Book a library time slot

Following government and University guidance, a small number of our libraries are open.

To help us keep you safe, you'll need to book your visit in advance.

Keep up to date with the latest service updates.

Page last updated: 20 January 2021

Libraries open

The following libraries will be open from 18 January:

  • Old Bodleian Library 10am-4pm (open until 7pm starting Monday 25 January)
  • Cairns Library 8am-5pm

Booking a time slot

To use the Duke Humfrey's Library or the Upper or Lower Reading Rooms in the Old Bodleian Library you will need to book a time slot in advance using our Space Finder tool.

Bookings can be made up to three days' in advance and will close at 8am the day of your chosen time slot. New slots are released at 10am each morning.

After making your booking, we will send you a confirmation email containing important information about the new safety arrangements within our buildings.

If you have not booked in advance, unfortunately you'll be turned away.

Changes to Space Finder

  • From 18 January, you will need to use your SSO (single sign-on) to log into Space Finder. This is a temporary measure until we are able to open our libraries to more readers.

Cancelling your booking

If you are no longer able to attend the library, please cancel by clicking the 'cancel your booking' link in your confirmation email to send an automated response.

We are currently experiencing a high demand for study spaces, therefore please:

  • book with other readers in mind;
  • check all relevant libraries for available dates;
  • check the evening before your desired slot for cancellations; and
  • cancel your booking if you no longer need it.

Who is eligible to use the libraries?

From 18 January, only University members who are have been invited back to study will be able to book a time slot to study in the libraries. Cairns Library is open unstaffed for clinical students only.

This is a temporary measure as we respond to current government and University guidance.

Bodleian Reader Cardholders with a valid card are still able to access our remote services.

What collections are available?

You will be able to access:

  • Our open shelf collections
  • Non-print legal deposit material via our library computers; these must be booked in advance

Closed stack deliveries from the Book Storage Facility (BSF) have been temporarily suspended. Our free scan and deliver service is still available.

Library PCs

If you would like to use a library computer during your visit, you will need to book this in advance.

You will be able to do this using the same process as booking a study space.


The access provision varies across our libraries.

If you have any access needs, please email before making your booking so that we can let you know what we can offer.

We will then ask you to include your request in the 'Other Information' box when you book your study space online.

Time limits on study spaces

There will be time limits for study spaces in some libraries. These will be announced by individual libraries as they reopen.

What to expect during your library visit

What to bring with you

  • Your University or (valid) Bodleian Reader Card in order to enter the library;
  • Proof of your booking (eg a screenshot or print out of your confirmation email);
  • A face covering. Unless you are exempt under the government guidelines, we will turn you away if you don't have a face covering.

Standard rules and regulations remain around items permitted in the libraries such as bags and KeepCups, unless otherwise stated. We ask that you visit the library individually and not with members of your social bubble.

When you arrive

  • You'll need to use the sanitiser provided to clean your hands when you enter the library building;
  • Floor markings and signage will indicate where you should enter and exit the library;
  • Some libraries may have one-way systems, which will also be signed;
  • If there is a queue to enter the library, please follow the markings on the floor and observe social distancing by remaining two metres behind the person in front;
  • Give your name to the member of staff on duty and present your University or Bodleian Library card.

During your visit

To keep staff and other library users safe, we ask that you:

  • Wear a face covering at all times in the library, unless you are exempt under the government guidelines;
    • If you need a member of staff to remove their face covering to talk to you please ask. We will be happy to help
    • there may be specific exemptions for certain group study or seminar rooms - details will be provided outside individual rooms
    • do not put your face covering down on desktops or shared surfaces
  • Wash or sanitise your hands at regular intervals, including when handling books and collections.
  • Maintain 2m social distance from all readers and staff.

You are welcome to come and go within your time slot, just remember you'll need to queue up again, present your University or Bodleian Library card and sanitise your hands when you come back in the building. At the end of your time slot, you may be asked to leave so we can clean the desks before the next session.

Some areas within the library may remain closed to readers, including cafes and common rooms.

Library specific guidance

Check specific guidance for individual libraries on their library websites.

Alternative ways to access library resources

Borrow - we have a number of different borrowing options without needing to book a desk space.

Remote access - if you can't visit our libraries in person, you can still access a wide range of services and resources remotely.


If you have further questions or need any help, please contact the individual library or email

Back to top