Using the Library

Christ Church Library for Students and Staff

Library services update*

The Library is open for bookable individual study spaces.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only a proportion of our reader seats are available for you to occupy.  Bookings may be made by Christ Church students in residence in College or living in Oxford only. Please note that these limits will be reviewed in line with demand.  The number of study spaces available may change at short notice, in response to health and safety precautions. 

Find out more on how we are supporting our readers and how you can book a seat here.


Finding your books

SOLO is the online catalogue for Oxford’s libraries. SOLO can be accessed by clicking here.  Learn how to navigate SOLO and filter down to Christ Church Library.

During the COVID -19 outbreak current members of the House will not have direct access to the collection. This means we cannot accommodate browsing or self-issue of books in any of our library locations.

The library will be running a Click & Collect’ service. Which means that you need to place an advanced request for the book you need via SOLO. Sign into SOLO with your SSO. Search for the book you need, click Find & Request and choose Christ Church Library. Click the ‘Request’ button. If the book is already on loan a due date will be displayed. By sending a request you will be placed in a queue for that item, and once that returns you will be let notified.

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, Philosophy and British History sections 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. On a case by case we will assess if a book retrieval is possible.

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. We encourage you to fill in a suggestion form here. 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

You will need to place a 'Click and Collect' request if you wish to borrow material from the Library. Library staff will retrieve the books on your behalf. Once all items have been placed on your library account you will receive an email notification letting you know that you have 24h to come and collect your request from the library’s Entrance Hall cubbies. If you are unable to come and collect on the same day, please let Library staff know in advance. No shows of more than five times will automatically be banned from benefiting from the ‘Click & Collect’ service for two weeks.

Note*  The library aims to ensure that requested items are available for collection the next working day. This means that ‘Click & Collect’ requests placed on Friday or at the weekend will normally be available for pick-up on Monday.

However, if you are in the Library, you can request an item on the spot. To do so 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; LA 20B). Remember the item has to show available on SOLO in order for us to be able to fetch this and add it to your library account. Reference only material cannot be borrowed (books with a red dot on the spine).

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 we do not hear back from you about long overdue loans you will be battled the item’s replacement cost plus a £10 administrative fee. The same applies if you have lost a library item or an item has suffered considerable damage while in your custody.

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

As we are trying to minimise surface contact we ask that you place your returned books onto the ‘Returns’ trolley located in the Entrance Hall. Library staff will process these on your behalf. We aim to quarantine the books prior to their return to the shelves. This means there will be a short period of time when a book you have returned will still be recorded as out on loan to you.

Holds and 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 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.

Ebooks and 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.

Many academic publishers are offering temporary free access to ebook collections and databases. A list can be found on the Bodleian Libraries’ Covid-19 ebooks guide.

If you can’t find an ebook you need, please email and we will look into purchasing access for you if possible.

Scanning and printing

A wireless multifunctional printer/copier/scanner is available in the East library. 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

During the COVID -19 outbreak current members of the House are asked to collect all personal belongings when leaving the library. Nothing is to be left in the library at the end of your visit.

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 is closed until further notice. The Special Collections team is working from home. They will attempt to answer your email queries and to provide digital copies of material whenever possible as quickly as possible.