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Library services - April 2021 onwards

Opening times 

We are open for BU students and researchers who are living locally and have an essential need of study space or to borrow books. Please check our opening times below. We're sorry that due to the Covid-19 restrictions, we are not open for external library users.

Library opening times: Tuesday 6 April 2021 until further notice

The Sir Michael Cobham Library, Talbot Campus

Day Library building Staffed service at Help Zone (including collection of reserved books) 
Monday - Friday 9am - 8pm 9am - 5pm
Saturday & Sunday 9am - 5pm No staffed service
Bank Holidays: Monday 3 May & Monday 31 May 9am - 8pm No staffed service
Bank Holiday Monday 30 August CLOSED CLOSED

Weston Library (in Bournemouth Gateway Building), Lansdowne Campus

Day Library area Staffed service at Help Zone (including collection of reserved books) 
Monday - Friday 8am - 8pm 9am - 5pm
Saturday & Sunday 8am - 8pm No staffed service
Bank Holidays: Monday 3 May, Monday 31 May & Monday 30 August 8am - 8pm No staffed service

If you can't visit the Library in person you can contact us on Library Chat, or email us at These services are staffed Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm during term time and vacations.

Or look at our Library FAQs here.

For IT support, please telephone +44 (0)1202 965515 or Freephone 0808 196 2332 (both available 24/7).

What to expect during Covid restrictions 

When you enter the Library, please go to the Help Zone. Please be prepared to queue for entry, especially at peak times.

All study spaces (with or without a computer) are for quiet individual study only, and need to be pre-booked. We are unable to offer group study facilities in the Library at present, due to current restrictions. See more details about our study spaces or go straight to our booking system to reserve a library study space now. 

Please use our Reserve & Collect service if you wish to borrow print copies of books. We will email you when your books are ready to collect, then they can be picked up between 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday. (This service is not available at the weekends.) 

Printers and laptop loans are available. Booking is not required if you just wish to borrow a laptop to take elsewhere on campus, or for quick use of a printer - as long as you have already sent your work to the print queue

Extra cleaning is in place, but you will be expected to wipe down any university computer or printer that you need to touch, before and after use.

Please wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) and keep it on at all times while you are in the library. You may remove it to have a drink, but food is not permitted. 

Please keep to the physical distancing guidance and signage and do not move furniture around. 

The Covid-secure measures are in place for the benefit of everyone and we thank you for your cooperation. However, anyone failing to comply with them will be asked to leave the Library. 

Library loans extended to 11 June 2021

Library books on loan to BU students and staff  that were due back in April 2021 have been extended again and are due for return on Friday 11 June 2021.  After this date, please either return your books to the Library (in person or by post) or renew them yourself using 'My Account' in the the Library Catalogue. Our webpage Renewing borrowed items provides further details on how to extend your loans. 

The extension to loan dates excludes very overdue items that had reached the "library account" stage before the pandemic began.  If you have such an item on your borrower record, please contact us at and we will explain the options available for returning or replacing it. We are not charging fines for the late return of library books during this pandemic.

How to return items

Please use the secure returns boxes for library books (or DVDs) you need to bring back while our Covid-secure measures are in place. We have two boxes in the courtyard outside The Sir Michael Cobham Library at Talbot Campus (available 24/7) and one in the foyer of the Bournemouth Gateway Building at Lansdowne Campus (accessible 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week). See more details on Borrowing & Returning.

If you have completed your studies and have moved away from the area, please email us at and we'll advise you how you can return your books. 

Returned items are quarantined for 72 hours before library staff remove them from your borrower record. This will not incur a fine, as we are not charging fines on library books this academic year.

Problems accessing mySearch - Apple Mac security messages

Students using Apple Mac computers have reported security or privacy pop-up messages when trying to access our federated search tool, mySearch. This may be due to a MAC SSL certificate issue. In the first instance, we suggest trying to access mySearch from this link. However, IT Services offer guidance on how to do a certificate fix to your operating system in this Knowledge Base article. If you need further help with that, please contact IT Services by phoning +44 (0)1202 965515 or Freephone 0808 196 2332.

Introduction to the Library - useful guide

Our updated "Introduction to the Library" guide covers all the essentials to get you started, with short videos on booking a library study space, using the Reserve& Collect service, and more.

Online learning tips

In collaboration with colleagues across the University, we have created a Guide to Studying Online. It includes how to structure study time, guidance on relevant software, tips to improve skills such as critical thinking and reflective writing and links to further support that you might need during this time.

Inter library loans and digitised content (scanning) service 

Currently we are unable to accept requests for print copies of books, as the British Library has closed this part of its lending service.  Our inter library loan service will continue to deal with requests for electronic delivery (e.g. of journal articles) for BU staff and PGRs. In addition we may be able to obtain print copies of journal articles for Level 6/ Level 7 students, subject to availability at the the British Library. Please be prepared for longer waiting times, in particular for print items which have to be quarantined for 72 hours before we can issue them to you.

Our scanning service for academic staff will continue wherever possible.

SCONUL Access Scheme 

BU Library is unable to offer access to external SCONUL Access members during this period. This will be kept under review and if anything changes, the information will be published on this page. See also the SCONUL Access Scheme website.

Statement from the SCONUL Access Scheme, November 2020 (and still applies, 2021)

The current position:
We are sorry to say that the SCONUL Access Scheme is suspended as a result of the current pandemic. This means that we cannot process new applications or renew applications, and that participating libraries are not accepting visitors from other libraries under the scheme. We are afraid that no exceptions are possible to this rule. This is because capacity within member libraries is severely restricted due to the need for social distancing. Universities, including university libraries, are required to abide by the relevant government guidelines and this means that it is not possible for libraries to facilitate external visitors in most cases.

Next steps:
We remain fully committed to opening up the scheme again as soon as it is safe and practical to do so, and we are keeping this under regular review. Given the information currently available, we believe it to be unlikely that the scheme will return to full functioning this academic year (2020-21). We will be consulting member institutions on routes to reopening the scheme later this academic year.

Help in the meantime:
​In the meantime, our member libraries are doing all they can to ensure that their staff, researchers and students can access the books and journals they need during this difficult time, and scheme users wanting to use particular resources should speak to the library staff at their own institution who will be able to assist. Those wishing to access archives and special collections should do the same – staff at their home library will be able to provide advice and support on routes to access.

Alumni and external library members

Universities, including university libraries, are required to abide by the relevant government guidelines. This means that during the current Covid-19 restrictions, we are unable to offer library access to external visitors, which include BU Alumni, SCONUL Access Scheme members, reference users and subscription members. We regret this but as our capacity is severely restricted due to physical distancing measures, our service is open only for BU students and staff. This will be kept under review and if anything changes, the information will be published on this page.