The present Main Library building opened in 1959 and was further extended in the 1970s. Books donated to the Mason College Library over a century ago laid the foundation of the University Library.
The Main Library holds most of the University of Birmingham's Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science and Engineering material.
The Main Library provides a variety of both individual and group study spaces throughout the building.
Except for on the ground floor, all study areas are in ‘Quiet Zones’. This means that noise should be kept to a minimum and that mobile phones should be on silent. (You may use your phone in all areas on the ground floor except the computer cluster at the rear of the building).
Group study rooms may be booked for up to 2 hours. Please ask at the Reception and Information Desk in the foyer if you wish to do this.
A Researchers’ Room at the front on the building on the 3rd floor is reserved for use by postgraduate research students and academics only. It is equipped with 2 PCs, study desks and 2 microfiche readers.
There are over 230 general use PCs in the Main Library, mainly on the ground floor as well as a smaller number on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Floor.
You can print from PCs on the ground floor as long as you have print credit on your ID card. Charges for printing and photocopying are identical.
Two PCs on the lower ground floor are available for use by visitors.
If you wish to use your laptop, there is wireless access throughout the building. You should check on the IT Service Desk pages for how to set up your laptop for use in the library.
Location of Printers
All the printers are on the ground floor in the following locations:
Zone GC Main Hall
Network location - ML GC A on corp332
Zone GC Main Hall
Network location - ML GC B on corp332
Network location - ML TRAINING ROOM on corp332
Network location - ML PURPLE ROOM on corp332
Network location - ML GREEN ROOM on corp332
Network location - ML ORANGE ROOM A on corp332
Network location - ML ORANGE ROOM B on corp332
All computers will default to the printer located in the same room. If that printer is out of order, you can send your printing to one of the other printers.
The Main Library clusters use standard IS printer credit. You can top up printing & photocopying credits on a machine located on the ground floor by the IT Service Desk and at the Lending Desk.