How to use the Library

Books and Desks

Library desks

  • We have 50 Private Desks and a number of Hot Desks. For more information, please go to our application page.

Online Library Catalogue

Using books at your desk

  • At the back of each book or bound volume of journals there is a card in a plastic pocket.
  • Write the date, your name and desk number on the card, and leave it on the shelf in place of the book.

Please always leave a card on the shelf for each item that you remove.

All books are for reference only and may not be borrowed or removed from the Library.

Scholars using Private Desks may keep Library books at their desks.

Scholars using Hot Desks are asked to reshelve their books at the end of the day.

What to do when a book is already in use

  • If the book that you need is in use at another reader's desk, make a note of the name and desk number appearing on the shelf card.
  • Negotiate the use of the book with the reader concerned.
  • If the reader is not at his/her desk, you may remove the book; but leave behind a red slip indicating which book has been removed, and adding your own name and desk number. Red slips are available on the cabinet near the Library entrance.

Quick Reference Collection

  • This collection of heavily-used books is shelved near the Librarian's Office. The call-number of each book is prefixed by the letter R (or REF).
  • Instead of leaving a card on the shelf, sign each book out on the clip-board provided.
  • Return the book as quickly as possible - certainly before the end of the day - and cross your name off the list.

Journals, Theses, Maps


  • The latest issues are displayed each week on the cabinet to the right as you enter the Library.
  • Recent issues waiting to be bound are in green boxes, arranged alphabetically by title, in the first Bay on the left after the Library Office.
  • Bound volumes are arranged alphabetically by title on the top shelves of the stacks all round the main Library area.


  • The collection of MPhil and PhD theses may be found in the entrance to the Lower Hexagon. They are arranged alphabetically by author.