Information Services

Library Services Updates FAQs

A list of Frequently Asked Questions about our current Library Services.

Study spaces:


Do I have to book to use The Library's study spaces?

Yes. You are required to book to use the study spaces in the libraries. Full details and how to book:

Study Space Restrictions, Guidance and Support

Due to the current COVID restrictions and Scottish Government guidelines we ask that Library and study centres only be used for critical needs. The strong advice is that students should stay at home. 

Please note that when you need to use a study space as a critical need, you must book one at least one day in advance.


Do I have to wear my face covering when I am using a study space?

Yes. Face coverings are mandatory. Visitors who do not comply with the University's Face Coverings policy and Physical Distancing guidelines will be asked to leave.


Can I turn up at a library and find an empty study space?

No. Study spaces should be booked in advance.

  • You may be asked to show your booking on your phone. Therefore,  it is advisable to take a screen capture of your booking at the time.


Can specific desks be booked?

Yes. If you know the name of the desk, you can check its availability on the booking system.


How long is a study space booking slot?

Before 17:00 - 2 hours.

After 17:00 - 4 hours.

  • Students can hold up to 2 bookings per day.
  • A maximum of 14 bookings overall can be held at any given time

From early November you will no longer be restricted to two bookings per day. Instead, you will be able to book up to 20 hours over seven days in a way that suits you.


Can I stay at the desk beyond the time booked?

No. Please only use a study desk for the time period you have booked it. Make another booking to stay longer.


What is the maximum number of study space bookings I can have at any one time?

From early November you will no longer be restricted to two bookings per day. Instead, you will be able to book up to 20 hours over seven days in a way that suits you.



How far in advance can slots be booked?

Bookings are available 8 days in advance


Can a staff member book a desk on behalf of a student?

This is not currently available.


Will bookable study rooms be available?

No. Covid-19 social distancing requirements mean that these rooms are not currently available for group use. We encourage you to arrange group study sessions online using software such as Collaborate, Teams or Zoom.


Are study spaces being cleaned?

All study spaces are cleaned at the start of each day. Cleaning materials are provided and you are expected to clean the desk before and after you use it.

  • Please inform library staff if cleaning supplies need replenished.


Using print library collections:


Can I borrow printed books from the library?

No. Borrowing of all physical/print items is suspended. A new Scan & Deliver service provides some access to our print collections.


What is available via the interlibrary loan service?

Please see the Interlibrary Loan pages. 


Using the Centre for Research Collections:


Can I just come to the CRC or do I need to book?

Currently, you must book an appointment at least one week in advance by emailing (or for Lothian Health Services Archive).

Appointments may not always be possible on specific dates due to the availability of space and priority will be given to University of Edinburgh students and researchers. We also ask if you can register online before coming to the CRC for your appointment if possible and we are also operating under reduced hours and are currently only open from 11am to 3pm Monday to Friday. You can find more information about visiting the CRC on our website here.


Can I access CRC resources remotely?

We are aiming to have a teaching suite with a number of visualisers and webcams ready to be booked by educators from the start of term. We are also working on setting up a remote consultation service whereby readers can request to view individual items from our collections via a variety of different online methods. For more information on both services, please contact


Library tours:


Will there be tours of the libraries for new students?

No in-person tours are planned, due to Covid-19 spaces and physical distancing restrictions.


uCreate Studio:


Will uCreate facilities be available this semester? 

Yes, the uCreate Studio will be available. For more information see:


These FAQs are being regularly added to and updated.