Using the Library

Christ Church Library for Students and Staff

Library services update*

The Library is beginning its gradual re-opening on Monday 21st September, with limited access, to current members. Opening hours will be from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Initially, study spaces will be made available in the West Library until the start of term. In line with current Government guidelines when taking up a seat in the West Library you will be asked to give your contact details. This is to assist with the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. The East Library will only be open for access to the Printer/Scanner.

Anyone quarantining or self-isolating because they present COVID-19 symptoms should not use the Library. Please email if you want books delivering to your college rooms.

What to expect when you arrive:

  • face masks are to be used when entering or moving around the Library;
  • floor markings and signage will indicate where you should enter by and exit the library;
  • we ask our readers to please wipe down desks when leaving, and use hand-sanitiser and wipes regulary.

Please do not browse or remove any items from the shelves.

Books required for study should be requested via the Click and Collect service on SOLO. An email notification from the library staff will inform you when these items are available to pick up from the Library Entrance Hall. Currently, we are able to respond to Click and Collect requests placed between Monday to Friday.

Returning library books – please place these items on the ‘Returns’ trolley located in the Entrance Hall. We will stop collecting and/or leaving items at the Porters’ Lodge for your attention. 

No personal belongings should be left in the Library at any time.


We look forward to welcoming you back as we are trying to support College-specific needs while ensuring a consistency of health and safety protocols across our University community.



Finding your books

SOLO is the online catalogue for Oxford’s libraries. SOLO can be accessed by clicking here 

To find books on SOLO, enter some keywords and select Christ Church Library from the drop-down list next to the search bar. Once you find the title you want click ‘Find & Request’, and again select Christ Church Library. You will then see the location of the book, the shelfmark (which tells you where the book is shelved in the library), and whether it is available. If the book is already on loan a due date will be displayed.

The books are housed on the ground floor of the Library and in the Basement (staff access only). Most books are arranged by subject in a Roman numeral scheme. New purchases and the Music section are arranged using the Library of Congress classification scheme.

The East Library houses Roman numerals IX - XXV.1, while the West Library houses Roman numerals XXV.2 - XLV, B (Medicine) and the Library of Congress sequence. The West Library also contains Very Short Introductions covering a variety of topics, a welfare and study skills section, and a small DVD collection. A map of the East Library and West Library can be found here or on the doors to the reading rooms.

Please ask at the front desk for books that are located in the Basement according to SOLO. These items are stored offsite and will be delivered as soon as possible, but may not arrive until the following day.

Library staff are happy to help if you have problems finding the books you need.

Student suggestions and book grants:

If the library does not have a copy of a book you need or there are not enough copies of a set text then please do suggest them for purchase. You can ask at the front desk, fill in a suggestion form or email the details to We purchase the vast majority of book requests, and there is no limit on the number of books you can suggest.

Suggestions will be made priority orders and will be with you as soon as possible. Once your item arrives we will email you and reserve it for you at the front desk for 7 days. 

We also welcome suggestions for wider reading and reading for pleasure. However, we may not always buy texts that are too costly or that would not benefit any other students. For these you can use your personal book grant by filling in a form and returning it to the Censor's Office.  

Borrowing, Renewals and Returns

Undergraduates can borrow up to 20 items for 2 weeks during term, or for a full vacation. Postgraduates can borrow a maximum of 40 items for 1 term or vacation. College staff may borrow books for a fortnight. Tutors can borrow for up to a year (all books will be due by the end of the 10th week of Trinity Term).

Vacation loans begin on Friday 6th week and last until Wednesday 1st week of the following term.

Books can be renewed up to 4 times at the self-service machine or by signing into SOLO. Please check your account regularly to avoid fines when the loans expire, and take care of the books while they are on loan to you. You can get in touch if you encounter any problems by emailing

If you require extended loans, or any other help due to a disability please write to Rachel, our Reader Services Librarian in confidence. This will only apply to Christ Church Library: to request extended loans at the Bodleian Libraries please fill out their electronic forms

You can borrow and return books or DVDs using the self-service machine in the entrance hall. If you have forgotten you university card you can also borrow and return items at the front desk.

