Cambridge University Library


The following rules apply to the University Library, West Road, but not to the the Central Science Library, the Betty and Gordon Moore Library, the Squire Law Library, and the Medical Library. Rules for the latter are posted in the libraries to which they apply.

References in these rules to `Regulations' are references to the regulations made by the General Board for the use of the University Library (Statutes and Ordinances).

Opening and closing
Use of Library materials

Behaviour in the Library

Opening and closing

1. Except on the days when it is closed under Regulations 2 and 3 (Ordinances) the Library shall normally be open as follows:

Monday to Friday, 9.00 to 19.15 (22.00 during Full Easter Term).

Saturday, 9.00 to 17.00.

No person shall enter the Library less than fifteen minutes before the time of closing.

The opening hours of reading rooms are determined from time to time by the Syndicate. Details are given on the University Library's web-site (


2. In addition to members of the University, the following persons may be granted a Reader's Card and admitted to the Library, but may not borrow books:

(a) Any persons over 18 who are engaged in private study or research, if supported by appropriate evidence of academic standing and fitness for admission. An administrative charge of £10 will be made for a Card valid for up to six months (or £20 for 12 months).

No charge is made for the single issue within any twelve-month period of a Card valid for up to seven consecutive days, or for the issue of a Card to a current member of the academic staff or a registered research student of any other university funded by one of the higher education funding councils in the United Kingdom.

(b) Undergraduates of other universities in the British Isles normally resident in the Cambridge area, if supported by appropriate recommendations.

Cards issued under this section shall be free of charge and shall normally be valid only during the vacations of this University.

3. Readers' Cards are not transferable. Every person to whom a Card is issued under Rule 2 shall sign an undertaking to observe the Regulations for the use of the Library and the Rules made by the Library Syndicate.

Holders of Readers' Cards issued under Rule 2 may be required to work in a particular reading room designated by the Librarian and shall comply with any special conditions laid down by the Syndicate. The whole or part of the administrative charge may be waived at the discretion of the Librarian.

Readers must inform the library of any changes to their current address.

4. The Syndicate reserve the right to cancel at any time, without assigning cause for the cancellation, any Reader's Card issued under Rule 2.

5. Persons over the age of 16 not holding a Reader's Card may be admitted to the Library for the sole purpose of viewing the building provided that they are accompanied throughout the visit either by a member of the University or by a member of the Library staff. No member of the University may introduce more than two visitors at one time except by arrangement with the Librarian. Visitors admitted to the Library under this rule may use the Tea Room but are not permitted to consult any books or other library materials.

6. The Exhibition Centre is open to all members of the University and the general public.


7. No book shall be borrowed from the Library on any day less than fifteen minutes before the time of closing.

8. Any borrower who fails to return a book in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 6 or Regulation 7 (Ordinances) shall be liable to a fine of 25 pence (50 pence for recalled books) for each working day (or part thereof) that elapses before the book is returned or the Librarian is notified that it has been lost and the replacement cost of the book has been paid.

9. Works of reference, unbound works, or parts of works may not be borrowed except by the special permission of the Librarian or a person appointed by him/her, but may be consulted in a reading room of the Library. Printed books not kept on the 'open' shelves may be borrowed unless this is prohibited by special restrictions.

10. Personal details of borrowers of Library materials may not be disclosed to other readers, nor shall any person use the computerized facilities of the Library to obtain or process data except in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Use of Library materials

11. The marking of any Library materials is forbidden; readers may be prohibited from using ink and may be asked to use pencils instead while consulting certain volumes in any of the reading rooms.

12. All persons borrowing Library materials, or ordering materials for use within the Library, shall produce evidence of identity at the time of borrowing or ordering if requested to do so.

13. Readers must comply with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, details of which are displayed in the Library. Users of electronic legal deposit publications are required to abide by the terms of the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 and The Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013

14. Use of University Library's IT facilities is governed by the Rules made by the Information Technology Syndicate of the University ( and shall be only in accordance with the terms of the JANET Acceptable Use Policy (

15. All retired staff members who have access to the libraries of the University may make use of licensed electronic resources such as ejournals, ebooks and databases, while on library premises, as "walk-in users". Retired academic or research staff who remain research active with a faculty or departmental association, and who qualify for Raven Ids and passwords, may be granted remote access to licensed resources with the support of the relevant faculty or department, who should confirm their continuing research status by emailing when requesting access.

Behaviour in the Library  

16. Silence shall be maintained as far as possible in the Library.

17. Readers must present their Reader’s Card or University Card for inspection if requested by a member of the Library staff in the course of their duties.

18. The use of portable computers and mobile devices is permitted in the Library provided that they are quiet in operation. Users of such equipment may be required to work in specified areas or to stop using a computer if it constitutes a distraction to other readers.

19. The use of equipment likely to disturb or distract other readers or to damage Library materials (e.g. digital scanners, radios, personal hi-fi equipment, or computers to perform any of the functions of such machines) is not permitted in the Library. Mobile telephones must be set to ‘silent’ mode in the Library; the use of mobile telephones is only permitted in the Tea Room, the Locker Room and the courtyards of the Library. General photography and filming (e.g. of people or the building) is prohibited.

20. Overcoats, raincoats, and other kinds of outdoor clothing, umbrellas, bags, cases, photocopying devices, and similar personal belongings shall normally be deposited in the locker-room adjacent to the entrance hall during each visit to the Library.

21. The Library reserves the right to inspect anything brought into the building. Laptops, mobile devices, bags, files, folders, coats and any other items allowed into the Library shall be subject to examination on exit.

22. Bottles of ink, correction fluid, and other potentially damaging substances shall not be taken into the Library.

23. Water may be consumed in the Library as long as this is from bottles with a sealable top.  This does not apply to any of the Special Collections reading rooms (Anderson, East Asian, Manuscripts, Maps and Rare Books rooms), and is at the discretion of Library staff.  Food is not allowed anywhere in the Library, with the exception of the Tea Room and the Courtyards.

24. Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is not permitted anywhere on the premises.

25. Library staff are empowered to stop any activity in the Library which they consider prejudicial to the safety, well-being, or security of readers or Library staff or to the preservation of the collections.


August 2014