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University of York Library
Subject Guides

Coronavirus and the Library

Reopening Library buildings FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on the reopening of our buildings

Reopening our buildings FAQs 

Click on an FAQ to reveal the answer. Use the tabs at the top of this page to read further FAQs about study spaces, Book Takeaway and what to do if you're unable to visit the Library.

Can I study in the library?

Yes! We’re offering study spaces in the Morrell, Fairhurst and Burton on a bookable system. You can also book study spaces at King's Manor Library. These include PC study spaces, but not group study areas due to social distancing requirements. See our study spaces FAQs for more information.

What social distancing measures are in place in the library, and how will we be informed if these change?

We are making a mix of study spaces available which are either 2m apart or 1m+. In addition, all those using the Library are obliged to wear a face covering, to keep 2m apart wherever possible when moving around the building and to keep left. If anything changes we'll inform you via social media, these FAQs, and the News section of the Library homepage.

Can I browse the shelves in the Library?

You are now able to browse the shelves at the main Library and at King's Manor Library. You can then borrow items as usual using the self-service machines, or use books whilst you’re studying in the Library. We’ll ask you not to reshelve books once you’ve finished with them so that we can identify and quarantine them. Please take any items that you've consulted during your study booking to the Book Return point on the ground floor of Morrell (or leave them on a trolley at King's Manor Library). Use the Postal Loans or Scan and Send options if you’re unable or would prefer not to visit the Library to borrow books in person.

What should I do with books that I've used whilst studying but haven't borrowed?

Please take any items that you've consulted during your study booking to the Book Return point on the ground floor of Morrell (or a trolley at King's Manor Library). We'll quarantine them for 72 hours before returning the books to the shelves.

Are the toilets open as usual?

Yes, but with single occupancy in each block of toilets.

How often will the library be cleaned?

The Library is cleaned every day. A full clean is undertaken before the Library opens, additional checks and cleaning also takes place across the rest of the day e.g. of touch point areas and toilets.

Do I need to wear a face-covering, and will PPE be available if I visit the Library?

You are obliged to wear a face covering when visiting the Library buildings. If you don't have one or forget to bring it then we will provide you with one.


If I test positive for COVID-19 after recently visiting the library, do I need to let anyone know?

If you experience covid-symptoms you should follow the University guidance available here in relation to self-isolation

Can I bring food and drink with me to the Library?

Yes, our usual food and drink policies apply. The student kitchen in Fairhurst is open, and you can eat your food in designated areas nearby.

Will the Borthwick Institute for Archives be open?

The Borthwick Institute for Archives is now open for an appointment service, as well as an online enquiry and digitisation service to support access, teaching and research. Find out more details, including how to book an appointment, on the Borthwick's reopening web page.

Can I view items from Rare Books?

Rare Books can be accessed by booking an appointment at the Borthwick Institute for Archives (see the question above).

Can I use the storage lockers in the library?

The lockers in the Library are now available as usual.

Is the library cafe open?

Yes the library cafe is offering a takeaway service with a reduced menu. It is currently open from 8:30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and 11am to 4pm, on Saturday and Sunday.  

How do I get access to a laptop?

Our laptop loans service is available from the Morrell Lounge in the University Library. Please make sure to use hand sanitiser before and after borrowing a laptop.

Can I access print services on campus?

Printers in the Library will be available. If you are only coming to the Library to print please use the printers located on the Ground Floor of the Morrell in the Consultation Area (there is also a printer available at King's Manor Library). Staff can help direct you if you aren't sure where to go.

Are King's Manor Library, the Library in the Piazza Building, and the Minster Library open?

King's Manor Library is now open for study space (which you'll need to book in advance) and for borrowing or returning books. You can have King's Manor books sent to Morrell (or vice versa). There are also bookable study spaces available in the library space at the Piazza building, along with laptop loans.

Following the most recent lockdown, York Minster Library is closed until further notice.

Without the help desk how will Lost and Found be managed?

The Library Help Desk is now open again so you'll be able to ask about Lost and Found in the usual way.

If library users are making a complaint about someone's behaviour within the library (eg playing music, talking, not observing social distancing measures) how will this be dealt with?

Our text us service will now resume: just text 07919 293133 and a member of staff will come and assist.

Will there be an IT support for those using PCs within the library?

From Monday 21 September, IT Support will be offering appointments in the Library. You should contact them by email or phone first (using the contact details on the IT Services website). If they can't resolve the problem remotely you will then be offered an appointment.

Will the lifts be available for use?

The lifts are available for use, one person at a time.

Can I access the Amazon Lockers in the Library?

You can access the Amazon lockers as normal - they're available for collections when the library is open, from 8am to midnight, every day.

Are you open for visitors?

At the moment the Library is only open for members of the University of York or users with an External membership. Due to the restrictions on space caused by social distancing, we're only able to offer study space to members of the University of York, although those with external membership can browse, borrow and return books.

We're not able to offer access to other visitors at this time, but hope to be able to do so soon.

Contact us

We're updating these FAQs on a regular basis, so be sure to check here for the latest updates.

If you have a question but it isn't listed here, please contact us for further advice:

Our most recent update video from November is below: