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During Lockdown 3, our libraries continue to support you as you study, teach and research. Access the libraries online and seek support via our remote services or, if the material you need isn’t available electronically, use our Zero-contact services

Cambridge University Library


Our services  at a glance   

Coronavirus means this academic year is unlike any other, and our libraries continue to adapt in response.

As we navigate Lockdown 3, a blend of online, zero-contact and limited in-person services is available to you across Cambridge University Libraries, giving you the access you need to  resources  and support wherever you are working or studying this term. Read more about our response to Lockdown 3 here.

We also want to keep you and our staff safe, and to ensure that we can keep services running effectively: we are keeping the services and the support we offer under constant review. 

You will find quick links to our services below: we ask you to stay aware of UK government guidance on lockdown restrictions when you use our services, and follow these steps:


Make the libraries online your first port of call: there are millions of texts and resources available remotely, and you can get lots of help from us on how to find the material you need. We also have lots of tips and techniques on how to learn and study effectively, wherever you are working at the moment.  

If the material you need isn’t available electronically, use Scan & Deliver or Ask a Curator to access the material you need from the main collections and special collections - we can deliver your request to your inbox.

Click & Collect and Book Returns are available. Find information about borrowing in all our libraries in the Borrowing LibGuide. University of Cambridge students can book a study space in the Main Reading Room and book to consult Special Collections material

Please use these four services in the spirit of lockdown guidance which stresses that travel should currently be limited to essential, local journeys only. 





It is not yet possible to book to consult material in the University Library, and the Special Collections Reading Room is currently closed. We hope to be able to reintroduce these services soon, subject to local restrictions and guidelines, and will provide you with a schedule as soon as we can.

In a small number of Faculty and Departmental libraries, very limited, controlled access to study space is available for some University members. Check the website of the library you wish to use for further details. 



Library users other than current University of Cambridge staff and students   

We are proud to have a large active community of readers who rely on the University Libraries, from writers to independent scholars. We trust everyone will understand why our priority at this point is to consolidate and maximise resilience for services for current staff and students of the University. This will be kept under regular review. 

We know how frustrating it is for our many readers who are not yet able to access the full range of library services – we really hope to be able to welcome you back as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.      

If you aren’t a current student or member of staff at the University of Cambridge, you can continue to access the Cambridge Digital Library and Apollo, the University's Repository for research outputs from the University. You can also use the Ask a Curator service for Special Collections enquiries, and many of our LibGuides. In addition, alumni of the University can access a suite of eresources. We will keep this under review and will resume fuller access as soon as possible.

Are you new to the University Library? Check what you need to do in order to access library services on our library membership pages.

What we ask of you to help keep our library users and staff safe

  • Use the online resources and remote services wherever possible to minimise physical visits to the libraries.   
  • To allow our staff to manage the high demand for material through the zero-contact services like Scan & Deliver and Click & Collect, please order only what you need and, where applicable, ensure that your orders are collected on time.      
  • You will be required to wear a face covering in the libraries, unless you have an exemption.  
  • You will be required to observe social distancing and to respect the changed layout and one way routes in libraries.  
  • Follow #StaySafeCambridge rules: wash your hands and use hand sanitizer regularly, including before, during and after your library visit.   
  • Be kind and courteous to each other and Library staff and follow the safety protocols in place. Everyone is doing their best during a difficult time.   

Are you a current student or member of staff? Book a video or voice call with one of our experienced Reader Services team members and we can help you get the most out of these services - whether you need help finding your books or help with a literature search.

We know you will understand that we may have to make changes to our services at short notice  in response to restrictions required by the UK Government and the University of Cambridge.  Any changes we make  to library services  will be announced here  and through our Twitter account, @theUL.     

You can  read more about how we intend to manage our services  across Cambridge University Libraries  in response to changing levels of UK Government restrictions in response to Covid-19  in  a message from the University Librarian and Director of Library Services, Jessica Gardner