Reserve a seat

We are pleased to offer the Old Library, the Poetry Room, the Macmillan Room, and the Gladstone Room as spaces to work in.

We advise our members to reserve a seat in advance using our online booking form.

Please report to the library enquiry desk to check in before taking your seat, regardless of which room you have booked.

Online booking form:




What are the opening hours?

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 necessary.


Will I be able to study in the library?

Yes. You can also choose the Poetry Room, Macmillan Room or Gladstone Room.

You'll need to make a seat reservation, which are released on a rolling 3 day basis. 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

Likewise, if you have any special requirements, we will most likely be able to accommodate you. Do get in touch via the options above. 


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 study: Borrowing and returning books does not grant entry to the library.

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 are 17 seats available in the library, with a variety of desk seats and armchairs. Seating is allocated on a first come first served basis.

There are 11 seats available in the Macmillan room, all have desks.

There are 4 seats available in the Poetry Room, all have desks.

There are 9 seats available in the Gladstone Room, all have desks.

There is Wi-Fi throughout the building.

Once your three hour slot is up we will ask you to vacate the library so that library staff can clean the space. Slots are released on a rolling 3 day basis.


Can I book more than one slot per day?

You can book both a morning and an afternoon slot should you wish.

 How accessible are the rooms?

All the rooms except the Old Library are only accessible via a large staircase. There is one step to enter the Union building itself, about 15cm high. A ramp is available, please email us and we'll be happy to assist.

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?

You can, but it is very helpful if you know what books or subject area you would like browse beforehand. Browsing the library does not entitle you to a seat in the library.


What safety precautions are in place?

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. Upon entry to the Union buildings, members will be asked to sign in to the NHS track and trace app and will have their temperatures taken. We will also keep key windows open to aid ventilation, so wrap up warm!


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) and we will try to accommodate you.