All you need to know about the new system in the RH library

All the links you need to book your space, thank me later

This year is more different for Royal Holloway students than ever. And one of the most frequented areas, the library (Emily Wilding Davison building) has changed radically. I am here to give you a very simple guide with all the information necessary for you to still be able to go to the library and not feel like a stranger. To be able to write dissertations or whatever your assessments are.

Here are the main changes you need to know beforehand:

How do I get into the library?

Walking in, sometimes you will need to swipe your Student Card. Keep that in mind and bring it with you just in case! Getting a seat to actually study, however, is a little more difficult than that. But doable; so let’s see what we have to do:

Firstly, we need to go online to book an individual study space in the silent area (the only option at the moment). The time slots are very convenient hour- wise: 7 am- 10 am, 10 am- 1 pm, 1 pm- 6 pm and 6 pm- 11 pm. It would be best to do this before your desired study time but you could book it instantly; given that there are free spaces. Timing of these revision slots has been changed regularly so do check with the website!

Once your study slot is booked online, you will receive a confirmation email with all the relevant information. Whenever you wish to access your study space during your timeframe, simply go up to the desk and say your name and student number or show your confirmation email and they will let you in.

It would be ideal for you to cancel your booking if you can no longer make it so that other students can access the study spaces.

You can still sit on these to do work

What measures have been put in place to make it COVID- 19 safe?

The seats are naturally socially distanced because you cannot sit next to anyone. There are tapes across the chairs and tables that you should not use. Also, there are cleaning stations on every floor with sanitising material such as hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes. Gloves can be used by those using computer spaces.

The black and yellow tape to avoid crowding


Is it open 24/ 7?

No. At the moment, the EWD building is open 7 am- 11 pm Monday to Sunday.

Could I go through the SU Shop into the main area of the library?

That entrance has been closed. The only way to go into the Student’s Union Shop is the main one.

Can I print and photocopy? How?

During the study time you have booked online you are free to use the photocopy and printing facilities on site. Every student receives 10 pounds per term as credit for printing and if you spend it all, you can top up your credit.

What if I need to borrow books, DVDs or any other material?

Not to worry. There is a new system in place called ‘click and sit’. This, essentially, means that for the time of study space, you are free to search for whatever material you need. You can borrow them like before (using your Student Card). The length during which you can borrow them in is either 1 week- long or 3. You should know that even if you do not want to sit down and study in the library, you still need to book a slot online to browse through its collections.

Of course, most of the material we need to study can be found mostly online anyway. It would be a good idea to check online first on the Library Search function to see if the library has what you need and where or if you could have it online too. There are exam papers and related articles too.

How do I return borrowed items?

In the EWD building atrium, just give them back through the machine or on the wall outside which is facing Windsor Building. Alternatively, you could give them back to Bedford Square Reception.

For information on fines and extenuating circumstances, visit the SU post dedicated to the library.

What about Founders Reading Room?

It is currently open but it does not have an online portal as the Emily Wilding Davison building does. BUT it is open 24 hours! This means that wearing face masks and social distancing must be followed. There will be no staff but it will be monitored. As with most places on campus now, there will be a QR code to register you have been there; please, do use it.

Of course, you can always email the library with any other concerns or questions you may have.

There is a lot more information on all the different services the library offers on the SU website as well as the library’s page on the student intranet.