Student working in library


We have made significant changes to the library buildings and services this semester to comply with COVID-19 requirements and ensure we can operate safely. The Estates and Facilities Management team have implemented enhanced cleaning routines, installed signage to encourage social distancing and provided additional hand-washing facilities. A number of local risk assessments and temporary operating procedures have been approved.

Our experience over the summer has been very positive, but we are aware that it may take some time to fully understand the restrictions on the range of services we can offer at present. The number of people in the library buildings is strictly controlled and everyone must pre-book an individual study space: we cannot offer drop-in access at any time.

We will review how the libraries are being used on a regular basis and make adjustments based on levels of use, feedback from library users and any additional government guidance.

Library reopening dates

The Aldham Robarts Library and IM Marsh Library will re-open to all students and staff on 28th September and study spaces must be pre-booked. Extensive refurbishment work on the Avril Robarts Library has been carried out over the summer and it will reopen on 5th October.

Library opening hours:

Aldham Robarts Library from 28th September:

Monday – Friday:  8.45am – 11pm
Saturday and Sunday:  10am – 8pm

IM Marsh Library from 28th September

Monday – Friday:  8am – 11pm
Saturday and Sunday:  10am – 8pm

Avril Robarts Library from 5th October:

Monday – Friday:  8.45am – 11pm
Saturday and Sunday:  10am – 8pm

Study spaces

The number of people permitted in the libraries has been reduced to comply with social distancing guidelines. Anyone wishing to use a library study space MUST book in advance. The booking system will be changed from time to time in response to demand or additional public health guidance. The booking system is available to staff, but please give students priority and only book a space if you really need it. You can currently book up to five four-hour study space slots each week. Booking slots are available in the morning, afternoon or evening and are available with or without a PC. The booking confirmation must be presented to staff at the Reception Desk to gain entry to the library. Booking is available online and instructions, including a link to a helpful ‘how to’ video, are in our FAQs.

All areas of the libraries are now designated for individual quiet study. Working in a group is not possible at present as all library users must comply with social distancing guidelines. Only one person may use each of the group study rooms, except for those designated for students with support workers. Please clean your workstation with the wipes provided before and after you use it.

Borrowing books: click and collect service

Browsing the bookshelves is not permitted at present because of the social distancing restrictions and the risks associated with the transmission of infection when handling books. Access to books held at all three libraries will be through our Click and Collect Service. Search for books in Discover and place a hold on the ones you wish to borrow. You will receive an email when the book is ready to collect. You must present this email to staff at the Library Reception Desk to enter the library and collect your books. You may collect books outside of your booked study period.

Books must be collected from the library where they are held, as our transportation services are operating at reduced capacity. If you’re self-isolating and need access to books, please contact us.

Note that we have invested in additional electronic textbooks where these are available, and you may be able to do most of your reading online.

Loan periods

Books are issued for seven days but you can keep them longer if no one else wants them as they’re renewed automatically if this is the case. If another student needs a book you have on loan, you will receive a recall notice and must return the book within seven days to one of the libraries during our current opening hours.

Returning books

You can return books to any of our libraries during our current opening hours, at designated points near the library entrance. You must then leave the library if you have not booked a study space.

Enquiry point in all three libraries

Library staff are available at the Hub to answer basic library and IT enquiries. Complex enquiries will be referred to the appropriate specialist staff. You may use this service during your four-hour study slot. Please try to avoid coming in to the libraries outside this time and observe the social distancing guidance when approaching the Hub.

Online enquiry service

Library staff are available to respond to enquiries via our on-line chat service 24 hours a day. Click the Ask the Library button on the Library web page. You can also use LJMU HelpMe to get in touch. Please note that we do not have a telephone enquiry service at present.

Printing, photocopying and document scanning

You may use the printers/photocopiers/scanners in the libraries during your booked study period. There is also one drop-in printer/photocopier/scanner at each library entrance. To print from this device you must send your documents to the print queue in advance, following these instructions.

Please wipe the keypad before and after use with the cleaning products provided. Library staff located at the Hub will help with any printing/photocopying/scanning enquiries.

Replacement LJMU ID card

You can purchase a replacement ID card via the LJMU online shop for a charge of £10, then collect it from one of the libraries. Library staff will check payment has been made and liaise with IT services to produce the card.  You do not have to go through the library gates to collect the card. This service is available Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm at all three libraries.

Purchasing consumables

You can purchase a number of items such as binding equipment and A4 coloured card from the Hub at all three libraries.  The cost of the consumables will be deducted from your Virtual Purse account. You cannot use cash in the libraries. This service is available during our current opening hours.

Other facilities

The library toilets are open but restricted to one person at a time. There are signs to remind you to knock and check before you enter, and to stand well apart if queuing to enter.

There are no seated café areas on campus at the moment as all catering outlets are offering a grab-and-go service. Library regulations on food and drink have not changed: you may bring in cold food and drinks during your four-hour study time and you may remove your mask for a short time to eat and drink.

There are water fountains in the libraries but you must use the disposable cups and not refill you own water bottles to avoid cross-contamination.

Additional library advice

We have new web pages listing the contact details for the liaison librarians, the Academic Achievement Team and the Research Support Team. These staff will be able to advise on more specialist support for teaching and research.

Members of the Library Leadership Team may also be able to help with general library policies and our temporary operating procedures.

Special Collections and Archives

The Reading Room will remain closed but appointments may be booked for consultation of specific items and the staff can answer enquiries via the email. We are able to offer digitisation of items to make available in Canvas and to support teaching activities using Zoom, Teams or pre-recorded videos.

Access to our virtual library is available 24/7 and includes:

  • Online access to academic e-books, electronic journals and databases to support current teaching and research
  • Access to support materials including online tutorials and study guides
  • Online enquiries via the Ask the Library button or LJMU HelpMe
  • A weekly online programme of library and study skills sessions from Skills@LJMU

Everything is linked from the main Library web page.