Using the Library

How we help you with your research and work

Opening times

10 Jan 10.30am – 3.30pm Monday to Friday. Due to COVID safety measures, the library space has reduced capacity. Read our visitor guidelines.

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To return loans outside library opening hours, please drop them in the red bin on the right, outside the library entrance. You can also use our Freepost label to post books back.


  • Books and audio-visual material may be borrowed for a period of up to one month.
  • If items are requested by another user, they are subject to recall after two weeks.
  • While the Library is closed, items can be placed in the book return bin just outside the Library entrance. Or items can be posted back using our Freepost returns label.
  • Fines are not charged for overdue items, but loans should be brought back promptly on or before their due date, so that material is available for other members.

Overdue Items

  • Only one overdue or recall notice is sent to Library users for items that have been borrowed.
  • While the Library is closed, items can be dropped in the returns bin just outside the Library entrance. Or you can post items back using our Freepost returns label. 
  • Users who do not renew or return items within two weeks of the notice will have their loan account suspended until either the item is returned, or payment is made to cover the replacement costs. Please note that replacement items must be purchased by the library from our suppliers, substitute copies bought by readers will not be accepted.
  • There is a standard replacement charge of £50 per item.
  • Users who fail to return the item/s or pay the replacement charges within two weeks of their account being suspended may have all other library privileges suspended, including their Shibboleth account, and the matter will be referred to the Finance Directorate for further action. We anticipate this being a very rare occurrence, as we know that most of our members are considerate of their fellow members’ needs and return their loans on time.
  • It is essential that you keep us informed if you change your email address as notices will be sent out via email. If you maintain a ‘white list’ or list of safe senders for your email account please add to this to prevent the messages from being blocked by your spam filters.

Reserving Items

  • If all copies of an item are out on loan, or if you wish an item to be put aside for you, please place a reservation via the Library Catalogue
  • To do this click on ‘Place hold’ from the list of results or the detailed record, and follow the instructions.
  • You will need your Library Login and Password to reserve items. These were given to you when you enrolled with the Library. If you do not have a record of your Library Login and Password please contact the Library.
  • We will notify you (usually by email) when the item is available for collection. We normally hold reserved items for one week. If they are not collected within this time they are either passed on to the next reader waiting, or returned to the shelves. If you are unable to collect an item please let us know – we may be able to hold it for longer, or place you back on the waiting list.

Renewing Items

Photocopying and Printing

  • There are two photocopiers/printers/scanners in the Library for use by members.
  • Our printers use the PrintMe system. 
  • Users must comply with copyright regulations, details of which are displayed next to the machines.

Getting items from other Libraries

  • Journal articles and books that are not in stock in the library may be obtained from other libraries.
  • A fee of £8 per request is charged for this service.
  • To request an item, please use our opens in a new windowonline ordering and payment form.
  • Please note the British Library will not allow us to send books out to regional sites, so we are unable to obtain books on Inter-Library Loans. Your public library should be able to order them for you.
  • Click here for details of our refund policy.

Your own Personal Librarian!

Did you know students have their very own Personal Librarian? Find out who your Personal Librarian is.

User Charter

The library is committed to supporting the work of the Trust by providing a high quality, innovative and user focussed service outlined in our User Charter – Working with our users

Library Strategy 2019-2022

The library has developed a strategy to help us best support students, staff and external members. Download the library strategy document for 2019-2022.

Use other academic libraries to complement your studies or research

Great news, under our new partnership arrangements with University of Essex all students on Essex validated courses have borrowing rights and access to e-resources at University of Essex Libraries.

University of Essex Libraries

Access for Students on Essex validated courses
Students will receive a message from our Department of Education and Training inviting them to register for a University of Essex email address and library login. Once the process is complete, they’ll be able to access University of Essex online library resources and borrow books (subject to restrictions around COVID-19).

Trust Staff
Trust staff have reference use and limited borrowing rights at University of Essex Libraries.  This is at the discretion of the librarian and may be affected by restrictions around COVID-19. For more information please contact the University of Essex Library direct:

Students on Non-Essex Validated Courses
If you are a Trust student but studying on a course that is not validated by University of Essex you are entitled to reference use of University of Essex Libraries.

More information about using University of Essex Libraries.

Access to other university libraries via The Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) reciprocal scheme
Students holding Essex University or UEL student cards can also use other university libraries participating in the SCONUL scheme.  opens in a new windowMore information about SCONUL.

The Tavistock and Portman