Book a seat

If you wish to use the Library to study in, we recommend booking a seat. We do accept walk-ins, but these are on a first-come first-served basis and any booked seats take precedence.

Seats can be booked at:


Please note that only Oxford Union Society members may use the library at present and you will be asked for proof of membership.




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?



You'll need to book a study slot, which are released on a rolling 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.

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 5 day basis.


Can I book more than one slot per day?

You can book both a morning and an afternoon slot should you wish, but please do not double book a slot or book concurrent slots in both reading rooms.


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. 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.


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).