Using the English Faculty Library

A student working on a laptop at a desk


Library welcome video


Hello and welcome to this short introduction to the English Faculty Library.

To get to the library, head to the St Cross Building at the intersection between St Cross Road and Manor Road. Follow signs for reception and you will find the library entrance adjacent to the reception desk. To enter, you will need your University or Bodleian Reader card. Hold the card to the pad as shown and the gates should open. There may be a delay while your card is recognised. Staff are on site to help.

Helen, the English and Film Studies subject librarian, is best placed to answer research-specific queries. But feel free to approach any member of staff for library help in the first instance. Some of our staff are shown here.

The English Faculty Library, or EFL, holds over 104,000 volumes to support the range of teaching, study and research in the English Faculty. The EFL also has a Film Studies collection, which focuses on film theory and British and American cinema. The library also holds a variety of special collections, including volumes related to the study of Old Norse-Icelandic language and literature, a rare books collection of 9000 pre-1850 volumes, and a significant collection of 19th century journals. Additional research collections for English are kept at the Bodleian Library, pictured here, and the offsite store. Most of the EFL's collections are borrowable, whereas Bodleian library material is for library use only.

The library's collections are spread over two floors. On the ground floor, you will find books on language, general literary theory and film studies, and literature and English up to 1550. Seating is available across both floors, though desks with power are limited to the ground floor. The computer room and quick search terminals can also be found on this floor. These terminals do not require you to log in and have the library's catalogue, SOLO, pre-loaded. All of the library's holdings can be searched for via SOLO, including electronic resources. Staff are available at the Help Desk for enquiries and loaning books. Here is a sneak peek of the library, spanning left to right from the entrance.

Print Copy and Scan (PCAS) facilities are available on the first floor. Collections on this floor include Literature in English from 1550 onwards, American and World Literature, and Bibliography. A lift is available for those with mobility impairments. Here is a view of the library's first floor, spanning left to right from the top of the stairs.

A range of accessibility equipment, including ergonomic furniture and reading aids, is available for use throughout the library.

LibGuides are a great way to find out more information to help you study in your chosen subject. English students should visit the URL shown to access subject relevant guides. Library-related information can be found on our webpage.

Users can reach out to a librarian in real time using the Live Chat service available through SOLO. And remember the onsite team is here to help during library opening hours. Our details are on screen.

We hope to see you soon.


Library rules

The Bodleian Libraries Regulations and Rules of Conduct apply in this library. For the benefit of all our readers we would ask you to follow these simple guidelines:  

  • Respect our quiet study environment. Mobile phones and laptops should be set to 'silent' before you enter the library. Music listened to through headphones should be turned to a very low volume. Please do not use phones at the issue desk or chat loudly in any part of the library.  
  • Eating and drinking is not permitted, except for bottled water or hot drinks in KeepCups

Information for readers

  • The library is on two floors, and there is step-free access via a lift. The entrance and main reading room of the library are on the first floor, with an additional upper gallery area. The main reading room is open plan, with plenty of seating. The upper gallery area is also open plan.
  • The information desk is just beyond the access gates at the main entrance to the library.
  • The Computer Room is in the far corner of the main reading room of the library, opposite the enquiry desk.
  • Wi-Fi is available throughout the library and laptops may be used anywhere.
  • The closing bell is sounded 15 minutes before closing time and then again at closing time.

Layout and finding books in the EFL

Our ground floor (PDF) and first floor (PDF) plans should assist you with finding your way around the English Faculty Library.

You can also find a library plan and a quick guide to the shelfmarks of major authors on the library noticeboard at the bottom of the stairs. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please ask a member of staff at the issue desk.

For information on finding books in the EFL, see our online guide.

Missing items

If an item is showing as available on SOLO but you are unable to find it in the library, please contact us with the author name, title of the book, shelfmark and your name. Tell us the date when this book will no longer be useful to you.

Library staff will search for the book over the next week. If we find it, we will place it on hold for you and email you to confirm it is available for you to collect at the issue desk. If after a week we have not found the book, we will email you to let you know. We will continue to search for the book for the next 3 weeks. If it is still not found, we will consider purchasing a replacement copy.