Welcome to Magdalene College Library

Welcome to Magdalene College Library! The library team are looking forward to meeting all our new undergraduate and graduate freshers over the next few weeks. This is a short blog post to point you in the direction of some key information.

Induction Tours

All undergraduates are scheduled to attend a College Library induction tour. The tour lasts 20-30 minutes and will get you up to speed on how to use the library, find the key resources you need and how to borrow. You will need to register in order to borrow from the library and this is done as part of the tour.

Undergraduate inductions are organised by subject and your Director of Study will let you know when your tour is scheduled. We also include the induction timetable in the fresher packs and it will be e-mailed to you as well. If there is an unavoidable clash with a supervision or other official induction event please let us know.

Induction tours for new (and old!) Graduates every Wednesday at 3pm and Friday at 10am for the next two weeks. Come and meet the library team and find out what resources the College Library has and how to find and borrow them!

Meet outside under the Pepys building Cloisters.

When is it open and who can help me?

The Library is open 24hrs during Full Term.


The Deputy Librarian, Tom Sykes,  and the Libraries Assistant, Ellie Swire, are available in Right Cloister between 8.45am-1pm and 2-5pm on weekdays (or you may find us around the Library). Come and see us, email us at library@magd.cam.ac.uk or tweet @MagdLibs for any questions, suggestions, book recommendations etc. We are always happy to help!

Our blog https://magdlibs.wordpress.com/ external link  and Facebook.com/magdlibs external link page are regularly updated with news and information about the College Library and our special collections in the Pepys Library and Old Library.

Information about general library and research matters, particularly Cambridge related, may also be found at: http://answers.libraries.cam.ac.uk/ external link

JCR and MCR student representatives sit on the Libraries Committee, which meets once a term to discuss policy relating to the College’s libraries. They may also be approached if you have suggestions for or concerns about the College Library.

How do I use the Library?

The Library pages on the Magdalene intranet ‘Magnet’ have guides on how to use the library, the main page is here. There are various signs and guides throughout the Library including the classification scheme and Library map. You can find out more about what we have on the library on the College intranet here, and more about how to search for and find books here.

Students can have up to 10 items on loan at the same time – this includes books, DVDs and overnight loans. During full term, the loan period is 7 days, at which point the books either need to be returned or the loan renewed.

Remember to renew your books, fines are 25p per day, with 10 books out this quickly accumulates!

Reference books cannot be taken from the library.

The Law collection is largely Overnight Loans. These books can be taken out overnight via the Self-Issue machine and returned the following day. The books can be renewed three times.

How do I borrow?

Books are borrowed via the self-issue laptop, located on the Library office front desk in right cloister.


In order to borrow books from the Library, you will need your University card and the PIN number that you will set up during your library induction (or if you are a Grad that you have been e-mailed). If you do not have a PIN, or have forgotten it, you will need to contact the library team to obtain a new one – this is a quick and easy process.  If you require books in the meantime, please use one of our paper borrowing form (located at the issue desk) until a new PIN is set up.

Logon using your Barcode (the 5 digits on the back of your student card) or by scanning your student card and inputting the four digit pin/password you will set up with Tom or Ellie.

The machine defaults to Issue (which is borrowing). Scan the barcode on inside page of the book:


The self-service machine can also be used to renew and return books, to change to this setting click the relevant icon at top left of screen, select the book ro renew or return and click ‘OK’ at bottom of screen:


You will most likely check your loans and due dates and renew your Magdalene books via the Heritage website www.heritage.magd.cam.ac.uk (using the same logins as the self-issue laptop).

When you have finished with a book you return it via the three dropbox slots, which you see as soon as you enter right Cloister:



Using the library

College libraries are a special and unique resource as they are just for you and your fellow Magdalene students, fellows and staff.  It is a welcoming and safe place for you to study and the rules we have in place reflect the desire to keep it as such. Essentially the rules are about respecting your fellow students, the building in which you are working and the college staff that support you.




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