contact the library Academic Engagement and Learning Development team at 


Click the images for links to services




Look at our guidance on how to use Library Search.

If you are sure that we do not have access to a resource that you need, you can:

• Check if the item is available via Open Access this is particularly useful when looking for doctoral theses and journal articles.
• Expand your search using a database if you can't find the exact article you want, check out the E-resources/Databases A-Z linked from Library Search. The LibGuides have information on the databases for your subject area.
• Apply via our 'Can't find what you need?' service. We can source, books, book chapters, articles, conference proceedings, and theses both physically and electronically – we purchase suitable items for the library stock or acquire items from other institutions. 
• We are part of the Sconul Access Scheme. Sometimes the quickest way to access the item you are interested in, is to visit the holding library yourself. You can check item availability here. Please note, you must apply for a Sconul Access before you visit the holding library and check their library webpages for entry details. Click here for more information.
• You can visit the British Library. The British Library is the UK’s national research library. Search the library collections here. To access the collection, you will need to join as a reader. More information be found here.
• If you are studying on a taught course and the item you need appears on a reading list, please talk to your tutor. They may need to liaise with the Library to make the resource available on the reading list.

If you require a book that the library does not hold, you can request the item via our ‘Can’t Find What You Need?’ Service. (this form is for current staff and students only).

If you wish to request a book chapter or journal article for your personal research, you should submit your request using the ILL form.

We will seek to provide content electronically.  However, if a title is not available in this format, we will acquire a print copy.

If you are a member of staff and you require new material to be made available for a course module you can add the details of the item to your reading list and the Library will aim to make the resource available to your students.

Further information

We will review and purchase your request within one working day, but supply time is dependent on format and availability. EBooks can take up to 2 weeks to become accessible, and print books, up to 6 weeks to become available to lend. If you urgently require an item, please let us know and we will do our best to fulfil your request.

1) You can only request books that are not held within the library in any format. If you would like to suggest a book for a reading list, request additional copies, or request an existing library book in a different format, please contact

2) Books requested through this service must be required for your University of Westminster coursework or research.

3) Books requested through this service are subject to review. The acquisitions team will decide the best way that the book can be supplied, taking budget and delivery times into account. Some requests will be supplied via Inter-Library Loan, whilst others will be purchased. You will be notified of the method that has been taken.

4) Approved book purchases will be supplied in either digital or print format, depending on availability and cost. If you have additional needs and would prefer a specific format, please let the team know in the notes field of the request, or contact us directly at

5) Delivery times for purchased books can vary. EBooks can take up to 2 weeks to become accessible; and print books can take up to 4 weeks to arrive.