Using the Library

A detailed guide explaining the various things you may need to know to use the library as a student or member of staff. Study space is available in the West and East Library, on a first-come-first-served basis. You do not need to pre-book to visit the Library but do bring your Bodleian card.


Browsing & Finding Books

You are welcome to browse the shelves. There are helpful maps on the doors to each wing of the library, showing the location of each shelfmark. These shelfmarks can be found on the spine labels of all items in the library; white for the old roman numeral system, and yellow for Library of Congress. Please ask staff for help if you cannot find an item and they will be happy to help.

SOLO is the online catalogue for Oxford’s libraries. SOLO can be accessed by clicking here.  Learn how to navigate SOLO and filter our library collections at Christ Church via this more accessible version of instructions, available here.

The East Library also contains our collection of Very Short Introductions, which you can find by the main staff desk. The West Library houses a welfare and study skills section.

Please ask at the enquiries desk, or email, for books that are marked with the Basement location on SOLO. These items are kept in locations outside the main library, and will need to be fetched separately.


Borrowing & Returning

Undergraduates can borrow a maximum of 20 items for two weeks during term, or for a full vacation. Postgraduates can borrow a maximum of 40 items for one term or vacation. College staff may borrow books for a fortnight. Tutors can borrow for an academic year, with all books due at the end of 10th week Trinity Term). If you require extended loans, or any other help due to a disability please write to Gabriel, our College 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

Books can be renewed up to four times at the self-service machine or by signing into SOLO. After that, they must be physically returned to the Library before they can be borrowed again. Please check your SOLO account regularly to avoid fines, and take care of the books while they are on loan to you. You can get in touch with any problems by emailing

If you're having trouble finding an item, please do come to the enquiries desk and ask one of the librarians. Come to the front desk with your Bodleian card and a list of the shelfmarks which you require written clearly (i.e. PA 3009 HOR 2018; XI.3.56D). Remember, if the item does not appear as available on SOLO, it will be on loan to someone else, and we will need to create a hold request (see below). Please note that reference materials (books with a red dot on the spine) cannot be borrowed.

Books can be returned to the College Library anytime during our opening hours using the self-issue kiosk found in the entrance hall of the main library. Once items have been returned using the machine, please place these in the space underneath.


Fines & Overdues

Students are responsible for keeping on top of their loans and renewals (which can be checked via SOLO). When an item falls overdue it will start accruing daily fines of 25p until it’s returned or renewed. At this point any fines are added to your account, and will be billed to battels at the end of term. Note that items which fall due during vacations also accrue fines, so make sure to renew them in good time. Once a book is overdue, it’s not usually possible to renew it via SOLO, so if you're struggling with online renewals please email the Library team and we can sort this for you (unless the book's at its maximum renewals).

If a book remains overdue for a month, then we allow a further week's grace for it to be returned. If it is not, then we will charge for the cost of replacing it (plus a £10 administrative fee). The same costs apply if books are lost or damaged.

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.


Holds & Recalls

If you need a book which is already out of loan you can sign in to SOLO and click ‘Request’ by the location details of the book. This means that the book will be reserved and kept on the holds shelf (behind the enquiries desk) when it is returned. If you need an item urgently, please talk to a member of staff or email the library, and it can be recalled within three days. In both cases you will receive an email notifying you when the book is ready for collection.


Desk Clearing & Pigeonholes

Due to the high demand for desk-space, the library team will be checking regularly to ensure belongings are not left unattended. Any items left unattended for long periods will be moved to the pigeonholes, so that other students can use the space. 

We advise that valuable belongings should not be left unattended, and any that are left are at your own risk. If you know that you are going to leave the desk for a long time, please use the pigeonholes provided, or take your belongings with you. 

The library pigeonholes will be cleared on Monday mornings:

  • Any Christ Church library books will be checked-in and reshelved 
  • Any other books, and any valuable items, will be safely locked away until collected 
  • Any other items will be put in the Lost Property baskets

If you do not want a pigeonhole cleared, then you must use one of the slips provided – date it, and put in the pigeonhole by Sunday night at the latest. This means we know it is in use, and will not clear it. Note that these slips must be updated before each Monday clearing; any that are more than a week old will no longer be valid, and the pigeonhole will be cleared. Any slips without dates will also not be valid.


Book suggestions

We encourage all members of the college to suggest books for the collection. If the Library does not have a copy of a textbook on your reading list, if there are not enough copies of a set text, or if you need a particular book for your study then please suggest it for purchase. We encourage you to complete an online Book Suggestion form.


eBooks & eResources

You can check what eBooks, eJournals and databases are already available online using SOLO (sign in to get more search results). Resources with a green ‘Online access’ button allow remote access.

If you can’t find an eBook you need, please email the College Librarian and we will look into purchasing access if possible. Please note that these eSolutions are often prohibitively expensive, and we may suggest the library acquiring a physical copy instead, where appropriate.


Scanning & Printing

A wireless printer/copier/scanner is available in the entrance hall of the main Library building. Print jobs can be sent from Library PCs or from your own devices. To print visit the link The credentials you need to use to sign in are not your SSO, but instead the username (e.g. chri1234) and your Christ Church computer password. If you have not set this up, or need to reset the password then you can do so at the following link

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. 

An additional printer can be found on the ground floor of Peckwater building, staircase 9.


Group study spaces

The library should not be used as a group study space. There are several rooms throughout college which can be booked for this purpose: to make a booking please contact The Tutor's Administrator.