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Whipple Library

Department of History and Philosophy of Science

The library is open Monday - Friday for pre-booked study spaces, collection and return of books.

Study spaces are available from 09:30 - 12:30, and from 13:30 - 17:00 each day.

Booking a study space enables you to browse our collections, work in the reading room and borrow material.

Click here to book a study space via LibCal.

You may book both a morning and an afternoon slot but please be considerate to other library users and only do so if you intend to use both sessions. Please also note that you will be required to leave from 12:30 - 13:30 each day to allow for cleaning and air circulation.

Seating capacity has been reduced in line with guidance on maintaining a Covid-secure environment and therefore booking is essential. There are waiting lists in operation for each study slot: if a session is showing as fully booked you are welcome to sign up to the waiting list.

If you are unable to attend a booked session please cancel your booking following the link in the confirmation email, or contact the library who will be able to cancel your booking for you.

We can admit a limited number of people to browse the collections without booking a study space: please ask at the library front desk.

Before you arrive

We have adapted our ways of working in line with public health guidance, including safety principles and the need for social distancing for both staff and users, so you may find aspects of your visit to the library unfamiliar.

Important notes:

  • Entrance to the library is currently via the Storey's Way entrance, on Pembroke Street.
  • Government guidelines state that face coverings should be worn in libraries and public reading rooms. We therefore ask readers to wear a face covering in all areas of the library to keep everyone safe. We are sensitive and supportive to those staff and readers who are exempt from the expectation. Please visit the University’s Coronavirus Information pages for a helpful list of medical exemptions.
  • Please follow all guidance regarding social distancing and conduct whilst in the library.
  • The library will close to all users from 12:30 to 13:30 each day, to allow time for cleaning and air circulation.
  • We are currently able to offer toilet facilities in emergencies only.
  • If you require assistance with any aspect of your visit, speak to library staff and we will be pleased to help you.
I have booked a study space

When you arrive, sign in on the sheets at the front desk.

Enter the library and choose any free seat. Seats in the library have been spaced to allow adequate distancing between users - please do not move furniture or change seats during your booked slot, even if you are with people with whom you do not need to socially distance.

Please note:

  • You can arrive at any time during your booked slot, but please do not arrive before its start time (9.30am for morning slots, 1.30pm for afternoon slots). Make sure to leave by the end of your slot (12.30pm or 5pm).
  • You are otherwise free to leave and re-enter the library at any time.
  • Please do not book a seat if you only need to browse the shelves - consider whether scan and deliver or click and collect services would suit your needs better, or contact the library directly to discuss access for a brief period to browse the shelves.
  • If you have booked consecutive sessions (either a morning and afternoon slot on the same day, or one afternoon and the following morning) you are welcome to leave possessions at the desk you have been using, within reason and at your own risk.
  • Morning slots only: the library will close from 12:30-13:30 to assist with air circulation and allowing staff to clean between sessions. Please leave when asked. If you have an afternoon slot booked, you can return at 13:30.
I need to pick up a click & collect order

Speak to staff at the front desk and give your name. Your books will be in a paper bag with your name on, and will already have been charged to your library account.

Please only arrive to collect books if you have received an email confirmation that your order is ready to collect. Normally we expect to have your books ready by the next working day.

Unless you have also booked a study space, please collect books between 2 and 5pm if possible.

I would like to browse the shelves

If you have booked a study space, you can browse the shelves freely.

If you haven't booked a study space, speak to staff at the front desk. We can allow up to three people into the library to browse the shelves.

If you know what you are looking for, you could also consider making a request via Click & Collect or Scan & Deliver.

If you are in the library to browse, you are welcome to borrow and return books at the same time.

I have a book to return

You can return books to the library front desk any time we are open, but please be aware that we have limited space and you may have to queue at busy times.

If the only reason for your visit is to return books, you can return them through the front door of the HPS Department on Free School Lane if you prefer.