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The University Library welcomes young people to the building

  • All ages are welcome to the Milstein Exhibition Centre. Parts of the building may also open to all for selected special events.
  • 16- and 17-year-olds may apply for a Library card. Written consent to use the library must be given by a parent or guardian. Please visit this page for further information.

Library card holders may use the University Library with children aged 15 and under for short visits, such as making an enquiry, retrieving books, or for pre-arranged appointments with a member of staff. Children aged 15 or under are not admitted to any of the reading rooms. Please read on for full guidance on visiting with children aged 15 and under.

University Library members accompanied by young people aged 15 and under

The following rules apply to the University Library on West Road. Other Cambridge libraries may have different rules, please do ask for further advice. There are some parts of the building that are not suitable for under 18s to visit, for safety and security reasons.

  • Everyone is welcome to use the Tea Room.
  • Pushchairs and buggies may be left in the Locker Room.
  • The Library is responsible for cultural treasures of global significance, and children are not admitted to any of its reading rooms. These are the main Reading Room, the West Room, the Manuscripts Room, the Rare Books Room, the Map Room and the Aoi Pavilion reading rooms (Music and East Asian collections). This means in practical terms that access to the Aoi stacks is not possible. In case of doubt, staff will be pleased to advise.
  • The Alpha and Beta staircases are out of bounds.
  • Except for pre-booked appointments with staff, visits with children should not be of excessive length. Longer visits for extended study are not permitted.
  • The parent/guardian accepts responsibility for accompanying children, including their safety, behaviour, and observance of relevant Library regulations.
  • The responsible adult must keep children under supervision, and the child should be at the adult’s side for the duration of the visit. For their own safety and wellbeing, children should not be left unattended in any part of the building in any circumstances.
  • Library staff are not trained or insured to look after children, and are specifically not allowed to do so.
  • Children should not remove books from shelves.
  • Children are not allowed to use any Library equipment, including computer equipment, and should not use any electronic device on the University wireless networks. Any personal electronic device used by a child must be switched to silent mode.
  • The Library reserves the right to ask readers to leave if, in the opinion of staff on duty, a child’s behaviour is disturbing other users. In certain circumstances, permission to bring a child into the University Library may be revoked, subject to written appeal to senior staff.
  • The University Library reserves the right to withdraw this privilege at any time or to impose restrictions during certain periods.
  • Any damages or loss arising directly or indirectly from the conduct of the child or children in their parent/guardian’s, unless such loss or damage is caused by the University Library’s negligence, is to be indemnified. Nothing in this policy is intended to exclude the University Library’s non-excludable liability for death or personal injury.