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Cambridge University Library

The Managed Cluster Service (MCS) from the University Information Service provides networked PCs running a wide range of software, together with printers and scanners. 

The UL’s Managed Cluster PCs will not offer all programmes that are available elsewhere on the MCS to members of the University. This is due to licence restrictions for use of software by non-University Members.

Desktop Services Accounts

All students and many members of staff are given Desktop Services accounts automatically when they join the University and can collect their login name and initial password by following the link from the Information Services home page. Any other member of the University may apply for a Desktop Services account.

Student accounts are normally cancelled at the end of the student's course (more details of the cancellation schedule).

Users in the University Library who are not members of the University will have accounts created for them when they register with the Library , Users who have been regular users of the PC/Photocopying service in the UL for the past 3 years will have accounts created for them when the new service is rolled out.  Please speak to a staff  at the Reader Services Desk in the Library if you wish to confirm details of your login or require a new password.


Resetting passwords

Members of the University:

Desktop Service Password tokens for members of the University can be requested via the UIS password management web page ( or a password reset token can be obtained from the UIS Service Desks or from authorised password resetter in their local College or Department.

NOTE: Staff in the University Library cannot issue password reset tokens for members of the University.

Non-members of the University:

Staff at the reader Services desk (in the Entrance Hall) will be able to issue password reset tokens to non-University members. It is possible to issue the password reset token as an email or as a printed token.

A Password Reset Token can only be used once and will expire after 24 hours. Read more on Password Reset Token


Using the Password reset token

There will be a kiosk facility in the UL to reset passwords with a password reset token. This can be used by all users. These kiosk PCs will be available at the following locations:

West Room (next to the MFDs), Photcopying room (North corridor, Floor 1), and in the Commonwealth Reading Room.

Alternatively, the token can be used when visiting the 

UIS Password management facility at (for members of the Unviersity) see How to reset your password with a Password Reset Token

Or for non-members 

see also


The MCS PC desktop



Using DS-Print

From a Managed Cluster PC:

From the programme that you are working in, select the print options. This will queue your document/page(s) for printing.

Locate one of the Printers in the Library. Log in to the printer using the console using your Desktop Service account. If you have a University Card, you can touch your card to the card reader attached to the printer. This should recognise you and autolog you in. You should then be able to select the print job in the queue and collect your printout.


Using USB devices

You are welcome to plug your USB devices (memory sticks, camera etc.) into the MCS. The Windows systems are getting much better at recognising such devices. If your device is recognised in Windows, it will appear as a drive letter that you can use. If your device is not recognised on one of the MCS operating systems then our installation of the operating system does not contain the required driver or the hardware is incompatible, thus, you will be unable to use your USB device at present. 

Please do contact the Reader Services staff to let them know and we will see if UIS would be able to include the relevant driver the next time the operating system installations are changed (which will be some time in the future).



It is possible to put funds for printing on to your account using an online facility. This can be found at

This can also be done via one of the Kiosk PCs in the Library.

Kiosks for recharging your print balance online and using password reset-tokens can be found at the following locations:

  • West room (next to photocopiers)
  • Commonwealth Reading Room
  • Photocopying room (North Corridor, Floor 1)

The minimum recharge amount is £1.00 and the maximum is £30.00

Money can also be added to University/UL cards online (or by staff at the Reader Services Desk in the Entrance Hall)

Readers who have PCounter credit (from old UL system) will have their balances transferred to the new system. We are only transferring accounts for readers who have access their accounts in the last 3 years. 


UL Balance – money that can be spent only in the UL. If we have to give any refunds, we can only refund against this balance. Refund cash with cash, credit card with credit card (in line with financial regulation. UL policy of refunds. Will not refund less that £5/£10 pounds.

Common Balance – money that can be spent for printing anywhere in the University. (This will be for members of the University only). Members of the University making enquiries about refunds or money in the common balance should be directed to the UIS Helpdek.

Registering people – will print the reader a reset token. Direct reader to a kiosk terminal to use the token to set their own password. Tokens only last for 24 hours.


Printing and photocopiers

Printing is available from all workstations. 

Multifunctional Devices (MFDs) which can print, scan and photocopy can be found at the following locations:

  • West Room (2 MFDs)
  • Commonwealth Reading Room (1 MFD)
  • Photocopying Room (north corridor, Floor 1) (4 MFDs)

Wi-fi access is available in all reading rooms, the tea room and in the corridors around the courtyards. Work to extend the network around the building is ongoing.