University LibraryStudents

Using the library

Entering the Library

Study Spaces during Coronavirus situation:

The capacity of the building has been reduced to ensure that social distancing can be observed. No external access is available at present - we are only open for current staff and students at the University.

The Library has created approximately 450 socially distanced spaces on all four levels of the Library for individual study. At present, these spaces are on a first come, first served basis

Some study spaces, including study rooms, are available for booking but are all for individual use only.

For information about additional study spaces around campus please see the central University webpage



The University Library has barrier access controls. This means you need your ID card for both entry to and exit from the building and to borrow any material from the Library.

By asking you to scan in and out of the building, we are able to ensure the building doesn’t exceed its fire safety occupancy level. It also means we are able to gain valuable information about how people use the building to help us with business cases to the University. 

Please note:

■ Our Reception Desk at the main entrance will continue to be staffed whenever the building is open to help you out.

■ If you have forgotten or lost your ID card, please speak to the staff member at the Reception Desk who will be able to allow you to enter the Library without your card. Library staff will check your details on our Library database before letting you through the barriers.

■ A maximum of 3 cardless entries will be allowed within an academic year. This will be recorded on our Library system. If you arrive at the Library on a 4th occasion without your ID card, you will be denied access to the building.

■ If your ID card is lost, stolen, damaged or expires you can get a replacement from Creative & Print Services. Just bring your old card (or your ID number if you no longer have the card) to the Creative & Print Services reception in the Herbert Manzoni building and where possible they will print a replacement within a matter of minutes. Lost cards and damaged cards under two years old are charged at £8.00 for a replacement. Stolen cards will be replaced free of charge if you provide us with a police crime reference number.

■ Members of the public or other external visitors who wish to use the Library for reference purposes can, upon production of appropriate photo ID, register at the Reception Desk for entry into the Library. We reserve the right to restrict access to the Library during peak exam periods. N.B. External users must be over the age of 18 to enter the Library unaccompanied. People who wish to use the Library under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or teacher at all times.


Learning environments

When you use the Library, there are a wide range of different learning spaces. When you come into the Library, you can decide what is best for you

  • If you want quiet study and group study, go to Levels 1 and 2. You can also have drinks on these Floors but food is not allowed
  • If you want quiet study and group study, with food, go to Level 4 (food is not allowed in Level 4 silent study area)
  • If you want silent study, there is an area specifically for this purpose on Level 4. Food is not allowed
  • If you want group study where you can eat and drink, Level 3 is ideal
  • Group study facilities are available on all four Levels

Group study rooms

There are 11 bookable group study rooms of variable sizes distributed throughout the Library. These rooms are equipped with a range of facilities, including: white board, flip chart, PC and plasma screens so that you can easily discuss work in large groups or practise presentations.  So make sure you book the room that suits your needs.

As the rooms are in high demand, ensure you take up your booking within 15 minutes of the start time, as those rooms remaining empty after this time will be made available to other readers.

Bookable booths

There are 7 bookable booths located on Level 4 of the Library, all of which have power sockets and data connectors to a plasma screen on the desk so that you can practice presentations and group work.

As with all our bookable rooms, you should ensure you take up your booking within 15 minutes of the start time, as booths remaining empty after this time will be made available to other readers.

The University has a number of other areas suitable for group work, including wireless-networked spaces in the Edward Herbert and James France Buildings.

Study carrels

There are also 20 bookable individual study carrels which can be booked via the Rooms / PC bookings system.

As the carrels are in high demand, ensure you take up your booking within 15 minutes of the start time, as those rooms remaining empty after this time will be made available to other readers.

Individual study spaces for quiet study

We know that on occasion you may prefer to study on your own in quiet.  To help you achieve this, Levels 1 and 2 are designated as quiet study areas.  In order to preserve the quiet study environment, chatting (even discussion about your course work / exams) eating, and using mobile phones are not permitted anywhere on Levels 1 and 2.

There are nearly 500 study spaces on Levels 1 and 2 where you can work in quiet including 50 PCs.

Silent study area

It is also very important that you have access to silent study spaces when you need to concentrate. On Level 4, there is a silent area which can seat 70 people. People cannot eat or use mobile phones in this area. This space is intended to be always silent. If it is not, let Library staff know.