Library Rules

The Somerville Library is an exceptional resource and a special place to work. Below are the rules that make it work well for everyone. We would appreciate you taking a moment to familiarise yourself with them.

  • The Library is for use by members of the College only. Visitors should make an advance appointment with the Librarian, and report to the College Lodge on arrival.
  • Food and drink may not be brought into the Library. The only exception is for bottled water, which must be kept securely closed and clear of the desk-tops when not in use.
    For a trial period, hot drinks will also be allowed if, and only if, they are in spill-proof College or Bodleian ‘keep-cups’.
  • Every effort must be made to minimize noise and disturbance in, and immediately outside, the Library.
  • Mobile telephones must be switched to silent and used only for texting in the Library.
  • The Library computers must be used for academic-related purposes only.
  • Books must be treated with care; in particular, they must not be scored, annotated or otherwise defaced.
  • Books, other than dictionaries and encyclopaedias, taken from the shelves for reading in the Library should not be replaced, but should be left in the Returns box in the Library Loggia, or at the passage end of the tables.
  • Any books or papers left in the library overnight must be placed in one of the trays at the ends of the desks or in the storage shelves at the bottom of the West staircase with a completed ‘Please Leave’ slip (available from the library front desk). Books left in this way must be checked out to the user on the self-issue system. Failure to comply will result in the books being re-shelved and papers being removed without further warning.
  • Books and periodicals may be confined to the Library at the discretion of the Librarian. Dictionaries, atlases, and certain other reference books are normally for use in the Library only.
  • Other books may be taken out of the Library under the following conditions: (i) every book taken from the Library must be checked out on the self-issue machine; (ii) any book recalled by the Library must be returned as soon as possible; (iii) a book may be passed on to another reader only if it is checked out in the name of that reader. Books must not be lent to anyone who is not a member of the College; (iv) all books must be returned to the Library, or renewed, at the beginning and end of each term, at the time fixed by the Librarian.
  • All loss or damage must be made good by the borrower.
  • The Librarian may in special circumstances give permission to past students and others to use the Library, for reference only.