Accessibility statement

Library closure: changes you need to know about

Posted on 18 March 2020

In line with government advice, we will be closing all our library buildings by 5pm on Friday 20 March - some are already closed. We've made changes to arrangements for loans, recalls and fines so that we can best support your access to our services.

Library building closures

  • Kings Manor Library, the Minster Library, and the Borthwick Institute for Archives are all now closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable future
  • The main Library building on Campus West will close at 5pm on Wednesday 18 March, and will be open 9am to 5pm on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 March
  • The main Library building will then close completely at 5pm on Friday 20 March for the foreseeable future

This decision has been taken in consultation with the University and is unfortunately unavoidable: we must do all we can to protect the health and wellbeing of staff, students and other users of Library services.

We strongly recommend that if you require access to physical materials you should arrange to take these out as soon as possible. 

Please note that Library support will still be available via our online chat service, email, and phone:

Changes to loans and recalls

As you will only have remote access to our services, we have introduced the following changes with immediate effect:

  • We will focus on ensuring online content is available
  • You will no longer be able to make requests for items already out on loan or have items sent to other sites such as King's Manor Library or York Minster Library
  • We won't recall any items currently on loan and we're also cancelling any existing recalls we identify
  • We will not offer a postal loans service until further notice
  • We're asking all Library users not to return items to us (by post or in person) - please keep them until further notice
  • We've increased the upper limit for fines so you shouldn’t be stopped from borrowing or accessing any resources due to fines already on your account
  • From Wednesday 18 March, you won't be charged for loans on your account beyond their due date. We will also waive any fines accrued between Monday 9 and Wednesday 18 March.
  • If you make interlending requests, we won't be able to supply physical items, only those available digitally. We will try to make as many resources available in digital formats as possible but we may not be able to do this in all cases. 
  • If you already have interlending items from other libraries, these will not be recalled immediately as all other academic libraries are extending their loans. You do not need to worry about returning these to the Library for now, a new date will be sent to you. 
  • Please note that the British Library Reading Room at Boston Spa has now closed and we will not be running our minibus service there for the foreseeable future.

We recognise that these changes will affect some of you trying to get hold of the resources that you need for your studies and research. Please contact us if you have any concerns at all about accessing specific resources and we’ll do our very best to help.

You can ask questions or report any issues via our online chat service, general email, or our phone options:

Remember too that you can access online resources via our Subject Guides and can chat to your Academic Liaison Librarian for help and advice. 

What else we're doing

We'd like to reassure you that we are in the process of putting in place our own contingency measures around access to resources and online support. We are working closely with publishers and other content providers to ensure that the resources you need will, as far as possible, be available. 

Our Academic Liaison Librarians are ensuring that our Subject Guides are up to date and will continue to offer 1:1 support for both staff and students virtually. Our Skills Guides (online support materials for information and digital skills) are available and we’ll add to them over the coming weeks.

Finally, we appreciate that this is a time of uncertainty. We want to reiterate that we are here to support you and with that in mind, please do get in touch with us with any questions. Our main concern at this time is the safety of our staff and students, while ensuring we adapt and respond to provide the best service we can in difficult and unpredictable circumstances. We'll keep you updated with any further news and updates. Thank you for your patience.

Find out more

For answers to frequently asked questions, and the latest updates on our response to the coronavirus outbreak see: