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Advice for Library members during unstaffed period Christmas 2020

The Library will be unstaffed from Saturday 19 December until Sunday 3 January 2021 please note the following advice for members of the library.

Access to the Library building

Library staff, along with most other academic and professional service University staff, have been granted some additional discretionary leave days this year by the Vice Chancellor in recognition of the exceptional circumstances under which we have all been working since March this year.

As a result, the Library service will be unstaffed from 5pm, Friday 18 December until 9am, Monday 4 January 2021.

The Library building will be open as usual throughout the Christmas vacation period with Security based in the Library entrance area.

Current students and staff can use their Library cards to gain entry at any time through the Security gates as usual.

If you plan to work in the Library, it is recommended you book a Study Space as usual during this period. This will save you from being asked to relocate by another person who has reserved a space and just as importantly assist University staff manage the use of study spaces in the Library and across campus.

Print books will be available for loan and our journal collections available for reference on the subject floors.

Self-Service facilities for Self-Issue of loans and Copy and Printing tasks will be available as usual.

Printed guidance is located next to the Self-Issue machines about how to use the machines. It is recommended you view the video for using Self-Issue if you have not used the Self-Issue machines to borrow books before.

Please note that access to the Library at this time is still limited to current students and staff. We cannot welcome visitors, external members or Alumni to the Library for the time being.

Issue Desk queries - Library Cards

The Library Issue Desk will be unstaffed from 5pm, Friday 18 December to 9am, 4 January 2021 and therefore we will be unable to print any new or replacement cards for staff and students who lose or damage a card during this period.

Students living on campus will be able to visit the West Accommodation Centre during the Christmas vacation period to obtain a temporary replacement card which will grant access to residences. If the situation is urgent, staff at the Security desk in the Library can provide access to residences across University owned accommodation.

For key staff working on campus during this period, you should refer to Security staff in the Library in the event you need a replacement card at short notice.

Issue Desk queries - Returning loans and collecting Reservations

You can return items you have borrowed throughout the Christmas vacation period via the Returns slots adjacent to the Library Issue Desk. Loaned items (books, Inter-Library Loans, DVDs etc.,) will be discharged from your borrower account when colleagues return to work from Monday 4 January 2021.

Anyone may request items you have on loan during the vacation period. However, the earliest date loans will be due back in the Library is Wednesday 6 January 2021. If you are not intending to return to campus in early January and would be unable to return a requested item at that time, please contact staff via for advice - we will give you feedback from Monday 4 January 2021.

Details of the Vacation Loans policy are also available online.

Items you've reserved that have been made available for collection will be available throughout the unstaffed period as normal. Visit the reservations shelves on Level 2 and Self-Issue your requested items as usual.

Access to Library Services, Resources and Referencing advice

In the absence of Library staff support, you should refer to our comprehensive webpages for links to and descriptions of a wide variety quality online resources to support your study and research. You will find many resources provide online guides to make best use of them too.

Please navigate to the Resources for your Subject pages for your department as listed on the Library homepage.

Library staff have drafted a comprehensive guide to help students and staff resolve Referencing queries.

For information to support your research, publishing and data management please visit our Research Services webpages

If you do follow contact links on our webpages directing you to staff for further advice please remember that the earliest you will receive a response is from Monday 4 January 2021.

Resources problems and service outages

A core of University support staff will be monitoring the campus network throughout the Christmas period to resolve serious local network issues and troubleshoot resource access issues.

Resource providers themselves that give access to journals, databases and ebooks will have their own support arrangements in place for the vacation period. It is reasonable to expect there may be delays in re-establishing services in the event of a serious issue given the time of year. The best advice would be to check access to the resource intermittently over the space of 24-48 hours.

Please use the Report a problem with accessing this resource link on the Library Catalogue record for the journal title, ebook or database you're having problems with to report issues.

If you do report a problem, you will receive an acknowledgement email, please do not report the same issue repeatedly.

Study Spaces during Christmas vacation

During the vacation period 15 December to January 3 2021, the following Study Spaces will be available for bookings as usual

All other study spaces around campus will reopen from the end of the vacation.

Face coverings should be worn as an additional risk mitigation measure in and around Study Spaces, where social distancing is difficult to maintain, such as in corridors and communal areas.


If you have any questions, please contact us.