We look forward to welcoming to the Library our new and returning students and helping you make the most of the Library’s resources and services, whether you are based off- or on-campus. Our staff are here to help so please get in touch with any queries you may have about the Library service.
For subject-related and search enquiries please contact the Information Consultant for your discipline. Contact details for ICs are available here.
When searching for books on your Reading List, or other resources, use the Library’s discovery tool Primo. This is the recommended access route to our extensive e-resources, digital collections and databases. Primo also provides information about our printed resources.
Our comprehensive Library guides offer detailed answers to any questions you may have about our resources. If you haven’t used Primo before, you may find the following guides helpful:
If you have any problems with your device or accessing information, please contact the IT Service Desk. Contact information can be found here.
Visiting the Library
If you’re coming to the library in person, don’t forget to wear a mask throughout your time in the building. Full details of the COVID-19 rules and regulations and adaptations to our services that we have implemented can be found in this earlier blog post.
Please note that there is now a webpage on our site where you can see the current occupancy of the TSDRL and Taylor libraries. The page is available here.
Please come and find us on our social media channels to keep up with news from the Library. Once again, we would like to extend a warm welcome to all our students and wish you all a happy start to the new academic year.
We have worked to reorganise our library spaces and services to ensure that they are COVID-19 safe for all of our staff and students. This work has followed Scottish Government guidance and has involved Library, Estates and Health and Safety professionals at the University. In order to allow safe access to resources and study spaces we have had to make a number of changes and the arrangements are outlined here. Please take the time to review these changes before you visit. We will continue to review our approach and welcome your feedback.
From Monday 14th September The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be open Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm
From Monday 21st September, it is anticipated the hours will be extended and will include weekends – further details will be confirmed shortly.
Plans are progressing for the re-opening of the Medical Library at Foresterhill and the Taylor Law Library – dates for re-opening will be confirmed soon.
We are increasing the amount of cleaning being done throughout the building and introducing regular touch point cleaning. We ask our users to help by washing hands regularly, using sanitiser on entrance and elsewhere (it is provided on all floors) and using wipes to clean keyboards and printer/scanners. We also ask that no food or drink (except bottled water) be brought into the building.
It is also a legal requirement that face coverings are worn all the time you are in the building, unless using the café (see details below).
We need to maintain 2 metre physical distancing in the building and this has meant a substantial reduction to the number of desks we have available at this stage. We are providing 170 desks on the upper floors (of which, 22 have PCs). When we reach this number of users through the security gates, we will be unable to allow anyone else through until people leave. There will be a queuing system in place on the ground floor to allow a small number of people to wait. However, we do not expect to reach capacity in our first week of opening. We cannot provide for group working in the building. The building will be open to University of Aberdeen students and staff. External Library members cannot access the building but can use the Click & Collect service by arrangement. Access to visitors including schools and the general public is not yet possible.
The Special Collections Reading Room
Our Scan & Send service will continue to operate, enabling digital rather than physical access by researchers. Images will be provided for research, rather than publication purposes, and large-scale digitisation will not be possible as we focus on supporting numerous requests. We will try to prioritise photography and scanning according to the urgency of need.
From 14 September, in-person bookable access to the Reading Room is possible for University of Aberdeen staff and students. Research visits will be limited to enable social distancing and enquiries should be made at least one week in advance.
Books and other printed materials are available to browse and borrow but need to be placed on the quarantine trolleys provided after use, unless being borrowed.
We will also continue to provide our Click and Collect service to allow you to order items for collection at the entrance.
In order to protect staff and students we aim to keep interactions to a minimum. Library staff should only be approached if absolutely necessary and when they are behind screens at service desks.
We plan to reopen the Hardback Café with appropriate safety arrangements in place and will provide news about this in due course.
Whilst we are looking forward to welcoming students and staff back to The Sir Duncan Rice Library, please work with us by taking care to understand the requirements, being patient about these new procedures and following all the guidelines. This will help us avoid the need to impose further restrictions and make it easier for the Library staff working in the building.
A summary of our new building use requirements
These signs will be displayed on digital screens in the Library, to remind you when you enter the building.
Please observe the following rules when you visit:
Remember to bring your staff/student card as access to The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be provided via swipe card through the card-controlled door to the left of the main sliding entrance door. Card scanning at the security gates is compulsory to meet Government Test and Protect obligations.
Use hand sanitiser on entry and exit and wash hands or use sanitiser during your stay
Wear your face covering at all times or display your lanyard or show your exemption card if you are unable to wear a face covering
Maintain two metre social distancing and follow the designated one-way routes
Clean surfaces, PCs and Multi Function Devices (MFDs) after use with the wipes provided
Place any handled books which you do not subsequently borrow on the trolleys provided
Only approach Library staff who are seated behind support desk screens
Note that no food or drink other than water is permitted in the building.
Once in the building:
Lifts to be used by one person at a time, so please leave more time to move around the building
Only study spaces marked with a tick can be used, allowing 2m distancing
The water stations on each floor will not be available – please bring your own water (no other food or drink must be consumed in the building)
Due to the current restrictions and physical distancing, assisted evacuation from upper floors is not possible. However, study spaces will be provided on the ground floor for users who cannot safely access other floors.
