Regulations for the use of Senate House Library

Senate House Library seeks to create and manage a scholarly environment that supports learning and research needs. In pursuit of these goals, Senate House Library expects that:

  • Library users and staff treat each other with respect and consideration.
  • Library users and staff respect private and University property.
  • Library users and staff comply with current copyright legislation and the terms of our electronic licences.
  • Library users comply with requests made by library staff.
  • Library users act in a manner consistent with these guidelines and other library policies.


Access rights

Senate House Library is the central library of the University of London. Details of entitlement to membership and how to join the library are available. Access to the Library is permitted to all registered users of the Library during opening hours. Library memberships are non-transferable and may only be used by the person named on the card.

The Library may limit or refuse access by individuals or groups whose behaviour fails to comply with these guidelines. The Library may limit or refuse access by individuals with books overdue for more than 34 days, which have been billed, until these books are returned or replacement charges paid. In addition, the Library reserves the right to close during advertised opening hours should it become necessary.

We recognise that it is sometimes necessary for you to bring children with you when making essential use of the library. All children, i.e. anyone under the age of 16, entering the Library must be under the close and continuous supervision of an adult. We also ask that you make every effort to help maintain a quiet study environment and ensure that other users are not disturbed.

All service points are closed and photocopiers turned off 15 minutes before Library closing time. Users are asked to ensure that they have completed any printing, photocopying, borrowing, renewing, or other library business by this time. The Membership Desk closes thirty minutes before Library closing time, and it will not be possible to enter the Library without a valid Library membership card once the Membership Desk has closed. No access to the Library (e.g. to gather possessions) is possible after Library closing time.


Use of library materials

All library books available for loan must be issued before you may take them out of the Library. You must have a current Library card whenever you are borrowing.

Items on loan should be returned or renewed by the due date. It is your responsibility to be aware of the due date(s) of any items borrowed and to maintain current address and email account details with us at all times. Whilst we will make every effort to contact you, we cannot confirm or guarantee delivery of notices. Notices are a courtesy and non-receipt does not exempt you from overdue fines or charges.

Items on loan may be recalled at any time if required for the use of other users. In special circumstances we may accept, at our discretion, a hospital letter or doctor’s letter (original documents not photocopies) as evidence that a user was unable to return books on time.

Users should check that books renewed by staff (in person, by phone or email) have indeed been renewed. If another user reserves a book that is on loan, the item will not be renewed. Although correspondence will usually be sent out, it is the user’s responsibility to check that none of their loans have been requested.

You are responsible for the safety and condition of any items used for reference or borrowed from the Library. Users must not mark Library’s books or periodicals in any way, including the use of pencils, pens, highlighters or attaching Post-it type notes to pages. Repair or replacement costs (plus an administration fee) will be charged for lost, stolen, or damaged items. We reserve the right to exclude users who deface items.

You may only use or copy material in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright legislation currently in force and the preservation policy of the Library. Users are responsible for the consequence of any breach of copyright. Guidelines on Copyright are displayed beside all photocopying machines in the Library. Access to electronic resources is limited to those for whom it is permissible under the licences and/or terms and conditions: this normally includes walk-in users whilst on site. Usage is only permitted for educational, non-commercial purposes, and staff should be consulted if you wish to use electronic resources for anything other than private study, so that the detail of the licence/terms and conditions can be checked.

The Library provides data and power outlets, and access to the University of London wireless network. The Library accepts no responsibility if users’ electronic equipment is damaged while using these facilities. The Library cannot guarantee availability of internet access, or that Library staff will be able to assist users in connecting devices to the network or with any other use of personal electronic equipment.



The fine for overdue books is 30p per day per item and 10p per hour for a laptop key. Fines come into effect immediately the item becomes overdue.

Books overdue for more than 34 days will be billed for loss at £50.00 per book. When the book is returned this amount will be reduced to the maximum fine of £10.20 per book.

Laptop keys overdue 6 days or more will be billed for loss at £15.00.



You are expected to show consideration for others and should refrain from behaviours that disturb the legitimate activities of other library users or staff. Hostile or rude, and other inappropriate public behaviours are not permitted in the Library.

You may not consume food and drink in the Library. The exception to this is bottled water. Please keep the top on your bottle when not drinking, to prevent spillage. No food or drink, including water, may be consumed in the Special Collections Reading Room in the Sterling Library, on the fourth floor, Senate House Library.  This is in the interests of preserving early printed books, archives and manuscripts for future consultation.

Potentially harmful or inappropriate use of resources such as books, periodicals, seating space, or computers is prohibited. Inappropriate use of computing resources includes: tampering with equipment, excessive recreational use, or viewing websites or images which violate the Janet Acceptable Use Policy or the University of London Equality Policy.

All mobiles must be set to silent mode and calls should only be taken or made in the stairwells.

Smoking and the use of e-cigarettes (or vaping) is strictly forbidden in the Library.



Please make sure that you keep your personal possessions (including your membership card and any items checked out to your Library account) with you at all times. The Library accepts no responsibility if such items are damaged or stolen while in the Library. A security system is in operation at the exit gate from the Library to safeguard library property for use by everyone. You may also be asked to open books, folders and bags for inspection by a member of staff. Video cameras located around the Library provide extra security.


Guarantee of service

Senate House Library is committed to providing the highest possible levels of service to all of our users within the resources available to us. Your opinions on our services are always welcome and can be made known to us by placing them in the Suggestion Box located near the Service Desk or by emailing us at


Data Protection Act

Applicants for Library membership must consent to providing their name and other contact details for the purposes of administering their borrower record. The Library will process their member’s personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The Library is part of the University of London, which is a registered data controller. For further information please see the University of London website.