Latest Library Services information

Last updated 24 July 2021

Study spaces are being managed by staff, this helps ensure they do not go over capacity.  There are several study spaces open on campus, as well as the Barnes Library and the OLRC. If you wish to return books or print, please note you can do this by visiting the Wolfson Room .

Use of libraries this summer:booking not required and new government guidelines- As we enter the quieter summer months in our libraries; we will be drawing to a close the need for staff and students to book to enter the Main Library. The Book Collection Hour is now also ended. From Saturday 24th July, you will just need your ID card, as usual, to access the building. As government guidelines change, please note:

  • We strongly encourage the continued use of face coverings in shared, or enclosed spaces. Remember this is not only to protect you but particularly to protect other users and staff who may have increased vulnerability to Covid -19. 
  • Please continue to adhere to social distancing and only sit in designated spaces, labelled "sit here". 
  • Please continue to wipe down desks before and after use (with wipes provided) and to sanitise hands as you enter buildings. 
  • For all of our buildings that are open to staff and students, a full and recently reviewed risk assessment is in place to identify social distancing measures and local mitigation arrangements such as Perspex screens, ventilation, and room capacities. 

These measures are in place to ensure the safety of all members of our University community. 


We have some exciting Library improvement work happening over the summer, please check for any possible disruption this may cause. 

Which libraries and spaces are currently open?

At present, libraries and several study spaces on campus are open. The Murray Learning Centre is open as a study space at weekends until 1am. 

Please note however that due to current circumstances, services and opening hours may be subject to change at very short notice.

Access is limited to University of Birmingham staff and students only.

Book loans, returns and requests

A reminder that during this time we are being flexible regarding loans:

  • All loans will continue to renew automatically, if they aren't requested by anyone else.
  • We will not be fining anyone during this period.
  • We will cover the renewal of inter-library loan items from other institutions.

You may still request items which are out on loan, but you should be aware that others may be self-isolating or away from campus and unable to return items. Requests may take longer than usual to arrive.

If someone requests an item you have out on loan and you are not being taught on campus, do not make a special journey to return it. Please contact us to let us know.

Outside of our opening hours, you can return items using the external returns machine by the Main Library's front door.

Free scanning for distance learners and students who are shielding

 If you can't get to the library because you're a distance learner, or you're shielding, you can request scans of journal articles and book chapters for free.

Covid-safe notice by the gates of the Main Library.

Online services

We continue to offer a range of online services including:

Frequently asked questions

Can I borrow books?

Yes. Find out more about borrowing from our libraries.

Can I access FindIt@Bham in the library?

Catalogue PCs will not be available on site, so you can look up shelf locations on your phone at or have them ready before you visit the library. While in the building, you can contact our Just Ask team online if you need help.

Can I request an item from the Research Reserve?

If you need an item from the Research Reserve, all you need to do is find the item on FindIt@Bham and request it from there.  Once notified you will be able to collect your item from an area next to the main desk. Please note requests from our Research Reserve can take up to 48 hours to complete.

Can I return books at the Main Library? 

You can return books in the Main Library's Wolfson Room, Monday-Friday 10:00-16:00, or to the ground floor.  Outside of our opening hours, you can return items using the external returns machine by the Main Library's front door.

Will I be able to study at Main Library?

Study spaces are available on all floors. Spaces are limited to maintain social distancing and are clearly designated with “sit here” labels. Sanitising stations are available on all floors and we request that you clean work spaces before and after use with the wipes provided.

Please make a note of the desk number you use for track and trace purposes.

Will I be able to print or borrow a laptop?

  • Twenty-seven PCs are available in the Main Library
  • Printing is available in the Main Library, the Main Library's Wolfson Room, and the Barnes Library.
  • Laptops can be borrowed for a one day period from our Wolfson Room. 

I'm a researcher - can I use the Researcher Suite at the Main Library?

Please note that in order to observe social distancing, seating capacity has been reduced. 

  • There are nine PCs available in the suite.
  • The kitchenette, lockers and sofas are not available.
  • As usual, the room is accessible by swipe-card access only, and is not to be used by anyone other than researchers.
If you have any queries, you can chat with a librarian 24/7 or you can email us.


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