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Info for new students: Library basics

New to the university? Or this part of London? This guide aims to help you find your feet!

Info for new students


Within the library, the public toilets are located on the 2nd floor, 3rd floor and 4th floors.

There are additional public toilets throughout the Institute building, on the ground floor, L1 and L2.

In the event of an emergency

In the event of an emergency, warning bells will sound repeatedly. Library staff are fully trained to evacuate people from the building. Please follow instructions for leaving closely. On no account should you use the lifts to exit the building. Readers will be let back into the library once the emergency has been resolved.

When are we open?

During academic term time October - June, we are open 09:00 to 23:00 Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 20:30 Saturday, and 12:30 to 20:30 on Sunday. Full library services will be available during office hours (09.00-17:00 Monday to Friday), with limited cover outside of these times. Over the summer term, we are open from 09:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 17:30 on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays. We close over the Christmas and Easter breaks, with limited opening on some bank holidays. Full details of these closures will be advertised well in advance on the website, in the library and by email.

Navigating the building

Our unique building has a couple of quirks which can confuse new students! Once inside the Institute, you will need to take the stairs or main lifts to the 2nd floor for the library entrance. Once inside the library, you can move between the floors with either the INTERNAL library lift (NOT the one you came up in) or the library stairs. The library is, in effect, a self contained unit within the main IALS building. To leave the building, you will need to come back to the 2nd floor of the library, exit the library, then take the main lifts back down to the ground floor. Don't worry - you will get used to it in no time!

Locating an item

Once you have found what you are looking for on the catalogue note down the classmark. Specific classmarks are found within the general ranges on the following floors:

BB BG BS L2 **
FC FM 2*
GA  4
GB to GN L2 **
GO 4
GP L2 **
GQ to GU L2 **
RF 4
SA to SJ 3
FOL This classmark prefix indicates large sized (folio) books shelved in a separate sequence on each floor.
DEPOSITORY or RES Basement Store *

[*] Apply to staff at the Enquiry Desk

[**] Access only by internal library lift