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Our services: Libraries and site information: Bill Bryson Library

An overview of our libraries

The Bill Bryson Library is our main University Library, and you will find a fantastic range of resources to support your studies. Library staff are always on hand to help you find your way around and answer your enquiries, and our Virtual Enquiry Desk is available to you during your time in the Library or when working offsite.

Opening Times and Contact Details

From Saturday 5 June 2021: 

  • Monday-Friday between 8am-10pm 
  • Saturday-Sunday between 9am-10pm

(for essential use only - pre-booking required) 

Durham University Library  
Stockton Road  
DH1 3LY  
United Kingdom  

Tel: +44 (0)191 334 3042
Fax: +44 (0)191 334 2971 

Bill Bryson study space locations

Plans to show location of study space numbers

All study spaces must be booked in advance - please visit our Space Bookings system to book a study space.

Using the Bill Bryson Library

Contact us through our enhanced virtual enquiry desk, Ask DULib. Search our FAQs, email us, or chat with a librarian. 
Ask DULib is available to all students, staff and users.

Ask DULib, Library Help

Keep up to date

Keep up to date by following our library social media accounts: 



How to access our Library

Book drop

Please return books by posting them into our book return located to the left of the main entrance of Bill Bryson Library. 

If you wish to take advantage of this service, we would ask the following of you when you arrive at the Library:

  • You will be expected to adhere to the social distancing measures we have put in place

  • Wipe the book return down with the anti-bacterial wipes provided before and after using the book drop

  • There will be a hand sanitiser dispenser located next to the book return for use before and after you deposit your returns

  • You must ensure you push your books all the way through the letterbox and that they drop down on the other side

If you are unable to post your books into the book return for any reason, you must not leave books outside the Library – you are still responsible for them and their safe return. Please be aware that any of the items returned via the book drop may remain on your Library record for up to a week.

Self-service returns

If you have booked to visit the Library for Browse and Borrow or Stay and Study and wish to return items, you can now use the two self-service returns machines opposite the Help and Information Desk on Level 2. Please visit our Returns guide for more information.

Free Postal Returns

During Epiphany Term, we will also be offering a free postal returns service to all UK-based staff and students, allowing books to be returned to the Library by those who are not able to access Campus in the current situation. Please continue to renew books you are not returning, as automatic renewal reminders will continue to be sent. 

Browse and Borrow is available to students and staff currently on campus for essential use only. You can access the Bill Bryson Library for up to an hour to browse the shelves and borrow any books you require. 

This booking won’t give access to any study spaces – please see details of our Stay and Study service.  

For full details of our Browse and Borrow service, please visit our Browse and Borrow Guide.

For full details of the services and what to expect when visiting the Library, please visit our Services Guide. 

To book a timeslot, please visit our Space Booking system

Individual study spaces are available at Bill Bryson Library for students and staff who are currently on campus for essential use only.

Currently, you can book the following study spaces per calendar week (Sunday - Saturday):

  • one slot per day and up to five slots per week for the Bill Bryson Library study spaces. As of Monday 26 April, you can book an additional five slots per week for late night Stay and Study (Disability Support room bookings are included within this). 

For full details of our Stay and Study service and other sites where this service is available, please visit our Study Spaces Guide.

For full details of the services and what to expect when visiting the Library, please visit our Services Guide. 

Library users registered with disability support may book one of our dedicated Disability Support study rooms at Bill Bryson Library. For full details, please see our Accessibility and Support Guide.

To book a study space, please visit our Space Booking system

Visit Us

All colleagues, students, visitors, contractors and members of the public are required to wear a face covering inside all University buildings (unless an individual is exempt from wearing one due to a medical condition). This includes when seated at a study desk.

All other safety measures should also continue to be followed, including social distancing measures of 2 metres.

Please review the World Health Organisation’s guidance on the safe use of face coverings.

The Bill Bryson Library is on the Lower Mountjoy site on Stockton Road, across the road from Whitechurch and next door to the Palatine Centre.  Use the postcode DH1 3LY if using a SatNav or GPS.  
To access the Bill Bryson Library, scan your Campus Card barcode on the access gates.  

Visitors are usually very welcome. However, we're sure you will understand that at present we are only able to accommodate University students and staff.

When the Covid-19 situation changes, we will look forward to welcoming back visitors and external users.

There is no visitor car parking, except for disabled parking bays near the entrance. There are bike sheds available.  

The Small Island Café is open and available if you have booked a timeslot to visit the Library for Browse and Borrow or Stay and Study

The café is currently open Monday-Friday 10am-4pm offering a range of sandwiches, salads, drinks and snacks which you will need to pre-order on a click and collect basis. 

Please remember to clean as you go during your time in the building and place all rubbish in the bins provided. 

Access is on level ground via a power-assisted door. There are disabled parking bays near the main entrance, adjacent to the Geography building.
For more information on parking, please call 0191 334 6002 or email prior to your visit. There is a card-operated accessible gate. There are two lifts available within the building.  

Please see our Accessibility and Support Guide for further information.

Please see our Study Spaces Guide for full details.