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Library FAQs

Arrangements for Michaelmas Term

Arrangements for Michaelmas Term

The Working Library remains open to junior members and Fellows during staffed hours. (The November lockdown has not affected our services.)

Opening times

From Monday 5th October until the end of term (Friday 4th December), opening times for the Working Library are as follows:

Ground Floor

Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm & 6.30pm-midnight

Sat-Sun: 9.30am-12.30pm, 1.30-5.00pm & 6.30pm-midnight

Pre-booked study slots

Mon-Sun: 9.30am-12.30pm, 1.30-5.00pm & 6.30pm-midnight

You will need your card to enter and leave the Library. To access areas other than the Ground Floor, you will need to pre-book a study slot (see below). 

Vacation opening hours (effective from 5th December) will be as follows:

Ground Floor

Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm

Pre-booked study slots

Mon-Fri: 9.30am-12.30pm & 1.30-5.00pm

What you can do without pre-booking

Without a pre-booked study slot you can access the Ground Floor for printing/photocopying, to pick up 'click & collect' items, and to return items using the self-issue machine. You cannot access the upper floors to browse the shelves.

If you wish to borrow items, you can use our ‘click & collect’ service. Please first check that the items are available by searching iDiscover. Then email your borrowing requests to Include the title(s) and classmarks of the items in the email. Items will be fetched and left on a table on the Ground Floor in the Library for you to collect during staffed hours. You will be notified by email when the items are ready for collection.

Book a 'study slot' (desk space) in the Library

Desk space booking slots are made available on a monthly basis. Slots are available for morning (9.30am-12.30pm), afternoon (1.30-5.00pm) and evening (6.30-9.30pm) study sessions, seven days a week, with approximately 60 desk spaces in each slot. To book, log in to Moodle and select a date and time slot. You may book a desk space for multiple slots per day if needed, and for as many days as you need, as long as slots are available.

On arrival you must check in at the Issue Desk, where staff will allocate a desk to you for the duration of that booked slot. Please only use the desk that has been allocated to you. You will be required to clear your desk completely at the end of each slot - even if you have booked to return later. This is to enable thorough cleaning between sessions.

Which facilities can I use during my pre-booked study slot?

During a booked slot you may access all floors, and may take books from the shelves for use in the Library, so long as any items you touch are placed on a trolley, not back on the shelf. If you wish to borrow or return Library items, kindly use the self-issue machine rather than handing items to staff. The printers/photocopiers are also available for use; please take away any unwanted printouts/photocopied items or put them in the recycling bin near the photocopiers.

Should I cancel my booking if I no longer need it?

Yes please! If you no longer intend to come to the Library for your booked slot, please delete/cancel your booking on Moodle, or contact the Library to let us know ASAP, so that the slot can be made available to another reader. To ensure fair use of the system, those who fail to attend a booked slot will receive an initial warning by email, and those who fail to attend a second time will be prevented from booking for one week.

Face coverings

Face coverings must be worn at all times inside the Library, including when you are seated at a desk. (Temporarily removing your face covering to take a drink is of course allowed.) Staff will also wear face coverings when moving around the building, but are not required to wear face coverings in the Library Office, which is considered a 'bubble'. When speaking to staff at the issue desk, please stand behind the perspex screen.


If you are self-isolating you must NOT come to the Library in person. Instead, the following options are available to you:

  • Click & collect: You may order items through our ‘click & collect’ service (described above) and nominate a friend/supporter to collect the items from the Library on your behalf. Please specify that you are self-isolating when you first contact us to request the items, so that we can make the necessary arrangements for their collection.
  • Electronic resources: Many of the titles on Tripos reading lists are available in electronic format. When searching iDiscover, filter your search for ‘eBooks’ to find resources that you can access from your room.
  • Digital scans: Where electronic versions are not already available, Library staff may be able to scan chapters of books or journal articles and email the scans to you. See ‘Scanning services’ below for more information.
  • Study sessions on Zoom: Library staff run virtual study sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for anyone who would like to be part of a structured and supportive study environment. Email for the Zoom meeting links and schedule, or check the JCR or Library Facebook pages for more information.


Scanning services

If you are away from Cambridge or in self-isolation, Library staff may be able to arrange for a digital scan of part of a book/journal to be emailed to you (as long as the request complies with copyright rules, i.e. is no more than one chapter per book, one article from an issue of a journal, or up to 5% for personal use). Please first check that the item is available by searching iDiscover. Then email your request to and allow at least two working days. Please include the book/journal title, class-mark or volume and issue number, chapter/article title and page numbers in your email.

Please note: the University Library is currently running a dedicated Scan & Deliver service, which you may find a useful alternative should College Library staff be unable to fulfill your request.

Fellows and junior members who are present in College are strongly encouraged to borrow any items they need using the 'click & collect' service described above.

Additional resources

During the COVID-19 outbreak period, publishers are providing access to additional e-resources to support students and researchers. A whole range of e-resources, e-journals, and e-books can be accessed via Cambridge LibGuides. News and updates regarding ebooks can be found on the ebooks@cambridge blog, and you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Do keep an eye on this page for further information and updates.

Old Library and Archives

Both the Old Library and Archives Centre are closed until further notice. If you require advice on the Archives service please email Enquiries about Special Collections should be sent to

Biographical Office

Please email the Biographical Librarian at for the usual services offered by the Biographical Office. For example, please continue to report the death of a Johnian, request information about a member of the College you are researching, or provide new details about yourself for our records. Kindly note that although we have access to our databases and electronic records, some material is not accessible during this period of Library closure.

For any other queries please contact the Library.