Student Rights: Get the Library Lowdown

The Library is a fantastic resource for all students here on campus and online. In this blog, I am going to talk through your access to books, study space and other resources to help you make the most of the wide range of services offered.

For detailed information of all the services offered by the Library, especially access to online resources, please refer to their dedicated page on the student intranet. Please note that all information contained in this blog is correct at the time of writing, however, I strongly recommend checking this site regularly as services are constantly under review in response to student requirements and implications of the pandemic.

As a student you are automatically registered with the Library, with your College card acting as your Library card, meaning you can access all their resources in person and online! LibrarySearch is the online interface for the Library services, where you can search for books, check where these books are located, use eBooks, renew and reserve items, find articles in online journals, look at exam papers and find your reading lists, and much more. 

When is the Library open?

The Library is open from 7am-11pm every day, including weekends.

How can I access Library study space?

You must book to access a study space in the Library. All study spaces are for individual, quiet study only. Social distancing must be adhered by and face coverings should be worn when moving around the building. You can book the following slots:

  • 7am-10am
  • 10am-1pm
  • 1pm-6pm
  • 6pm-11pm

The demand for study space is being actively monitored regularly, therefore please check the website for the latest updates and changes to the timings of booking slots.

It is advised that you book your study space in advance of your visit. However, if you require access immediately, you can book a space ‘on the spot’ for immediate entry via the study space booking system, provided that spaces are still available. If you can no longer attend your slot, please ensure that you cancel your booking so that other students do not miss out on valuable study space!

You can arrive at any time during your allocated time slot. Sanitising wipes will be provided around the Library, so please ensure that you wipe down your desk and study space before and after using the area. Gloves are also available when using computer keyboards.

Founder’s Reading Room

If you require a place to study outside of these hours, Founder’s Reading Room is available as a 24-hour individual silent study space. It can be accessed via the Founder’s West entrance (exit is via south tower). At the moment there is no need to book this space. It will be on a first come, first served basis, however social distancing and face covering guidelines must be adhered to. Please use the available QR codes to register your presence, in line with NHS Test and Trace requirements. This space is unstaffed but will be regularly monitored. If you require emergency assistance, please contact security on 01784 443888.

How do I borrow books and DVDs?

If you have booked a study space in the Library, you can browse the collections and borrow the books using the contactless machines. You will require your College card to borrow the book. Even if you only want to take a book out, you must book a standard library study space for a short visit. The High Use section of the Library (on the ground floor) may include print copies of some books listed as essential or recommended on your reading list. If not, these copies will be available as digital texts online.

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students can borrow a maximum of 35 books at a time; staff and postgraduate research students can borrow a maximum of 40.

There are two different types of loan lengths: one-week and three-week. This is dependent on the demand for the book. Each book will clearly state its dedicated loan length.

Find out more here.

Returning books

During opening hours you can return books to the returns machine in the Emily Wilding Davison (EWD) Building atrium. You can also use the book return box on the external wall of the EWD Building opposite the Windsor Building, or return to the Bedford Square reception. All loan lengths are either one-week or three-week, however, all items on loan with automatically renew unless another person requests it. In this case, you will need to return it by the due date, otherwise you will be charged a fine of 40p per day until you do. If there were mitigating circumstances affecting your ability to return a book, the fine can be cancelled. These mitigating circumstances will need to be approved by your school based on evidence. Speak to a member of the Library team via email or LiveChat if this affects you.

How can I print and photocopy?

If you already have a study space booked, you can use the available printing and photocopying machines around the Library. If you only need to attend the Library for printing, simply book a normal study space for a short visit.

Multi-functional devices (MFDs) can be found on all floors of the Library, you will need your College card to use them, or you will need to know your username and password. Every student is given £10 per academic term as printing credit. Credit does not roll over to the next term if you do not use it and if you need more printing credit, you can top up your account via the student intranet. In order to reduce environmental impact and save waste through sustainable printing, we strongly encourage both students and staff to only print when necessary

What else can I use the Library for?

Past exam papers are available online through LibrarySearch. For most subjects there are past papers from the last five years, however for some subjects there may be fewer papers available. If the paper you are looking for is not available, please contact openaccess@rhul.ac.uk.

There are a number of resources available from the Library to support postgraduate research students. More details of this can be found here.

If there is a book you are asked to read by your lecturers which is not available in the Library, please contact library@royalholloway.ac.uk

If you need help in finding relevant information for your assignments, evaluating the quality of the resources you find, or need help referencing, there is a Library Information Consultant for each school who you can email for help or book a 1-2-1 appointment with. You can find out who they are here. There is also a really useful Library Moodle page that contains lots of help and expertly designed activities to build your research skills.

Is there additional support available if I have different access requirements?

  • There are two entrances to the EWD Building. The main entrance at Founder’s Square has self-opening doors and the second entrance opposite the Arts Building has ramped access and self-opening doors.
  • There are four lifts in the building and accessible toilets on all floors.
  • The Assistive Technology Suite is located on the first floor of the Library and includes adjustable height desks.
  • Six computers have a range of different specialist software installed including Abby Fine Reader, Mindview, My Study Bar, Natural Reader and X Mind.
  • The Library can also provide you with additional support if you are registered with the Disability and Dyslexia Services (DDS), including extensions to loan periods, book retrieval services, a Library induction, printing on coloured paper and staff assistance.
  • If you need assistance finding and taking out a book, DDS students can speak to a Library member of staff to access a ‘click and collect’ service.
  • You can email library@rhul.ac.uk if you would like to discuss the facilities and services available further.
  • If you are unsure whether you need additional support, contact DDS who coordinate support for students with additional learning needs. They offer daily confidential drop-in sessions from 11am-2pm, Monday-Friday. You can also contact them via phone on 01784 414621, or via email at disability-dyslexia@royalholloway.ac.uk.

Further support

Library staff are always keen to support and get feedback from students, especially in these difficult times! Please submit any feedback, queries or concerns you have via email at library@rhul.ac.uk. They also offer a LiveChat service 9am-9pm every day to deal with any enquiries or help that you may need. They are here to help you! Do also follow their Twitter account @RHUL_Library for all their latest updates containing essential information and key events.

If you would like to discuss anything with our Advice Centre at the SU, including Library fines, please email them at advice@su.rhul.ac.uk, or arrange a phone or Zoom appointment. They are an independent and confidential service offering impartial advice.