Using the library during COVID-19

*UPDATE: It is no longer compulsory to wear a face-covering in the Library, however we strongly encourage you to wear one while moving around the building and using confined spaces such as the computer rooms, cloakroom and toilets. In term-time, the Law Library remains a mask-only study area.*

Our Covid procedures are based on risk assessments and will be regularly reviewed, so it is important that the rules are respected. We want you to be able to have the best library service possible, with the health and safety of our users and staff as a continued priority.

Important: do not use the library if you feel unwell. If you are unwell and need books please contact us at



Entrance/exit to the library on weekdays from 9am-4.45 pm is through the main entrance on Little St Mary’s Lane. At evenings and weekends, access is through the side entrance behind Fen Court (the law library/theatre lobby entrance). Your University card is required to open either door. Access is strictly confined to members of the College. Please do not admit students from other colleges.


Opening hours

During term, the Library will be open:

Monday to Friday: 9am - midnight

Saturday and Sunday: 9am - midnight

Outside office hours (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm), the library will be staffed by student invigilators.

Library opening hours will be under constant review and will depend on staff availability, and government, university and college guidance. There may be occasions when we have to shut the library at short notice, if staff/student invigilators are required to self-isolate.

For updates on vacation opening see Opening Hours


Study spaces

We are now back to full capacity. There are still cleaning materials available for you to clean your space before and after use, and housekeeping clean the desks first thing in the morning. Please be considerate to other users and do not leave belongings on your desk if you plan to be away for more than a short break. All belongings should be removed from the library by the end of the day.


Library face coverings policy

It is no longer compulsory to wear a face-covering in the Library, however we strongly encourage you to wear one while moving around the building and using confined spaces such as the computer rooms, cloakroom and toilets. The Law Library remains a mask-only study area.


Borrowing and returning books

You can borrow up to ten books and 1 DVD for up to two weeks (or until the end of Full Term, whichever is the shorter period). Items may be renewed up to three times via your library account on the Peterhouse catalogue ( or the self-issue machine. Please see the library guide or library website for more details.

To borrow books, you can either use the self-issue machine or the library staff on the front desk can issue them to you.

All returns should be handed in to the Library Desk for staff to return them on the system; they will be handed back to you for you to re-shelve them.

Our "Click and Collect" service is still available for members of the College. Just email with details of up to 5 books you want to borrow and their classmarks. Subject to availability, we will put the books on your account and notify you that they’re ready to pick up. Note that requests can only be fulfilled Monday to Friday 9-5. During Easter Term, the collection table will be in use for storage of folders and materials, so please pick up collections from the front desk.


Computers and printing

There are now four UIS computers, two in each of the Upper and Lower computer rooms. The printer is in the Lower Computer Room. There are wipes available to clean the printer touchscreen, keyboards and mice before/after use.

We strongly encourage you to wear face coverings in the computer rooms as they are small spaces.

Note that the Computer Rooms will be shut 15 minutes before the library's closing time. The main College computer room is located in the Hostel, room 2A. This room has an A3 printer.

The Library catalogue terminal is now available again, near the cloakroom entrance. Or you can consult it on your own devices here:


Cloakroom and bags

Bags and coats must be left in the cloakroom. The cloakroom area is a small space, so we strongly encourage face coverings be worn both there and in the toilets.



We will be opening the window in the Reading Room for extra ventilation.


Library services if you're self-isolating

For details of the service we offer if your household is self-isolating, please see the Intranet pages on COVID-19


Scanning service

If you are unable to come into the library (for example, if you are self-isolating), we are also operating a scanning service if you only require a book chapter, subject to copyright rules (i.e. one article from a journal or chapter from a book, or up to 5% of the item, for personal use). Please send your requests to Requests can only be fulfilled in normal office hours, Mon-Fri.


E-resources available during COVID-19

The University Library, together with publishers, have been making more digital content and e-resources available during COVID-19 pandemic. Please see  the Cambridge Libraries e-resources page for more information.