Using the K B Chen China Centre Library

A librarian reading a book standing between two red bookshelves

Due to staff shortages, Scan & Deliver services at the KB Chen China Centre Library are currently suspended.



This library is open to all staff and students of the University and Bodleian Reader card holders (non-University members).

  • Swipe card access is available until 5 minutes before closing.
  • Visitor access may be available on request.
  • Readers must register with the library in order to borrow.

Rules and regulations

The Bodleian Libraries Regulations and Rules of Conduct apply in this library, as well as the following local rules:

  • Bottled water and hot drinks in KeepCups are permitted.
  • No food may be consumed anywhere in the library.
  • You may bring bags into the reading room.
  • You must not leave your belongings unattended. KB Chen Library assumes no responsibility for any lost or stolen items. 
  • Mobile phones must be switched off while on library premises.
  • There are additional rules relating to borrowing

Classification and layout

The library has two main sections. The main lending collection is on mobile shelves. The reference section (confined dictionaries, bibliographies etc) are on the static shelves. Current periodicals are also displayed in the Reading Room.

Books are arranged by subject according to the Library of Congress and the Harvard-Yenching classification schemes. A copy of this classification is kept by the terminals. Periodicals and pamphlets are kept in a separate sequence. Download a floorplan (PDF).

Find out more about the China Centre Library’s collections

Reserve Collection

The China Centre Library Reserve collection is behind the library desk. Books in this collection have been specifically put there at the request of tutors, on whose reading lists they appear. Some of these books appear on readings lists of more than one course and so are in heavy demand. Several readers can need the same book at the same time. On SOLO these books have the status 'Reserve Collection/Apply Staff'. They are arranged by their shelfmark (ie the numbers and letters on their spine labels). Learn more about how to borrow from the Reserve Collection.

Stack requests

Items ordered from the Bodleian Libraries stacks are shelved in alphabetical order of readers' surnames and barcodes (first three letters of the surname followed by the last four digits of University card barcode) in the library's self-collect area.