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Using the Library

Here you can find information to help you get the most out of the Library, plus information about our services.

Readers in the Library

Quick tips

You can connect to WiFi (wireless network) anywhere in the Library.

This is the information you will need to access WiFi:

  • The wireless network: UoL Libraries
  • Your username: Your membership number (this is shown on the front of your Library card)
  • Your password: Your last name

Visit the Connect to WiFi page for more detailed information and to read our regulations and code of conduct for accessing the wireless network.

The classmark is a shelf location code, which is usually written on the spine of the Library book. Use the classmark (which is displayed in the catalogue listing along with the floor location) to find where a book is located in the Library.

The Library uses three main classification schemes: Bliss, Dewey and Library of Congress. More detailed information about our classmarks is available here.

The best way to start your search usually is to use the Library Catalogue. Once you have found an item in the search results, make a note of the classmark (or shelfmark) and which collection it is in. Printed floor plans are available to help you find your way around the Library spaces.

Please note that some of our collections are stored in in areas where only staff are permitted and these items should will be fetched and delivered to a service desk for you.

If you have any questions about finding items in the Library please visit the Service Desk on the 4th floor where staff will be happy to help you.

More detailed information about finding items is available on the Finding Items page. View library floorplans.

The current overdue fine for late returned books in the Senate House Library Collections is 30p per day. The maximum charge for a book that is returned late is £10.20. Readers are not able to borrow or renew books if they have a fine over £10.00.

The current overdue fine for a laptop key is 10p per hour.

You can pay online via the University of London Online Store.

Lost books — fees, and other options

The replacement charge for lost books is £50.00 per item.  The Library accepts replacement copies for lost or damaged items, in addition there is a £10.00 administration fee to pay.  The book should be an exact replacement of the item lost.  The library will accept second hand copies in good condition.  Please contact the relevant Research Librarian if you require further information regarding replacing the lost book.

Please note: once you have either replaced or paid for a lost book, no refund can be provided if you subsequently find the missing item, or it is later returned to the library.

Lost library cards

Lost library cards may be replaced for a £5.00 fee.

Lost laptop keys

Lost laptop keys may be replaced for a £15.00 fee.

If you wish to copy or scan Library materials you need to ensure you comply with copyright law. More information is available about copyright in the Library.

You are welcome to bring bottled water into the Library. Food, and hot and cold beverages are not permitted. The South Block café (located on the ground floor behind the ceremonial staircase), provides a range of drinks and snacks, plus a space with tables and seating. Mobile phones may be used silently in the Library: you can make phone calls on the staircases, if you wish.

Printed Special Collections, rare books, archives and manuscripts are available upon request in the Special Collections Reading Room, 4th floor. The palaeography and books studies collections are open access, but different operating hours to the main library – and special guidelines – apply. Visit the Special Collections page for more information, or ask staff in the Reading Room.

Send documents to print using the PaperCut service. Follow the instructions to upload documents to the print queue. Your username is your barcode number, and your password is the last six digits of the card ID on the reverse. You will need your Library card. You can also make copies and PDF scans and send them to your email address, or release print jobs from the machines on floors 4, 5 and 6. Add credit using the kiosk or by visiting the Service Desk, 4th floor. View the PaperCut Print Guide. [PDF, 350KB]

Ask a question

If you have a question please speak to us at the main service desk on the 4th floor, get in touch via our contact form, or email us at