Using the Library during Michaelmas Term

We are happy to announce that the Library will open for the Michaelmas term from Monday 5th October.

Counter services will be available to all members between 09:45-12:45 and 13:30-16:30, Monday to Friday. A number of study spaces in the Old Library will also be available by appointment.

We can't wait to welcome you back!




What are the opening hours?

From the 5th of October until the 5th of December the Library will be open from 09:45-12:45 and 13:30-16:30, Monday to Friday. These days and times are subject to change and will come under review as term progresses.


Will I be able to study in the library?

Yes. You'll need to book a study slot, which can be done up to two weeks in the future and up to an hour before the allocated time, subject to availability. You can book a slot here. 

If you're unable to make an appointment via this system, please give us a ring on 01865 246782 or email us at


How does the desk booking system work?

We will be offering two time slots throughout the day: 09:45-12:45 and 13:30-16:30.

There will be two different types of booking reservation available:

  • Desk reservation: This booking is for use of a desk. Depending on availability you may be seated next to or near another member, but screens are in place. Power points are generally available at or near our desks.
  • Armchair reservation: This booking is for one of our comfy leather armchairs. Please note that there is no desk and that power points are not available at all our armchairs.

Once your three hour slot is up we will ask you to vacate the library so that library staff can clean the space.


How many bookable slots are available each day? Can I book more than one slot per day?

There are 5 armchairs and 12 desks spaces available for each booking period. You may not book two bookings of the same type within the same booking period i.e. you couldn't book two desk spaces in the morning slot. For the consideration of other members, please do not book an armchair and desk space for the same session.


Do I need to book a slot to borrow and return books?


Books can be returned at the library desk between 09:45-12:45 and 13:30-16:30 or in the book returns box by the library entrance if we're closed.

If you'd like to borrow a book, please tell a member of staff who will then fetch it for you. Even better: If you email us in advance then we can have the book ready for you to collect at a time that suits you.

Please note that you'll still need to book a space online if you're intending to use the library to study: Borrowing and returning books does not grant entry to the library.


Can I return a book I have out on loan by post?

Provisionally yes, but please email us directly to discuss the options.


Can I browse the shelves?

If you haven't booked a study slot then you won't be allowed into the library to browse the shelves. If you have booked a study slot, then you can browse the ground floor shelves, but you may not access the gallery or poetry room. Please ask a member of staff if there's a book you require from these sections. Please also put any books you've taken off the shelves on the book return trolley as you leave so that staff can quarantine them.


What safety precautions are in place?

The library seating has been reduced and reconfigured to comply with government guidelines. Protective screens have been put in place where appropriate. There are sanitizer stations throughout the building, including the library. There is a robust cleaning regime in place.


Do I have to wear a mask in the library?

Yes, it is expected that members will wear face masks in all parts of the Union buildings, including the library, unless you have an exemption card. If you forget your mask or lose it, we do sell them for a nominal fee.


Can I use the printer and photocopier?

Staff will provide this service for you. Any documents to be printed must be emailed to us in advance. There is a charge of 10p per colour side and 5p per black and white side. Scanning is free.


Can you scan and send me chapters of books?

Yes, as long as it is copyright compliant.


I am not a member, can I visit the library?

Please email the library explaining your reason (e.g. research, tourism).