Finding books

*When in the library, please remember to follow coronavirus safety guidance below*

  • Search our library catalogue at (remember, Downing books are not on iDiscover)
  • Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) will get the best results, with [author] AND [keyword] often used reliably.  In this example ‘porter and greatest’ gets the hits required.
  • Click on the title for full details and to check location (including classmark) and availability
  • You can now request the book(s) through our Request & Collect service
  • If you are in the library you can use a library map to locate Available books in the Main Rooms (use the first part of the classmark to identify the correct area on the map)
  • Basement books (in the basement book stacks) are also open access and are in numerical order 
  • Display books can be found near to the front door
  • Cataloguing books aren’t yet available but can be requested – email: (we will expedite any that you require)
  • For Staff area books or anything else unclear contact staff by email as above
  • Reference only books can often be made borrowable on request – please contact staff as above
  • On loan books can be reserved – log in using your Reader code (the alphanumeric sequence beneath the barcode on your University card)
  • You can also renew your books once logged in (select and renew one by one)

Coronavirus safety guidance for library users

Please do not come into the library if you are self-isolating, quarantining or feeling unwell.

You must pre-book a study space through the student facilities booker available on the College intranet.

You are required to observe the guidelines below whilst using the library during the pandemic.  We thank you for your cooperation.

  • Wear a face mask at all times within the library including at your study space
  • Maintain social distancing (2 metres/6 feet) from other students and staff at all times
  • Sanitise your hands before entering the library
  • Register your visit with the Test and Trace App
  • Whilst seated in your bookable study space, you must keep the window open next to you at all times (all study spaces have adjacent windows)
  • Use a sanitising wipe to clean the study space before and after use
  • Take all your belongings with you when you vacate the space
  • Use a sanitising wipe on shared equipment before and after use
  • Use a sanitising wipe (or tissue) to handle all high touch points such as door handles and stair banisters
  • Sanitise your hands before and after handling library books or other library facilities
  • Wait for others to clear the front door area before approaching
  • Allow others to pass safely, leaving plenty of space and staying left as appropriate

You are very welcome to use the library’s Request & Collect service to borrow books.

Unfortunately at this time we are unable to offer computer or printing facilities.

Any library enquiries can be directed to: