Current Covid measures and opening arrangements

Latest Updates

In line with Government guidance and the increasing relaxation of preventative measures around covid, we are updating arrangements at the Library.

Distancing will be removed between all desks in the Library and The Writers’ Room, Sackler Study, and Reading Room will be reset to their normal configurations. 14 distanced desks can still be found in the Art Reading Room and members can make use of individual desks around the Library and within the stacks, which are placed a good distance from one another. For help finding these, please do ask a member of staff. While desk signs will be removed, hand sanitiser will remain available by shared equipment and at key touch points around the Library.

We ask that members please do not come to the Library if they have tested positive or are showing symptoms for covid. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in keeping everyone at the Library safe.   

Face Coverings

From Monday 28 March, it will no longer be mandatory for members to wear masks when entering, moving around, or being seated in the Library. It is however the government’s guidance that masks are worn in crowded and enclosed spaces, and we would encourage you to follow that advice. We would also ask you to wear a mask during interactions with members of staff. A supply of face masks will remain available at Reception.

Lockers in use

We are pleased to confirm that lockers are available, enabling members to store their personal belongings during their visit to the Library.

The return of locker space means that we have reintroduced the pre-pandemic restrictions on bringing large bags into the main body of the Library. Members will be asked to leave bags in the lockers, but will be provided with clear, reusable carrier bags if they need to keep small items with them in the Library. Members’ co-operation with the reinstatement of this arrangement – which helps improve access in narrow spaces like the stacks, prevents damage to the collection, and improves book security - is greatly appreciated.

Continuation of free postal loans

Our free postal loans service proved to be a lifeline during the pandemic. We intend to retain a free service to members for the immediate future, recognising that many members are still unable or uncomfortable about travelling to the Library to pick up books in person.


Members are welcome to sign in guests once again to give them a brief tour of the Library. Please sign your guest in at Reception and remain together for the duration of your tour.


Members are able to use the photocopiers and there will be additional PCs replaced in the Catalogue Hall at the back of the Issue Hall.

We shall be keeping in place the glass screens at Reception and the Issue Desk, maintaining our enhanced levels of cleaning and continuing to provide hand-sanitiser. 

Temporary Tickets

Temporary tickets will be available again, but where these are sought in order to view material under invigilation please contact us first as we are only able to offer a reduced service to non-members at the current time. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details and please note that we will need at least 72 hours notice.


We hope these arrangements will allow as many members as possible to feel both safe and comfortable when visiting the Library and we look forward to seeing you back here soon. If you have any feedback on the measures or anything else about the Library please contact the executive at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..