Books with a red dot on the spine are reference only and cannot be borrowed.

Holds and recalls

If you need a book which is already out of loan you can sign in to SOLO and click ‘Hold’ by the location details of the book. This means that the book will be reserved for you when it is returned. If you need it urgently a member of staff can recall the item so it is returned within three days. In both cases you will receive an email notifying you when the book is ready for collection.

Library computers, scanning and printing

There are three computers available in the library for student use, as well as a stand alone monitor, and wi-fi is available throughout the library.

A self-service overhead scanner can be found in the East Library which will create a file (.pdf, .tiff, .jpeg) that can be saved to a USB stick. USB sticks are available to borrow from the library for this purpose.

A wireless multifunctional printer/copier/scanner is available in the library foyer. Print jobs can be sent from library PCs or from your own devices. To print visit the link and login via your Single Sign On. Upload the documents you want to print then at the printer select 'Papercut' and tap your Bodleian library card on the sensor. Your documents will then appear and can be printed. You can print in mono, colour, single and double sided on A3 and A4 paper. 

Learning equipment

As well as books, we also have a range of study aids and assistive equipment available to help you.

The following items can be used within the library:

  • Apple and micro-USB charging cables
  • Daylight LED lamps
  • Book rests
  • Book snake weights
  • Gel wrist supports
  • Back/lumbar support cushions
  • Noise-cancelling headphones (disposable earplugs are freely available by the self-service machine)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Small whiteboards

The follows items can be borrowed:

  • Laptop stands
  • Ergonomic mice
  • Ergonomic keyboards
  • External DVD drive
  • Coloured acetate sheets
  • Reading rulers

To arrange to borrow any of these, ask at the front desk or send us an email. All loans are currently set to a single week to offer trials of equipment rather than long-term support.

If there is any equipment which you need, please let a member of staff know or send suggestions by email and we will be in touch.

Disability Support

We can offer additional support for those who have disabilities or specific learning disabilities, whether this has been formally disclosed to the University or not. Options include:

  • Extended library loans
  • Higher book limit on account
  • Extra email reminders
  • Book delivery service to the Library front desk, Lodge or room within college if health reasons prevent you from accessing the library
  • Assistive equipment requests
  • Range of books on welfare and study issues in the West Library central bookcases (books can be fetched by staff)

Please get in touch with Rachel (Reader Services Librarian) to find out how we can help.

To arrange support from the Bodleian Libraries, please email the Bodleian's Disability Librarian. Alternatively, details of the disability contact for each individual library can be found here

Group study spaces

There are several rooms throughout college which can be booked as group study spaces. To make a booking please contact The Tutor's Administrator

Leaving your belongings in the library

The library operates a clear desk policy and will remove items left on tables at the end of the day. If you wish to leave your things overnight there are cubby holes available in both sides of the library. Please put a ‘Please leave’ slip on top of your items with your name and the date.

Library rules

  • Please don’t bring food into the library. Water in a sports bottle and hot drinks in a lidded cup are allowed in the reading rooms downstairs. The library can provide you with one free Christ Church water bottle per student.
  • Books cannot be borrowed on behalf of non-members of the college and other students should not use your account to borrow. The account holder will be held responsible for all books and fines on their account. 
  • While on loan to you library items are your responsibility and students will incur charges for overdue, lost or damaged items. A fine of 25p per overdue book accumulates daily. More than 10 overdue books or £50.00 in fines will automatically block your Christ Church Library account, which will prevent you from borrowing or renewing books. Please speak to a member of staff if this happens.
  • Mobile phones should be on silent and phone calls taken outside the library building.
  • Smoking is not permitted in or around the library.

Visiting Readers to Special Collections

Christ Church Special Collections are open to bona fide researchers by prior appointment only, information for visiting readers is available here.