Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

University Library Service & Coronavirus (COVID-19) : FAQs

FAQs about the university libraries  

1. How will I find out about changes to library services?

Read these FAQs for updates on library services.  Information on Penryn Campus Library services may be different to Exeter campuses, so please read the Cornwall Library Service Updates.

2. Are libraries open? (Updated 11/01/2021)

Our Library remains open during this time with reduced hours. This includes access for students who are:

  • attending essential face to face teaching
  • do not have access to appropriate study facilities at home
  • accessing specialist resources, for researchers
  • feeling isolated
  • attending campus for mental health and well-being support

Forum Library is open to current staff, students and associates only.  Unicard required for swipe access. From Monday 11th January open Monday to Friday 08:00 - 18:00 with last entry at 17:15.  If you are not current staff or student, please contact us to discuss access.

St Luke's (Haighton) Library is open to current staff and students only, Monday-Friday 08:00-19:00 with last entry at 18:15.

Old Library is open Monday - Friday 08:00 - 19:00 with last entry at 18:15, see Bill Douglas Cinema Museum and Special Collections for their opening hours. 

Online help - Library live chat is available Mon-Fri 08:00-20:00 and Sat-Sun 10:00-18:00.

3. What physical services are operating?

  • Browsing collections 
  • Borrowing material
  • Studying, by booking a study desk in advance online
  • Printing, from your own device, you do not need to book in advance, read instructions before arriving
  • AccessAbility rooms, book online in advance. Book online: new AccessAbility room booking system 

4. What do I need to know before visiting?

  • Always have your UniCard for swipe access
  • Face coverings MUST be worn in libraries, unless exempt
  • Book a study desk before you arrive
  • Clean your study desk on arrival, cleaning materials available
  • Do not move furniture or sit next to one another
  • Maintain 2 metre physical distancing 
  • Bring your own device, or book a study desk with a computer

5. What has changed?

Forum Library entrance is upstairs on the Forum Balcony, swip card required for access.  If your card will not swipe please email or use our online chat.

Limiting numbers - Library staff will be monitoring live occupancy data and If the occupancy nears our set limit, people will be asked to wait before entering

Furniture and computers have been removed to ensure 2 metre physical distancing and create a safe environment for students and staff

Here to help team are available to answer questions and support our COVID-19 secure campuses  

6. How do students book a study desk?

Book online

7. How do I book an AccessAbility room?

AccessAbility rooms are booked online via: new AccessAbility room booking system 

8. How do I request material if I am self-isolating, studying remotely, or unable to come to the library in person? (Updated 09/01/2021)

Please fill in the Request print material form and library staff will supply:

  1. Links to e-books or online articles, where available
  2. PDF scans of chapters, articles or pages, from print material
  3. Print books or audio-visual material, where no digital copy is available
  4. Some reference material, restrictions apply

Library teams are operating at a reduced capacity during COVID-19 and it may take longer then usual to fulfill requests

9. What about postal loans?

Postal loans are offered as part of the request services above.

10. What about borrowing print material from other libraries? (Updated 09/01/2021)

Document Delivery (Interlibrary loans) - We may be able to request print material from the British Library, please fill in our document delivery request form however other Interlibrary loans are mostly suspended with many libraries unable to supply their material.  There will be delays in supplying any print materials.  Chapter scans and pdfs of journal articles will be quicker.

Inter campus loans between Exeter and Penryn have been suspended.  If you require a book held at Penryn campus, please fill in the book suggestion form, add a note that this available at Penryn and where possible the library will purchase an e-book or print copy, if available.

Penryn students: if you require a book held at the Streatham campus please fill out the book suggestion form, and add a note that this is available at Streatham, and where possible the library will purchase an ebook or print copy, if available.  Print copies will be posted direct to the borrower.

Exeter Health Library - If you are a student or staff in the College of Medicine and Health, please collect material directly from the Exeter Health Library.

11. Returning books

Outdoor return points 

  1. Book return drop box at entrance to Old Library on Streatham Campus.
  2. Book return letter drop box at the side entrance to Haighton Library on St Luke's Campus. 
  3. These boxes will be emptied regularly.  Please let us know if they are full. 

Indoor return points

  1. Forum Library drop box (located in the Forum Street)
  2. Automatic return machine located near the Forum Library Help point
  3. Automatic return machine located within St Luke's (Haighton) library entrance corridor

Mail Room (Old Library Building) library drop off point 

Use the NEW: mail room collections form. When you log in, look for the green button in the top left corner.  Bookings will be available TUE, WED and THU.  Please add "Library book drop off" to the online form. Step by step instructions.

Pick up (contact free) collection within Exeter

Email and we will arrange "contact free" collection.  Bookings will be available on TUE, WED and THU.  Books must be placed in plastic bags, clearly labelled and left in front of the property.  Further details are available when you get in touch.

Return by post

Parcel Force collection service.  Contact to see whether we can arrange a Parcel Force collection.

12. What about fines?

No fines will be charged for overdue items and all existing fines have been waived.

13. What about recalls for material which is OUT ON LOAN? (Updated 26/10/2020)

The library are operating a manual request and recall service.  Please fill in the OUT ON LOAN Request form to let us know that you need something which is currently out on loan.

Automatic requesting (Request it button in Library search) and recall is temporarily suspended.

14. What about the SCONUL Access scheme?

The SCONUL Access scheme has been suspended. Check the SCONUL Access website for updates.

15. What about Alumni, External borrowers and other visitors? (Updated 27/10/2020)

The libraries remain closed to everyone apart from current students and staff.  We may be able to provide postal loans to alumni and other external borrowers, please contact us to discuss.  We apologies for this inconvenience and hope to review this after Dec 2020.

16. What about ‘Walk in-access’ to electronic resources for visitors?

This service is suspended.

17. Can I still use the electronic resources?

Yes. All our electronic resources such as ebooks, journals and databases are available in the usual way to current staff and students.  Just login with your University username and password for access.  If you need help, use our Electronic Resources LibGuide or get in touch via email or chat service. 

18. Can I suggest new books? (Updated 09/01/2021)

Yes, suggest books via the Book Suggestion Scheme or staff can send in orders as usual, however we are prioritising ordering ebooks and items should be essential for teaching or research.  Also, please be aware that the library is limiting orders for print material and our processing time for new print material is much longer than usual.  Please contact us to discuss.

Students and staff can contact their Liaison Librarian for help finding digital alternatives, which may be quicker than obtaining print.

19. Where is a good place to start to find resources to help me with my research?

Take a look at your subject guides.  You will find lots of information to guide you to relevant online resources for your subject area.

20. I am trying to complete an assignment remotely and need some advice on the library resources.  Who can help me?

Please contact your Liaison Librarian who will be able to advise you. The team are setup to support you remotely and can help via email or scheduled online 1:1 chats. 

21. I am completing an online exam and am having problems with the electronic resources. Who can help me?

Please get in touch with us via Library Chat.  Our E-Library Team are on standby throughout the examination period to quickly address any e-resource issues.

22. How can I contact the Library?

Contact us by email or chat with us online.


FAQs about COVID-19 and health

1. What do I need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19)? Please read Coronavirus (COVID-19) - what you need to know by Public Health England, the latest Government advice and the social distancing advice.

2. What if I am unwell? Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following; high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.  Check the NHS website.  

3. What University support and guidance is available? The University's Coronavirus (Covid-19) information and advice pages are the central point for all University updates relating to the Coronavirus.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Contact Us