Visiting the Library during coronavirus

Senate House Library will open limited study space for members by advance booking only, Monday to Thursday, 11am-3pm.

Senate House

Visiting the Library during coronavirus

Senate House Library will open limited study space for members by advance booking only, Monday to Thursday, 11am-3pm.

Limited Library opening
Learn more about the limited opening of Library spaces (members only, by advance booking)
Monday to Thursday, 11am-3pm

From Monday 21 September 2020, Senate House Library will open limited study space for members by advance online booking only, Monday to Thursday, 11am-3pm.  

You can book a 3 hour study space online in advance (24 hours notice minimum). Bookings processed Monday-Friday. Timed entry slots are in operation Monday–Thursday between the hours of 11am and 2.45pm to help manage social distancing. The Library will close promptly at 3pm. 

New temporary SHL Check In Desk on the South Block, Ground Floor of Senate House - on arrival, you will need to go to the new SHL Check In Desk for Study Space and the Click & Collect service (next to the main reception desk) with your booking confirmation and membership card, before going up to the Library. 

Here's a short video (3 mins)showing you how it all works and the changes made for your safety.  

Key points to remember: 

  • Access to the Library will not be permitted without a face covering (unless exempt), your email booking confirmation and membership card.  
  • The number of study spaces available may change at short notice, in response to health and safety precautions.  
  • Check In & Scan QR code to use your booked study space – we will (only) use check in information to assess demand for space, usage and for urgent service messages while on site.
  • All other areas of the Library are closed except for the 4th floor Service Hall where you can access laptops for use on site via the self-service lockers & printers for scanning/photocopying (free until 31 October).
  • Only books on the open shelves of the Library are available for study and must be ordered online in advance via Click & Collect (24 hours notice minimum. Bookings processed Monday-Friday) - on site browsing is not permitted. 
  • Wash hands regularly - hand sanitiser is available at all help desks and in the reading rooms  
  • Always follow social distancing rules, health advice and instructions by staff on site 

FAQs

How do I book a space?

You can book a study space online for one of three staggered time slots in reading rooms, once logged into your Library account via the catalogue.

How far ahead can I book in advance?

You can book a study space online up to 14 days in advance and with a minimum of 24 hours notice.

Can I book on behalf of someone else/more than one seat?

No. You can only book one study space per day through logging into your Library account.  

How do I check in for my confirmed booking slot?

  1. Check in at the new temporary SHL Check In Desk on the Ground Floor of Senate House (next to the main reception).  
  2. When staff have confirmed your booking and you’ve collected any pre-ordered books, you can make your way up to the 4th floor where staff will show you to the reading room where desks are clearly numbered. 
  3. Scan the QR code on the desk to confirm that you are on site. Scan the QR code on the desk to confirm that you are on site. We will only use check in information to assess demand for space, usage and urgent service messages while on site.

We will (only) use check in information to assess demand for space, usage and for urgent service messages while on site. 

How do I find my study space?

  1. Check in at the new temporary SHL Check In Desk on the Ground Floor of Senate House (next to the main reception).  
  2. When staff have confirmed your booking and you’ve collected any pre-ordered books, you can make your way up to the 4th floor where staff will show you to the reading room where desks are clearly numbered.
  3. Scan the QR code on the desk to confirm that you are on site.

We will (only) use check in information to assess demand for space, usage and for urgent service messages while on site.

Can I extend my booking slot?

No. Only 3 hour study slots are available. The timed entry on your confirmed booking must be followed to help manage social distancing on site. Staff will close the reading rooms at the stated finish time on your booking.

Do I have to wear a face covering/gloves once in the Library? 

Access to the Library will not be permitted without a face covering (unless exempt). You are required to wear a face covering to access Senate House and while in the Library space. Gloves are not required.

What do I need to bring with me?

Access to the Library will not be permitted without a face covering (unless exempt), your email booking confirmation and membership card. 

We also recommend bringing your own water bottle because the water fountain has been removed for infection prevention. No food or drink, other than water, is allowed in the Library and there are no food/drink facilities open elsewhere in the building. 

What areas and services are open/available?

We are reopening limited study space only, in line with social distancing measures, starting with 3 reading rooms (Goldsmiths, Middlesex North & Middlesex South) and the Service Hall on the 4th floor. All other areas are closed.

When will the Library reopen completely?

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing, we are unable to confirm when the Library will be able to reopen completely. The number of study spaces and services available is reviewed regularly and may change at short notice, in response to health and safety precautions.  

Senate House Library and teams across University of London continue to work hard to implement changes to operations, in line with the latest health and safety advice to reduce the spread of coronavirus, with the aim of reopening access and services. 

Can I bring food & drink on site?

Apart from water, no other food or drink is allowed in the Library. We recommend bringing your own water bottle because the water fountain has been removed for infection prevention and there are no food/drink facilities open in the building. 

How do I get books for study on site? 

All books for study on site must be ordered online in advance (24 hours minimum notice) via Click & Collect on the catalogue (the same for off site study). Only books on the open shelves of Senate House Library are available for use.  

If you have a study space booking confirmed, you can collect your pre-ordered books at the same as you check in via the new temporary Check In & Click & Collect desk on the Ground Floor, next to the main reception desk, of Senate House.

How do I return books when my study slot has ended?

Please leave any books you want to return on your desk. When the reading room has been vacated, Staff will collect, process and quarantine all books (for 72 hours) left on the desks.

How do I contact the Library with any issues or concerns while on site?

If you have any issues or concerns while on site, please protect yourself and others from the coronavirus by contacting a member of staff on site or via Library Live Chat on our website.

Will Click & Collect still be available?

Yes. The Click & Collect service is the ONLY way to access books for study on site and off site. The Click & Collect Service desk is located on the Ground Floor, next to the main reception desk, and is open for pick-up and drop-off, Monday-Wednesday from 11am-3pm (24 hours notice minimum required. Orders processed Monday-Friday).

Can I use e-resources on site?

Yes. The full collection of Senate House Library e-resources is available on site. Laptops are available to access e-resources, if you do not have your own device with you on site, via the Self-Service Lockers in the Service Hall on the 4th floor.

Can I use printing and scanning services on site?

Yes. Printers in the Service Hall on the 4th Floor are available for printing, photocopying and scanning (free until 31 October 2020).

Can I access Special Collections/Archives?

You can order special collections and archive material to study in the Special Collections Reading Room which is now open on Tuesdays 11am-2.45pm by emailing shl.specialcollections@london.ac.uk. To comply with social distancing, study spaces are limited and advance booking is needed.

Please ensure you have the email confirming your order and study space booking before travelling to Senate House and have it ready to show staff on arrival. Check in first at the new temporary Ground Floor Check In Desk before going up to the Library on the fourth floor. 

Senate House Library and teams across University of London continue to work hard to implement changes to operations, in line with the latest health and safety advice to reduce the spread of coronavirus, with the aim of reopening full access and services. The health and safety of members, staff and visitors is our top priority and services will adapt accordingly, which may be at short notice.  

Are the private carrel spaces available to book?

Yes. Private carrel study spaces are available to hire again via the carrel booking system online  

For general study space in the reading rooms, booking is via the new online advance booking system.

Is the exhibition reopening? 

Senate House Library is reopening limited study space only, starting with 3 reading rooms on the 4th floor (Goldsmiths, Middlesex South & Middlesex North). All other areas of the Library are closed.  

Senate House Library will continue to review services on offer for members with a view to opening up more spaces and services, in line with health and safety precautions while the pandemic continues. The health and safety of members, staff and visitors is our top priority.