Library Update

Last Updated: 18 January 2021

Latest Update

On campus study spaces

Library learning spaces remain open for those who need to use them.

You should only come to campus if it is essential, for example if you do not have a study space or access to necessary IT equipment at home.

You are expected to wear a face covering, unless you are exempt, and maintain social distancing rules at all times in any University indoor space.

Drop-in spaces are also available in INOX Dine & Discovery Rooms, situated on the 5th level of the Students Union.

For a full list, please visit the Learning Spaces web page.

If you choose to study on campus, please be reminded that face coverings must be worn at all times within library sites, even while seated. 
Please note, your face covering must cover your nose and mouth. Face shields are not permitted. 

Autumn Update

Find a place to study - there are now over 400 (Covid-secure) bookable learning spaces available in the Information Commons and Western Bank Library. You can also book a space in a number of teaching rooms across campus. In addition, the Students' Union is offering a selection of drop-in spaces. For a full list, please visit the Learning Spaces web page.

Library sites - the learning spaces available in Western Bank Library and the Information Commons are all Covid-secure with 2m social distancing in place. We are monitoring demand and keeping learning spaces under review to open as many safe spaces as possible.

Booking a space - to help provide safe access, learning spaces in libraries must be booked in advance using Resource Bookings, located in MUSE. These spaces are currently available in bookable slots of up to 3 hours (Monday-Friday, 9:30am-4:30pm). Find out more in our orientation video

Safety - signage in library sites indicate usage for social distancing, hygiene, and managed entry and exit, with safe movement through buildings. You must wear a face covering in libraries, unless you are exempt for a medical reason or disability. It’s important that you help to keep our community safe - further information.

Library help - staff are available at check-in points and on each level to help you find your seat. However, to assist in keeping everyone safe, we encourage you, where possible, to chat with us online via Live Chat, or email: library@sheffield.ac.uk

The digital library - the University's extensive digital library is open for business as usual, providing access to the reading for your course, help when you need it, and support with your research. 

Virtual Library Commons - our "Come Together, Write Now" sessions are now open to all students. These virtual sessions for academic reading and writing will help you focus on your work, providing the time and space to come together as a reading / writing community and support each other.

To provide a safe environment for our staff and students, Library buildings are currently operating a limited service and reduced capacity. We will continue to update this web page with the latest information. Find out more about current service availability below:

Frequently asked questions


Safety in the Library

How are we keeping you safe in the Library?

It’s important that you help to keep our community safe. Further information is available here.

We have put the required safety measures in place to help keep you safe whilst using the Library. These include:

  • Limiting the numbers of people in our buildings at any one time.
  • Managed entry and exit to the buildings.
  • One-way systems are in place with clear signage to maintain social distancing.
  • Hand sanitiser and viral wipes are available for frequent use throughout the day. Please wipe down your study space when you arrive and when you leave.
  • Toilets and frequently used areas are cleaned multiple times each day.
  • No loans of physical book stock and no browsing of the Library shelves.
  • Desks and chairs removed to enable social distancing.
  • You must wear a face covering in all library buildings. If you don't have a face covering or forget to bring it, we will provide you with one.
  • Please use the Virtual Advisory and Help and Service for questions.
Do I need to wear a face covering?

Yes, you must wear a face covering in Libraries, unless exempt for a medical reason or disability. If you don't have a face covering or forget to bring it, we will provide you with one.

It’s important that you help to keep our community safe - further information is available here.

How often are the Library buildings cleaned?

A full clean is undertaken before the Library opens, additional cleaning will take place throughout the day. Students are asked to use the self-cleaning sanitation stations provided to wipe down their learning space when they arrive and depart to help protect each other.

If I test positive for COVID-19 after recently visiting the library, what should I do?

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms you should follow the University guidance available in relation to self-isolation and positive testing.

Library Spaces

Can I study in the Library?

Yes, a reduced number of learning and study spaces, some with PCs, are available to use via the University's pre booking system. Find out more in our orientation video.

The Reading Room in Western Bank Library and levels 1 - 4 in the Information Commons are open for study. 

To ensure everyone can use the Library safely, please follow the University of Sheffield safety guidelines

You are able to book a time slot for up to three hours at any one time. You can arrive at any time within your booked slot to fit around other activities you may have on campus. 

