COVID Safe Rules & FAQs

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

  • If you are unable to come into the Library, prefer not to, or would like to keep your visit as short as possible, we’re here to help.  
  • 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, or if you would like help with book fetching.  
  • 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 if you or a member of your household has COVID-related symptoms. You will need to self-isolate following government guidelines. 
  • You feel unwell (or have come from a household where somebody feels unwell), even if symptoms are non-COVID related. 
  • You are a new student or senior member who has not yet had an online induction and email about safe use of the library (please email if this applies to you). 
  • You are not a current member of Newnham College. 

We have put signs and notices around the Library to help remind you of our rules for safe use. Please observe these notices whenever you are in the Library.  

Maintaining social distance – the 2 metre rule!

  • Please maintain 2 metres distance from everyone else in the Library at all times. 
  • Readers are only permitted to use the desks, workstations and chairs indicated. Please be considerate of others using the Library. 
  • Please don’t work in groups – not even if you are from the same household, and please don’t move any furniture or rearrange any desks. The desks are for individual use only.  
  • Access is strictly Newnham members only. No guests or visitors allowed. 
  • Please don’t queue for anything (e.g. lavatory, signing in sheet, printer) if you cannot maintain at least 2 metres social distance. Instead, move away and return later when there are fewer people around.  
  • Please check the maximum number of occupants in enclosed spaces (5 in the IT suite, 1 in the print room, 1 in the lobby). If the room has already reached its maximum occupancy, please wait until someone leaves before entering.  
  • If someone is sitting in the area where you want to browse, do not break the 2 metre rule. Come back later, or email with details of what you were looking for, and we’ll help you get access to the relevant books.  

Hand sanitising

  • All library users are asked to ensure that hands are washed and/or sanitised before, after and regularly during your visit to the Library, and when handling books. 

Face coverings

  • Library users must wear face coverings at all times whilst in the Library, unless an exemption applies. 

Food and drink

  • We ask that you do not bring in or consume any food in the Library. Because of the requirement to wear a face covering, we would ask you to take a break if you need a drink, and move outside the Library.  


  • We will be opening windows to maximise ventilation and air flow. This, combined with our increased 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! 


  • Library users are asked to clean down shared surfaces and equipment (e.g. desks, backs of chairs, keyboard, printer, mousebefore and after use using the wipes provided.   
  • Do not leave anything in the Library when you leave. Bins are provided, but these are only for the used wipes. Please help by taking 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 *unoccupied* 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 as usual (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 designated book drop 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 will monitor use and may make some adaptations to our system and safe use rules, but we will continue to move cautiously as we move through the Summer. 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, whether in person or remotely. You don’t have to be in the Library to benefit from our services! 

Thank you for helping us keep the Library safe!