Accessibility statement

Reopening our Library buildings

We are continuing a phased reopening of our buildings. This page will tell you a little more about what we’re planning to do, when we’re planning to do it, and what measures will be in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Our plan to return to site had three initial phases and we've now completed all of these. The latest changes include being able to browse the shelves in the Morrell and check books out yourself and being able to request print items from King's Manor Library via our Book Takeaway Service.

Our video covers the latest changes:

Services we're offering

The libraries on Campus West and at King’s Manor are now open, but they will look and feel a little different to the way things were before the buildings closed

  • We’re open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday for studying, printing and borrowing books; the Amazon Lockers will also be available during this time frame. Face-coverings must be worn when you’re in the buildings, and if you don’t have one or forget your own we’ll provide you with one. We have also announced our Autumn term opening hours.
  • You can now browse our print materials on the shelves at both Morrell and King’s Manor Library. You can request books to be transferred between sites using the Book Takeaway service, and books from York Minster Library are now also available to be delivered to either Morrell or King’s Manor (the Minster Library remains closed for now).
  • King’s Manor Library is now open for study space. You will need to book any of our study spaces online using either the calendar for the main Library or King’s Manor Library.
  • The Library Help Desks are available again at Morrell and King’s Manor. We are also continuing to provide a virtual help desk online through email, chat and the phone. This is available 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm.
  • The Borthwick Institute for Archives is now open by appointment. Appointments are available 10am to 4pm Monday to Thursday.Find out more about the Borthwick reopening and how to book an appointment.
  • The Library Cafe is now open for a takeaway service with a reduced menu. The cafe is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm.

Safety measures

Our main priority is making our services work for everyone whilst keeping everyone safe. Here are some of the things we’re doing:

Face coverings

Following government guidelines and University policy, all users (and Library staff) are obliged to wear a face covering when you’re in Library buildings. We will provide you with a face covering if you don’t have one or forget it.

Book quarantine

Books will be quarantined for 72 hours after they're returned to ensure infection control.

Study spaces

We’re offering a reduced number of study spaces available to individual students (no group study areas due to social distancing guidelines), including PC study spaces, and these will be bookable in advance.

The all-day bookings will be for 2m socially distanced studying, and the half-day bookings will be for 1m+ socially distanced studying.

Hand sanitiser

Hand sanitiser has been provided at specific location points throughout the building.

Track and Trace

When you enter the buildings please make a note of the link to our online Track and Trace form, which we’re using to support the national Coronavirus Track and Trace system.

Soft furnishings

Soft furnishings like our sofas are out of use - this means that (at least initially) the Morrell Lounge, Living Room and some of Fairhurst will be out of bounds.

Library staff

We have marshalls in the building to direct you and give advice about social distancing. You can also ask for guidance at our Help Desk, which is now open with social distancing measures in place.


Our lockers are unavailable (unless you need to collect belongings currently in them, which should be arranged in advance).

We need to be as flexible as possible to respond to the situation, so all this may change - we’ll be working in line with the latest guidelines at any given time.

What we're working on

There are some things that have not been finalised:

  • From Monday 21 September you’ll be able to get IT Support in the Library for instances where they’re unable to help you remotely. We’re still working on the details but it’s likely to be in the Fairhurst 
  • We’re not yet able to confirm our opening hours for the Autumn term, but expect to be able to do so soon.
  • At the moment we don’t have a reopening date for the Library space in the Piazza building on Campus East. We also don’t know what other study spaces will be available across campus.
  • We expect York Minster Library to reopen by appointment only from Monday 28 September.
  • Our Laptop Loans service will be reintroduced from Monday 28 September.

As soon as we have useful information on any of these topics we’ll let you know via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the Library News section of the website.

We’re also continuing to update our Frequently Asked Questions, where you’ll find lots more information about our Book Takeaway service, booking study spaces and how we’re reopening our buildings safely.

Find out more

We hope that this gives you a better understanding of what is happening when.

We know that students and staff want to get back to using our services and resources normally as quickly as possible, but we can’t rush this process, no matter how much we want to welcome you back. The pandemic is still ongoing and the wellbeing of our community at York is the priority. We’re working with the University to reopen our buildings in the quickest, safest way possible.

If you have any questions about any of this, please get in touch.