COVID Safe Guidance

Library staff are here to help Newnham students wherever you may be working

  • Our library enquiry desk is open Monday – Friday 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm. Email for help with finding, accessing or requesting online or print resources.  
  • Our Click and Collect service is available for members of Newnham College. Just email with details of up to 5 books you want to borrow and their classmarks. Allow at least one working day for us to process your request and, subject to availability, we’ll find the books, issue them to your account, and make an appointment for you to collect them.

 Please do not come to the Library if….

  • You are self-isolating or you have COVID-related symptoms. 
  • You are a new student or senior member who has not yet had an online induction. Please email if this applies to you. 
  • You are not a current member of Newnham College and you do not have a reader’s appointment. 

We have put signs and notices around the Library to help remind you of our Covid Safe Guidance. Please observe these notices whenever you are in the Library.  

Maintaining social distance

  • Government advice is that you should limit the close contact you have with those not in your household. Our study spaces are arranged to help with this.
  • There are notices in the Library to advise which desks and workstations to use. There are 23 individual study desks in the old (Yates Thompson) Library; in the new (Horner Markwick) Library, there are 50 desks, which may be shared. Please don’t move any furniture or rearrange any desks.
  • Please be considerate of others using the Library, especially when browsing at the shelves. 
  • The Library is a silent study space. 
  • Access is for Newnham members only. No guests or visitors allowed. Please email if this is a problem for you.
  • Please check the notices recommending a maximum number of occupants in enclosed spaces (5 in the IT suite, 1 in the print room, 3 in the lobby) and if the room has already reached its maximum occupancy, please wait until someone leaves before entering.
  • If you cannot access the area where you want to browse, email with details of what you were looking for, and we’ll help you get access to the relevant books.  


  • We will be opening windows to maximise ventilation and air flow. This, combined with our 100% fresh air intake in the air handling system may make the library a bit chilly on occasion, so do bring a jumper if you think you might need one! 

Face coverings

  • COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. The government recommends that people wear face coverings in enclosed areas where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet. For this reason and because some people spend long periods of time in the Library, we recommend that you wear face coverings in the Library, unless you are exempt.

Food and drink

  • Please do not bring in or consume any food in the Library. Drinks in securely-lidded containers are permitted. 

Hand sanitising

  • Please ensure that hands are washed before, after, and regularly during your visit to the Library, and when handling books. Sanitisation stations are available throughout the Library.


  • Library users are encouraged to clean shared surfaces and equipment before and after use using the wipes provided.   
  • Do not leave anything in the Library when you leave. Please take away with you any tissues or drinks containers and all your personal belongings.  

Personal items

  • Please only bring items you need for your immediate study to the Library. In order to maximise availability of space for users, do not leave any possessions in the Library if you leave for more than an hour. If you are leaving for less than an hour (e.g. to take a short break) use the ‘I’m taking a break’ slip and come back within an hour! 

Browsing and borrowing books

If you are browsing at the shelves, please do one of the following with any books you have handled: 

  • borrow them using the self-issue terminals or a manual loans slip, or; 
  • leave them on the side of the desk with a dated reservation slip if you want to come back and read them another day, or; 
  • return them through the book drop in the lobby if you don’t want them. Library staff will re-shelve them later.

In the library lobby and entrance area, if you want to borrow books, please use the self-issue terminals (wiping the equipment before and after use). Alternatively, record your loans on a manual loans slip and post it in the manual loans box for staff to process later. 

Post any books you want to return in the book drops in the Library lobby. 

If you would like to send us feedback about the Library or if you have any questions, please email  

The procedures for visiting the Library are a bit different this year but we hope you will enjoy being able to study in this lovely space. We may make some adaptations to our system and Safe Guidance over the coming months. Any changes will be made on this page, and with signs and notices around the Library.  

Library staff are looking forward very much to helping you make the most of College Library resources. 

Thank you for helping us keep the Library safe!