Please speak to a member of staff at the Welcome Desk if you have any concerns or require assistance. Our updates page is at bit.ly/COVID-19LibraryUpdates
The Library will be offering a Click and Collect Service while we are unable to allow entry into our libraries.
Our Click & Collect Service, which allows readers to request items which are currently available in any of our libraries and then collect them from The Sir Duncan Rice Library, will allow our users to place requests by logging in to Primo. Staff will then fetch the items and issue them, and readers will be informed by e-mail when the books are available for collection.
Please note that this service is currently for items that are not on loan. Items held at the Medical and Taylor Libraries may take a little longer to provide, as we will need to retrieve them on demand and bring them to TSDRL.
After you have received an email notifying you that the item is available for collection, you should come to the front of The Sir Duncan Rice Library between 13.00 and 16.00. When collecting items, we ask readers to observe the 2 metre social distancing guidelines. You will require your ID card to collect items and only 1 person at a time will be permitted to enter the collection area.
Any items not collected within 5 working days will be returned and reshelved following quarantining.
Special Collections will also be providing a Scan and Send Service to enable digital rather than physical access by researchers. This started on Monday 13 July.
Please note that there will be no other access to library buildings at this time. See our FAQs page for more information.
To maximise social distancing and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Taylor Library and Medical Libraryclosed at 17:00 on Tuesday 17th March until further notice.
The Sir Duncan Rice Library (TSDRL)will remain open until 17:00on Friday 20th March and will close at 20:00 on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th March. The Hardback Café and Library Gallery have now closed.
Any borrowed items will automatically be renewed until further notice. Loans will not become overdue and no fines will accrue.
If you require additional loans while the Library is closed we will be happy to extend loan allowances by up to 10 items – please bring items to the Information Centre for issuing in advance of Friday 20th March at 16:45.
The option to request items that are currently on loan has been removed from Primo.
Items can be retrieved from Taylor Library and closed access stores until 15:00 on Friday 20th March by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Book order requests – we strongly recommend choosing items in electronic format to maximise availability for students who are now working at a distance
We are unable to process new Inter-Library Loan requests as many university libraries are no longer supporting this service while they prepare their COVID-19 contingency plans.
The Library web pages will be regularly updated with FAQs. Library staff will be monitoring email accounts and will be available to answer any general enquiries during office hours.
Please get in touch, and we will do our best to help – contact details below.
From Thursday 12 March, The Sir Duncan Rice Library will close every night at 22:00 instead of midnight to allow for intensive cleaning. The University is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and is making every effort to ensure our buildings are clean and safe for our community.
Study spaces in the MacRobert Building will remain available 24/7.
The University is following national guidance and our plans are under continuous review. At the moment we are still preparing for 24-hour opening of The Sir Duncan Rice Library from 19 April in the lead up to the May diet of exams, but we will continue to monitor the situation and update you of developments.
While the University is increasing cleaning of buildings, staff and students should continue to follow NHS guidance on personal hygiene, including:
Regularly washing your hands with soap and water
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or into a flexed elbow, then throw the tissue in the bin, and wash your hands
Soap supplies are checked regularly but please let a member of staff know immediately if soap needs to be replenished.
Professor George Boyne, University Principal, and Professor Ruth Taylor, Vice-Principal for Education, will speak at an informal drop-in session taking place on Floor 7 of The Sir Duncan Rice Library, on Friday 31 January 2020 between 13:00 and 15:00. The Principal will be announcing a new University fund to initiate additional research links with European universities and to strengthen existing links.
Staff from the University’s Human Resources, International and Research and Innovation teams will be on hand with advice on a broad range of issues connected to the UK’s departure from the EU, including information on immigration for EU staff and students, study abroad opportunities through Erasmus, and future arrangements for cross-European research partnerships.
This interactive event will also invite staff and students to share their ideas on how the University can continue to foster links with Europe and develop existing partnerships.
The Library Service will soon be holding a sale of books that have been withdrawn from library stock. These are books that are duplicates of items in our collection or donations that are not required.
The sale will be held on Floor 1 of The Sir Duncan Rice Library for one week, from Monday February 10 until Sunday February 16.
From Monday 10/2 to Wednesday 12/2 inclusive, the sale will only be available to University of Aberdeen students and staff. Please show your University ID card at purchase.
The sale will not start until 9 a.m. each day and 11 a.m. on Sunday, once staff begin work at the Information Centre on Floor 1 of The Sir Duncan Rice Library. You will not be able to purchase any books before the above times.
The cost of the books will be:
Hardback – 50 pence
Paperback – 25 pence
Cash till only – no cards.
There will be books available from across a whole range of subjects, and at those prices it is certainly worth coming and having a look to see what bargains you may be able to get.
The libraries at the University of Aberdeen will be closing at 4.00 pm on Christmas Eve. They will not reopen again until January 6, 2019. Full details of the opening hours at our different sites can be found on our website.