Ask a Librarian!

There are various ways in which you can get in contact with the Library team to ask questions, make suggestions or notify us of any problems in the Library.

Feedback Walls

In the entrance to Right Cloister, and in Ramsay Hall, there are feedback boards. We have provided post-its and pens nearby for you to add your comments/ideas/issues. These have proved really useful for highlighting all sort of issues and enables us to tackle them asap.

feedback wall2

Library Office – Right Cloister

The Library Office is usually staffed Monday to Friday, 9am-12:30pm and 1:30pm to 5pm.

Ellie and I are always happy to help if you need support finding resources or information, physical or digitial, whether that be figuring out i-Discover or finding out how to reference something.


You can also contact us via

Book Recommednation form

If you simply want to recommend a book then you can also do that via e-mail, our online recommendation form or the paper recommendation form (found on the wall to the right of the self-service machine).

Libraries Committee

The College Libraries Committee meets every term, with representatives from the Fellowship, library staff and JCR and MCR to discuss Library issues and developments. If you want something to be raised at Library committee please discuss this with your JCR or MCR academic rep.

Library Survey

We also run a biennial Library Survey which was run in Lent term this year and we had a really good response.

Using the Library

76% of undergraduates say that they use the main College Library or Ramsay Study room at least once a week, with over half using it multiple times a week.

Since the last survey in 2017 there has been a significant increase in the number of undergraduates that use the Library on a daily basis (14% increase) and also an increase in those that use the Library multiple times in a week (6% increase).

Photograph of Ramsay Hall Study Space

We created Ramsay Hall study space last year in anticipation of potential noise from the building site, and it was picked up in the survey as improving the variety of study spaces, which the Library had previously been lacking, and which will expect to be strength in the new Library when it is built.

  • “Choice of different desks- bigger one are ideal to work with friends (especially in Ramsey or the left cloister) as well as window seats to completely focus.”
  • “Ramsay hall – lots of seating, sofas, water machine Library – warm!”
  • “The lighting in Ramsay is wonderful – light, airy and conducive to happy working time.”

We still lack designated group study space, which was picked up on in the survey comments, which can be frustrating for those that want to work in a non-quiet environment or to undertake group study. The new Library will have three areas that will be suitable for group study. In the meantime the reopened bar and JCR and areas in Cripps Court are available.

What for?

We asked how frequently you use the library for specific tasks.

For both undergraduates and graduates the most frequent weekly use of the library was to study, followed by borrowing books , reading books  and using the reprographic facilities.


Most of our students use the Library during the afternoon and early evenings. A significant number of students work in the Library late at night (10pm to 2am).

How did you rate the book collection?

69% of Undergraduates considering the collection to be good or very good. This represents a good increase in satisfaction from 2017.

This improvement is also reflected in our circulation statistics, which reveal a significant increase in borrowing since 2017. There was a 12% increase in borrowing between October 2018 and March 2019 compared to the same period the previous year.

Students’ qualitative feedback has given us further insight into areas in the collection that are particularly good but also where we are currently falling short.

Of course we are working hard to make the book collection very good throughout, we are always looking for ways to improve the collection, ensuring that we purchase the right books and resources in the right areas. We think that reclassifying, moving and reorganising sections has also helped you find the books books you need, and this work is ongoing. Let us know if we are missing core texts or where we can make improvements.

You Happy?


We you to rate how satisfied you were with a number of aspects of the College library, ranging from ‘Very Satisfied’ to ‘Very Dissatisfied.’ We also gave you an opportunity to tell us what you thought the ‘best thing’ about the library is and also ‘what you would like to see us ‘improve or do differently’.

You were most satisfied with library staff (98% – ‘Satisfied’ or ‘Very Satisfied’), the cleanliness (96%), the noise levels (93%) and the atmosphere (92%).

The temperature (38% – ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’), seating (29%) and lighting (16%) in the library had the highest level of dissatisfaction.

By far the most frequent positive comments concerned the good atmosphere in the Library but a close second were comments on the 24 hour opening, this is considered to be a key aspect of the Library’s appeal

  • “Open 24 hours – v good for the 4am essay crisis.”

Specifically on atmosphere:

The atmosphere also scored extremely well, with an increase from 2017 of those who are very satisfied with it. The majority of comments touched on the library as being an inspiring, studious place to work;  managing to be both welcoming and cosy as well as a place to concentrate and get work done.

“The atmosphere is truly great.”

“… A close second is the atmosphere – some college libraries can seem quite stuffy, and quite intimidating! Magdalene library is the polar opposite, thank goodness!”

“It’s a good learning atmosphere”

“It is a very productive place to work.”

“Studious atmosphere (library)”

“Different atmosphere to college room, instantly gets me into work headspace”

“cosy and plenty of room”


We’ve looked through all the comments, positive and negative, and it has helped us to identify areas to improve (more adjustable chairs and books rests bought this summer). Thank you again to everyone who took the time to engage with the survey.

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