Collections guidance for students

Current students at the Institute have access to the Institute’s collections:


Due to COVID-19, there are new temporary regulations in place for using the library.

Using the library

Between Tuesday 22 September – Friday 2 October the library is open to Warburg staff and current students only. You can browse the stacks, retrieve books and sit in the library 11.00-15.00 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during this time.

From early October, it is planned that the library will open to the new cohort of 2020/2021 students and to external readers. When the library is fully re-opened, the collections will be accessible only to Warburg staff and students on Tuesdays. On Wednesday to Friday, external readers may use the library. We will be implementing a pre-booking system when we re-open to external readers. After this point, if you wish to sit at a desk in the library on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday you will need to book your seat in advance using our online booking service, LibCal.

It is not necessary to book a desk if you merely want to browse the library and take reserved books to your study room. It is also not necessary to book if you have a carrel.

Please only use one desk only when you work in the library.

Precautionary measures

Social distancing rules apply in the library. Please stay two metres away from other readers and staff.

Face masks covering the mouth and nose must be worn at all times while in the library. If you do not wear a mask, you may be asked to leave immediately.

Please wash your hands thoroughly and often. Hand sanitizer is provided at the entrance to the library and on all floors. Please use it regularly, particularly before handling books.

Please keep to the left in corridors and on stairs. The lift can only be used by one person at the time.

Books left for re-shelving or returned from loan will be quarantined for 72 hours before being reshelved. They will be inaccessible while they are in quarantine.


Certain services will be slower than usual as they are affected by staff working from home or practising social distancing.

Missing books: please email us at if you can’t find a book. We will search for it and email you if we find it. Please do not ask at the Reading Room desk, as the member of staff there cannot leave the Reading Room during their shift.

Microform and microfilm reader: staff will not be able to offer help with viewing microfilms and microfiche.

New Acquisitions: we have a huge backlog of new books and periodicals to process. We will be sending these straight to the shelf when they are ready rather than displaying them in the Reading Room.

Reproductions requests and Inter-Library Loan requests: we are accepting requests for reproductions and Inter-Library Loans, but the wait time is likely to be much longer than usual. Inter-Library Loans are also likely to be affected by similar problems in other libraries.

Electronic resources: We have reduced the number of computers available in the library. If you need to consult electronic resources, they are accessible remotely by logging in as normal with your library card on your own device. Certain resources are only accessible on library networked computers; please use the Reading Room computer to access them.

Browsing and Reserving Books

When using the Library, please remember to replace each book removed from the shelves with an appropriately filled-in marker card. This is particularly important for staff and students who are reserving books in their study areas or borrowing them.

You can reserve up to 12 books as usual in your carrel or study space.

When you are finished with books that you have browsed or reserved in your study area, please leave them on the reshelving trolleys to be found on each floor or in the Reading Room corridor. The books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being reshelved.

Borrowing Books

The library has implemented temporary rules during the COVID-19 outbreak and Warburg staff and students are currently authorised to borrow books for longer periods than usual. We are not enforcing due dates or book loan limits, but please return the books when you can.

We will not lend pre-1900 books or books that are too fragile, too large, or otherwise inaccessible.

Please bring any books that you want to borrow to the enquiries desk in the Reading Room during official library opening hours (Tues-Fri, 11.00-15.00).

Borrowed books must be returned to the designated table in the Reading Room so that staff can check them in before they are quarantined for 72 hours and reshelved.

If you don’t return your borrowed books to the Reading Room, they will not be removed from your online account and you will be held accountable for them.