Western Bank Library:

The bookable morning and afternoon sessions are available between 9.30am - 12:30pm and 1.30pm - 4:30pm. Bookings will end at 12:30pm or 16:30pm depending on whether you book a morning or afternoon slot.

Please note – there are a limited number of spaces available with power points on Level 5 of the Reading Room. However, the majority of spaces on Level 6 provide access to power.

Information Commons:

The bookable morning and afternoon sessions are available between 9.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 4:30pm. To help with queues at the IC we have staggered bookings:

  • Levels 1 and 4 are available from 9.30am and 1.30pm
  • Levels 2 and 3 are available from 10.00am and 2pm

Bookings will end at 12:30pm or 16:30pm depending on whether you book a morning or afternoon slot.

Level 4 is home to the Connect4Learning Zone - we are encouraging all students who will be participating in seminars and other online learning activities to take advantage of this dedicated zone, whilst using the Library. If you book a space on Level 4, but you are not participating in online learning activities, please be aware this zone may be noisier than other areas in the Library.

Extended opening times - from Saturday 28 November, the Information Commons will open later into the evening on weekdays, as well as opening at the weekend to allow you to study at a time that works for you. A range of bookable study sessions will be available between the extended times below:

Monday – Thursday: 9.30am – 9.30pm
Friday: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Bookable slots:

Monday – Thursday: 9.30am - 12.30pm | 1.30pm - 4:30pm | 5.30pm - 9.30pm
Friday: 9.30am - 12.30pm | 1.30pm - 4:30pm
Saturday – Sunday: 11am-1.30pm | 2.30pm - 6pm

During the Christmas period, our bookable study sessions will continue to be available over the Christmas period (19 December – 3 January) - sessions will be available 9.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 4:30pm, Monday – Friday. Please note, the building will be closed for public holidays (25 December, 28 December, 1 January).

Other places to study:

For alternative study spaces, please visit the University’s Learning Spaces web page.

How long can I stay in the Library for?

You are able to book a time slot for up to three hours at any one time. You can arrive at any time within your booked slot to fit around other activities you may have on campus.

To book a Library learning space or study space on campus, please go to - Resource Bookings, located in MUSE.  Find out more in our orientation video.

Can I use rooms for group study?

Bookings for group study will be unavailable in Library buildings.

Can I use the assistive technology spaces?

Yes, bookable assistive rooms and spaces will be available for students who need them. If you have any questions, please email lib-inclusivelearning@sheffield.ac.uk

Can I book a study space with a PC?

To book a Library learning space or study space on campus, please go to - Resource Bookings, located in MUSE. Find out more in our orientation video.

For alternative study spaces with PCs, please visit the University’s Learning Spaces web page.

Are the prayer rooms in the Information Commons open? 

Yes, both prayer rooms on level 4 are open for use.
Please note, for social distancing each room has a maximum usage limit of two people at any one time. Due to Covid-safety, the prayer rooms are only available to students using the Information Commons for study.

For further information about alternative prayer rooms, please contact Student Services.

Buildings

What are the Library opening hours?

Access to the Western Bank Library is currently available in bookable slots of up to 3 hours (Monday-Friday, 9.30am-4.30pm). 

Access to the Information Commons is currently available in bookable slots of up to 3 hours (Monday-Thursday 9.30am-9.30pm; Friday 9.30am-4.30pm; Saturday-Sunday 11am-6pm)

For alternative study spaces, please visit the University’s Learning Spaces web page.

When will the Health Sciences Library sites reopen?

A phased reopening of the Health Sciences Library (Hallamshire Hospital & Northern General Hospital) will begin as soon as it is safe and practical to do so. 

For alternative study spaces, please visit the University’s Learning Spaces web page.

Our Books 2 You service, which aims to help you access the research materials you need, has now been extended to support NHS staff.

  • Please use StarPlus to locate the item you require and, if it is showing as available, request the item and enter the address you would like the book to be sent to. Make sure you apply the filters to show physical items available.
  • We will post the book to you (free of charge) as soon as possible. The book will initially be loaned for a 4-week period; however, we may ask you to return it (by freepost) earlier than that day if another researcher needs to access it.
  • Our screencast explains everything you need to know
  • For further help you can contact us by email: library@sheffield.ac.uk, telephone: 0114 222 7200 or chat with us online.
When will learning spaces in The Diamond reopen?

The learning spaces in The Diamond are being prioritised for the teaching of engineering students for the remainder of the teaching weeks this semester. This expansion of teaching spaces is part of the University’s commitment to facilitate face-to-face teaching, where it is practical and safe to do so.

For alternative study spaces, please visit the University’s Learning Spaces web page.

Are the lifts available to use?

Yes, but only one person at a time. Please refer to the University of Sheffield safety guidelines. 

Are the toilets open as normal?

Yes, but single occupancy only. Please refer to the University of Sheffield safety guidelines. 

Can I eat and drink in the Library?

Yes, our usual food and drink policy applies.

The IC cafe will also be open with social distancing measures in place. Please ensure you follow the guidance provided via signage in the area.

Services

Can I browse and borrow books?

In the interest of safety, none of the bookshelves will be accessible. However, you can browse our digital collections using StarPlus. Many items required for course reading should be available online through our reading list system (Leganto). Please contact your course tutor if you are having difficulties accessing your required readings.

Access to print collections will primarily be to support research needs and by special arrangement. Email library@sheffield.ac.uk to find out more.

Can I borrow a laptop?

The Library laptop loan service is currently suspended. If you need help buying a laptop, please consider the University’s bursary scheme. 

Can I view items in Special Collections?

Please email lib-special@sheffield.ac.uk to discuss your requirements. We have limited capacity for you to be able to view these items.

Can I use the postgraduate storage lockers in Western Bank Library?

No, these are not available at this time.

Are the printers and scanners available?

Printers and scanners are available in the Information Commons and Western Bank Library in your booked session. Please wash and/or sanitise your hands before and after use. 

Printers are available in a number of locations including the Students' Union (level 3 Activities Zone) for use on a walk-up basis. Please contact IT services for a full list of printing services available across campus.

How can I order books not currently available through the University Library?

Please use the Library Resource Recommendation Form to request items that are not currently available.

Help & Support

Can I get help in the Library?

Library staff will be available at reception points. To assist in keeping everyone safe, we encourage you - where possible - to chat with us online via Live Chat, or email: library@sheffield.ac.uk

We are constantly adding to our Frequently Asked Questions so that you can get up to date answers to your questions quickly, particularly outside of our staffed hours.

Your subject librarian can give you advice on developing your research skills and exploring the range of specialist resources in your discipline.

Will there be support in the IC from IT Services?

IT services will not have a presence in the IC. 

Information for researchers

I am a researcher and I need a print book that you hold in the Library or that's out on loan. Can I access it?

Yes, our Books2You Service for Research enables you to borrow books from the Library's collection that are not available online. Both collection and delivery services are now available.

How can the Library support my research?

For help and information on how the Library can support your research, please visit our Research page.

Information for staff who teach

I am a member of the teaching staff. How can I update my reading (resource) lists?

To support the student experience in the new academic year you are required to share reading with your students using the University’s resource list system, Leganto. Due to current limitations with the circulation of print materials by the Library, resource lists should include:

  • electronic items (print items should only be added as an exception)
  • key reading and a limited selection of supplementary materials

Requests for digitised material, including copies of print books or chapters, should be submitted through the Library Resource Recommendation Form. A quick guide to using Leganto is here: Creating your student reading list through the online Resource List platform. For advice on selecting digital content during this time visit the Library’s FAQs for staff who teach.

How can the Library support my teaching?

For help and information on how the Library can support your teaching, please visit our Teach page.

External members

I am an external member/member of the public/SCONUL user. Can I still use the Library?

For safety reasons, we must limit the number of people that can use the library. We are only open for current University of Sheffield students, staff and researchers.

Information for new students

I'm new to the Library, where do I start?

Welcome to The University of Sheffield Library.

Your Library provides access to the reading for your course, help when you need it, and support with your research and referencing.

Our Getting Started guide tells you what you need to know to get started using the Library.

What study resources can the Library offer?

The Library offers bookable webinars, online tutorials and in-course teaching to help you improve your skills in discovering, understanding, questioning, referencing, creating and disseminating information.

Visit our Study pages for more information.