Service updates

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

We'll keep this page – and our Twitter feed – up to date throughout Hilary term 2022. For further help or questions, please email or use our Live Chat service.

Page last updated: 19 January 2022

Latest service changes

Library reading rooms

COVID-19 service provision

As fears around COVID-19 infection intensify, we want to reassure our reader community that we are doing everything possible to maintain services safely with minimal disruption. During previous periods of restricted access to our libraries, we have successfully introduced services such as seat bookings and Click & Collect.

Before you arrive

The Bodleian Libraries have updated conditions of access.

If you or anyone you live with display symptoms associated with COVID-19, please delay your visit until you are no longer required to self-isolate. 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.

Libraries are open to all readers, and there is no need to book unless specified by the individual library. Just come along with your University or Bodleian Reader card.

Access to the Bodleian Health Care Libraries (Cairns Library, Girdlestone Memorial Library, Horton Hospital Library) will remain limited due to COVID safety measures.

Check library opening hours before you travel, as these may change at short notice. Most libraries open at 9.30am on weekdays as part of measures focussing on staff safety.

During your visit

You must wear a face covering properly in the library, including when sitting at a desk. If you are medically exempt, we request that 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.

We will:

  • Require all library users to wear a face covering (or display an exemption card)
  • Request readers scan the NHS Test and Trace QR codes displayed in our spaces
  • Encourage all library users to maintain social distancing and respect each other’s space
  • Encourage all library users to wash or sanitise hands frequently
  • Maintain an increased level of cleaning across our libraries
  • Keep our spaces will ventilated – you may want to wrap up warmly as the weather gets colder
  • Ask all library users to follow any one-way signage to maintain social distancing in our spaces

Some reading rooms will offer less seating to encourage social distancing.

Readers that compromise our COVID-19 safe practices will be asked to leave.

Self-isolating students

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

  • Nominate someone to collect available books on your behalf by emailing full details to the relevant library
  • Ask someone else to return loans on your behalf

Clinically extremely vulnerable readers

Some areas of 2m+ socially distanced seats are available in many reading rooms to support readers who are clinically vulnerable or anxious about social distancing.

Readers with a referral from the Disability Advisory Service and the Disability Librarian are able to reserve these socially distanced seats. Other readers may use them on a walk-in/first-come basis.

If you would like to be able reserve these seats, please contact in the first instance.

Loan returns and fines

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.

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 items are currently suspended. Find out more about fines from the Bodleian Libraries.

Bodleian Reader card holders

The Admissions Office has reopened to the public by appointment only. Find out how to book and guidance for arriving.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

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