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Welcome to University Library and Collections 2020-2021: Home

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University Library and Collections - Epiphany Term (Term 2)

As you will be aware, following updated Government advice and lockdown restrictions, term began on Monday 11 January with wholly online teaching for students studying the majority of programmes, until the end of the Epiphany teaching Term on 19 March 2021. 

The University has provided clear Stay at Home guidance: 

With a very few exceptions, all teaching and learning will now be online only for the entirety of Epiphany Term – up to 19 March 2021. 

Students not currently in Durham should not return to Durham City before the start of Easter Term 2021, at the earliest. 

The University will work hard to ensure that learning outcomes and the graduation of students are achieved on time. 

Visit gov.uk to find out more about the national lockdown announced on Monday 4 January 2021. Please read the UK Government guidance on When You Can Leave Home before deciding on any travel. 

As a department, we recognise that students on Campus and living in Durham may need access to our physical facilities for essential use only, and students who are not currently in the City and are unable to access our buildings continue to require our support.  

The Government requires Universities to provide services to support students, including library provision and study space. Students in certain categories are permitted to return to campus, so the Library is providing access to study space for these students only, alongside virtual services for all students. 

We want to reassure you that regardless of where you are during the lockdown period, we will continue to support you through our online services, available to you anytime, anywhere. We have a vast collection of online resources accessible through Discover, specific subject support on our subject guides and help and support through our Virtual Enquiry Desk

Please see below for more details on our current available services.

Opening times 

Due to the lockdown restrictions and University guidance, there have been changes made to opening hours and access to our buildings and study spaces. Please visit our website for further details. 

Study space bookings capacity 

Individual study spaces are available to students and staff at Bill Bryson Library, and to students at the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC), both for essential use only.  

Due to the escalation of the spread of Covid-19, household study spaces will not be available and capacities for individual spaces will be reduced. This is an adjustment made to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our users and staff. 

For individual study spaces during the national lockdown period, you can book:  

  • one slot per day and up to five slots per week for the Bill Bryson Library study spaces (Disability Support room bookings are included within this).  

  • in addition, one slot per day and up to five slots per week in the Teaching and Learning Centre for individual study spaces (household study spaces are currently not available)

Please note, all study spaces are required to be pre-booked. You can also book a timeslot once it has already started (depending on availability) – please allow at least 5 minutes for our gate system to update and allow you into the building. You must sit in the seat you have been allocated. 

Services and procedures will be kept under review and revised in line with Government and University guidance. 

Development of services 

In response to the current situation, we have developed a free postal loans serviceavailable to final year undergraduate, PGR and PGT students and academic staff who are not currently residing in Durham. This service allows you to request items held in University Library and Collections to be posted first class to a UK address outside Durham City.  

We have also re-introduced our free Scan and Deliver serviceavailable to current University members who are not currently residing in Durham. This allows you to request scans of chapters and articles available in print, in the Bill Bryson Library, for individual research only (normal copyright restrictions apply).  

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. 

For those already in Durham, our Browse and Borrow service at Bill Bryson Library remains available during our new opening times for essential use only. You must pre-book before you visit and leave by the end of your timeslot. 

Health and safety measures 

If you are currently residing in Durham, you may visit us for essential use only, and pre-book a study space or Browse and Borrow timeslot to access the buildings.  

You are required to follow each of the safety measures we have in place. Continued access to services and facilities relies on compliance with expected behaviours and you may be asked to leave if you do not follow requested safety measures. 

  • Face coverings - you must wear a face covering during your time in our buildings or study spaces, unless exempt. This includes while seated at your study desk. 

  • Keep your distance - please follow any route plans marked and maintain social distancing of 2metres. 

  • Ensure good hand hygiene – wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser on entry and exit of the building and before and after touching or using any books or equipment. 

  • Clean as you go – wipe down all desks and surfaces before and after use and put all rubbish in the bins provided. 

  • Use the study desk you have been allocated – all study spaces are individual – you may not sit adjacent to anyone else, regardless of household groups. 

We will continue to update you with any changes to our services in line with guidance from the Government and University. If you have any queries, you can contact our Virtual Enquiry Desk

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