Start of Term Notices (Easter 2021)

Available Services

 The New Library at Magdalene College is open to current students and fellows for the following services:

  • Bookable study space in New Library
  • Bookable browsing and borrowing slots
  • Printing and scanning facilities (for booked study slots only)
  • Request and Collect
  • Book returns
  • Scanning Chapters and delivering via e-mail
  • New Book purchasing and delivery by the supplier to the student within the UK (where possible)
  • Online/ebook Support

All information included below can be found on the College Library webpage:

Bookable Study Space

In order to meet social distancing guidelines and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we are currently restricted to 50 study spaces.

What is currently available?

3 hour morning and afternoon study space slots can be booked in the New Library, Monday to Friday, via the Magdalene booking form on MagNet. The slots are:

  • 9:30am – 12:30pm
  • 1:30pm – 4:30pm
  • Study space slots can be booked one week in advance.
  • Specific desks cannot be booked.

Further instruction about how to book a study space, where the desks are located and the library rules can be found on the New Library Induction page.

All study spaces have been set up to meet COVID-19 safety guidance, more information on how we are keeping users and staff safe can be found on the Induction page.

Evening and weekend slots

We also expect that by 17th May at the latest we will also have evening and weekend study slots in place. We are currently recruiting Graduate Library Assistants to enable us to open the library for these additional slots.

Borrowing Books

If you have booked a study slot you can browse and borrow already, you do not also need to book a browsing slot.

Browse and Borrow

From Tuesday 27th April it will be possible to book a ‘Browse and Borrow slot’ in the New Library via MagNet.

Browse and Borrow slots are available each study session, Monday-Friday:

  • 10am
  • 11am
  • 2pm
  • 3pm

The number of slots available is limited to safeguard students and library staff.

A Browse and Borrow booking does not enable you to access study space

New Self-Issue Machine & Security Gates

Please note that we have a new self-issue machine on the ground floor that uses RFID technology to issue the books and to set off the gate alarm.

The Self-issue machine makes things a little quicker. You only need to scan your ID card to login and then books are issued by being placed on the pad (no more scanning barcodes!!). Instructions are located next to the machine.

If your ID card is not working, you have a temporary card, or the machine is not working please fill in a manual borrowing form or leave us a note!

If the gate alarm goes off as you enter or leave please go and speak to a member of staff. Please do not be offended if we ask you to speak to us and ask if you have any library books! This is a new system and currently there are several reasons the alarm might go off

  • You have forgotten to borrow the book(!)
  • You have borrowed the book but the self-issue machine failed to desensitize the book
  • You have had a book on loan for several months (all of these have RFID tags which will set the gate off until desensitized by a member of staff)
  • You may have a book from another library that hasn’t been desensitized.

A member of the Library team can quickly check what the problem is and fix so that the alarm will not continually go off by mistake.

Once they system is bedded in it will speed up borrowing and returning books and help to ensure books are borrowed properly via the self-service machines.

Request and Collect

If you are resident in College you can request to borrow up to five books by submitting a Request and Collect form.

Requested books will be issued to your account and usually made available for you to collect after 48 hours. You can collect items from the College package room, next door to the Porters Lodge.

If you and your household are in isolation it will not be possible to collect books yourself. If you are in isolation and a member of your household is not, then they can be authorised to collect a book on your behalf and deliver it safely to your door (whilst observing all isolation rules).

If you are in isolation please do not ask anyone to return books on your behalf, please wait until you have come out of isolation and return them to the Plodge dropbox. If the book is a short loan, or you are concerned about not being able to return it, please contact the Library team to let us know and we will extend the loan period.

Book recalls (requests via Alma)

From Tuesday 27th April it will be possible to recall (request via Alma) a book currently on loan to another borrower. This applies to UL, Faculty and College library books. To do this you can use the ‘request’ option in iDiscover to ask for it to be returned. Not sure how to do that? Help is available here.

We appreciate that it’s not easy for everyone to return books at the moment. In the College library we may have to cancel requests/recalls if it is not possible to for the current borrower to return it in time, in these cases we will contact you to look at other options.

If a book on your account is recalled, we ask you to do your best to return it to the relevant library. If you can’t return the book in person, it may be helpful to know that you can now book a free collection from home with Royal Mail if you purchase postage with their Click & Drop service.  

If you are worried about returning a book on your account that has been recalled, please contact the library you borrowed it from, the College library team can be contacted at This term, as in previous terms during the pandemic, you won’t be charged overdue fines on any book that you have borrowed.  

Find all the details you need about loans, recalls and returns on our website  and also the UL Borrowing LibGuide.  

Book Returns

In College:

If you are currently resident in College and you wish to return a College Library item then please put them in the returns box in the Porters Lodge (next to the printer) or in the dropbox in the New Library building entrance. If you are returning books to the New Library building entrance and you have not booked a study slot please avoid doing so at the start of study sessions (9:30am and 1:30pm) and do not enter the main Library.

If you are returning a book on the new self-service machine and it is not recognizing the book please ask a member of staff for help, or simply place it directly into the dropbox. We check that all books are removed from library accounts before shelving.

For information about returning books to othe libraries in Cambridge please see:

Out of College


If you need to return a book or book(s) and you live in the UK and Northern Ireland, you can now book a free collection from home with Royal Mail if you purchase postage with their Click & Drop service.  

If you live outside of the UK and Northern Island please contact the Library Team if you are concerned about returning books


If you are a final year student living in the UK (including Northern Ireland), you can request a prepaid Postal Returns Label to return your books to the UL Returns Centre.  Books will be forwarded on to the correct library (including to Magdalene College Library books).

If you are a final year student living overseas you can request a prepaid Postal Returns Label for faculty, departmental and UL books only. If you have College Library books please contact to discuss college book returns.

IT Facilities


If you have booked a study slot in the library and need a printer then we currently have one PC and printer set up in the 2nd Floor copier room.

We do not currently have any network computers to work on in the New Library, if you need to use a computer then you will need to book one of the computer room slots These can also be booked for printing.


We have a scanning station set up in the 1st floor copier room.

Online Resources/eBooks

We hope that this term most of the books and resources you will need to access will be online. If you are unsure if an item is available online, or are having problems accessing anything then please contact us and we will check the availability and support you in getting access. There are very good summaries of online resources available on the University Library webpage.

Scanning Service – Books and Articles

The University Library is offering a scanning service for books that are not available online, please do use this service if there are chapters of books that you otherwise cannot access. Information on this service is available the Scan & Deliver webpage.

Further Help

Please email  or ring +44 (0) 1223 332125 if you need help finding resources for your studies or would like any other library or reading-related advice.

The College sends out information through College e-mails but we also post updates and information through Social media and our blog (all @magdlibs). Instagram. FacebookTwitter and our blog.

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