Service updates

Updates on services, resources, and support available to help you carry on with your work and research.

We are working hard to offer as many services as possible in line with government and University of Oxford guidelines.

We'll keep this page – and our Twitter feed – up to date with the latest information. For further help or questions, please email or use our Live Chat service.

Page last updated: 21 June 2021

Latest service changes

Following government and University guidance there are a number of services changes in operation. We will continue to review our services in response to the changing situation throughout term.

Library reading rooms

We have reopened most of our library reading rooms.

You must book in advance to use our libraries either via Space Finder or via email – check individual libraries for details of the booking system they use.

Our reading rooms are open to current University members and Bodleian Reader card holders.

Suspension policy for non-attendance

The Bodleian Libraries is committed to ensuring fair access to reading room slots, and has therefore introduced a suspension policy in Trinity term for readers who routinely miss their reading room slot and do not cancel. Further information can be found on the guidance for booking a reading room slot and reminders will be displayed on Space Finder and the booking confirmation emails.

COVID-19 safety

The Bodleian Libraries have updated conditions of access.

You must wear a face covering properly in our libraries including when sitting at a desk. If you are medically exempt, we request you display an exemption card or sunflower during your visit. Alternatively you can confirm to a staff member on arrival that you are exempt to avoid being disturbed during your visit. We will not ask for details of the reasons for this exemption.

Please stay alert when using our buildings:

  • Keep your 2 metre distance
  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a face covering (or display an exemption card)
  • Have symptoms? Stay at home and get a test
  • Contacted by track and trace? Stay at home

Readers that compromise our practices will be asked to leave. Thank you for working with us to protect our community.

If you are travelling from outside of the UK, please make sure you follow the current government rules for entering England before you access our libraries.

More details about visiting our libraries.

Stack deliveries

University members can order items from the closed stacks to one of our open reading rooms.

To make use of closed stack deliveries from the Book Storage Facility (BSF), check SOLO for availability in your chosen library, ensuring you have booked a seat in the reading room beforehand.

Remote and low contact services

The following services are continuing to run across all closed libraries:

More about our remote access services

HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access

We have reinstated our emergency access arrangement with the HathiTrust.

This service enables on-screen read access to 1.5 million in-copyright items in the HathiTrust Digital Library, which have been verified as held in the Bodleian's collection in physical form (in addition to approx 4 million public domain items already available); these materials will be unavailable for Click & Collect. The majority of the collection is in Humanities subjects.

This service is available for University members.

You can access resources directly using your SSO on the HathiTrust website. Or use the links from existing records in SOLO where a digital copy is available via HathiTrust.

HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access review

We have reviewed our HathiTrust emergency access and it will not stop before 5 July 2021. We will then review it again in light of the prevailing easing of Covid restrictions.

To help plan for teaching and exams during Trinity term, we will aim to provide as much notice as possible (at least 2 weeks) of when emergency access will cease. Once emergency access has ceased, the physical copies of these texts would then be accessible via the libraries and we will return to our normal HathiTrust access of 4 million public domain items.

Inter-library loans

We are currently unable to process requests for physical inter-library loans. Requests for electronic copies will be processed where possible. 

Loan returns

Standard loan periods are now in operation across all our libraries. Please check individual libraries for details

If you are in Oxford, items should be returned to the library from which they were borrowed or via a temporary loan return hub.

If you are not in Oxford, you can send items to us using the Royal Mail Tracked service or contact us if you are based internationally.

How to return loans.


Fines for overdue books are currently suspended, we will inform readers when they are reinstated.

Self-isolating students

If you are self-isolating but need to borrow or return items you can:

Bodleian Reader card holders

We are pleased to confirm that all Bodleian Reader card holders will be able to book seats in the Bodleian Libraries from 21 June, subject to availability, and provided their card is valid at the time of booking.

Seats must be booked in advance. You must book in advance to use our libraries either via Space Finder or via email – check individual libraries for details of the booking system they use.

To access Space Finder, you will need to log in with your library account and password.

If you need to renew your card, please contact the Admissions Office. Applications for new Bodleian Reader cards are also welcome.

Please note that readers will not be able to request physical copies of items from the Book Storage Facility where these duplicate access temporarily provided via the HathiTrust emergency access service.

Readers with valid cards wishing to use Special Collections are already able to access the reading rooms in the Weston Library. More guidance about accessing the Weston Library.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

We have a broad array of online services that are still available to Bodleian Reader card holders:

  • OffsiteScan – free scans from our offsite facility which holds over 10 million items. Requires a valid reader card.
  • Open Access eresources – use the Open Access filter in SOLO to find journals, articles and books that are available to all to read
  • Databases – many of our databases are also open to all. Please look for the circle symbol in our Databases A-Z

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