Library FAQs

Keele University Library frequently asked questions.

The Library is currently open 

Monday to Thursday 9.00 am – 8.00 pm
Friday and Weekends 9.00 am – 5.00 pm 

IT Service Desk - virtual support

Monday to Tuesday and Thursday to Friday 9am – 5pm, Wednesdays 10am - 5pm and closed at weekends.

Who can use the click and collect service?
Our click and collect service is available for current staff and students at Keele. You can request up to eight books that are available on the Campus Library shelves or out on loan. Please note that you cannot exceed your loan limit; if you already have items out on your library account that you need to return, they won't be taken off your account for 72 hours due to the quarantine period as per coronavirus mitigations. The Library is only open to members of the University at this stage, as our priority is to deliver services to our staff and students first.

How do I use click and collect?
You can request books that are currently available on the Campus Library shelves or out on loan. Go to Library Search and sign in using your Keele IT details.
You can then search for resources in the usual way and you are able to request up to five items, providing you have not exceeded the loan limit.
More information is available at
We will then get the items ready and we’ll let you know via email when you can come and collect them.
Please only request items if you are able to come and collect them and that you are going to use – this ensures books are available for your fellow students.
We aim to have your requested books ready to collect within two working days, and we will hold them for you for three working days before returning them to the shelves if they are not collected.

What if I want a book that's out on loan?
You can request books out on loan in the usual way, but there may be at least a 10 day wait for this, because we need to wait for the items to be returned by the current borrower. After the item is returned, it will need to be quarantined for 72 hours as per coronavirus mitigations.
You will receive an email when items are ready for collection, so please don't come to the Library until you have confirmation - we want to reduce the number of people who need to be on campus.

I've requested a book but I'm self-isolating. How can I collect it within 3 working days?
If you live on campus, but are verified as needing to self-isolate, we are looking at how we can get the books delivered to you and will provide an update early next week.
If you live off campus, but are verified as needing to self-isolate, please delegate access to a friend or relative to collect the book on your behalf (they will need to bring your Keele card when they collect the book but this remains your responsibility). If you are not able to do this and in exceptional circumstances we will post the book to you.

I've received an email saying a book has been requested and I need to return it. What do I do?
(Book recalls are suspended over Christmas from Saturday 12 December to Sunday 10 January 2021 inclusive, so you will not be asked to return an item during this time)
You need to return the book within 7 days or you may incur a charge. Please consider your fellow students and return items as soon as possible when asked.
If you live on campus, but are verified as needing to self-isolate, please ask a friend to drop it back to the Campus Library. please contact us via our email address
If you live off-campus, but are verified as needing to self-isolate, please ask a friend or relative to drop it back to the Campus Library. If you can't do this, please use the Freepost service.

Can I return books by post?
Yes, you can return books by posting them, but it is up to you to arrange and pay for postage of them. If you live off-campus, but are verified as needing to self-isolate, you can make use of our Freepost service for the return of books.
There are a few simple steps to follow:
1. Make up a parcel of around three books, depending on size and weight of the books, to a total weight of no more than 5kg. Ideally, they should be wrapped in brown paper or a Jiffy bag. Please ensure that parcels are well wrapped so they reach us securely. If you have more than 3 books or they're large heavy books, you may need to make up a number of parcels.
2. Go to and print off a Freepost label then stick it to your parcel. If you don't have a printer, copy the QR code to your mobile instead.
3. Take your parcel to your nearest Post Office (or get someone else to do this if you're verified as needing to self-isolate). Show them the QR code if you haven't been able to print the label and they'll print it for you. Books will be returned to the University within 48 hours, but please note they'll remain on your account until they've been quarantined for 72 hours as per coronavirus mitigations.

The Library has 139 individual study spaces – there are a mix of individual study rooms, silent study desks without PCs and desks with PCs. We also have four group study spaces, for groups of up to 4 people.

Individual silent study rooms and desks are available:
Monday to Friday 9.00am – 2.00pm and 2.30pm – 7.30pm
Saturday and Sunday 9.00am – 4.30pm

You don't need to pre-book but please be aware that spaces are allocated on a first come first served basis.

Can I use the library for group study?
Yes we have four group study rooms available.

We ask that before you enter the Library, you ensure you are wearing a face covering (unless you are exempt). Please ensure you bring your Keele card (student ID) with you when you come to the Library, as you won’t be able to come into the building otherwise. Enter the building using the left-hand staircase, following the signs to ensure social distancing is maintained if there’s someone ahead of you in the queue. When you get to the library foyer, a member of our team will ask what library service you require and provide you with the relevant details. Please follow all instructions you are given by our staff and pay attention to the signage around the building – it is in place for your own safety.

How do I know it’s safe to enter the building?
To keep both our staff and students safe, we are minimising the handling of books and using appropriate hand cleaning routines. Staff will be behind perspex screens, wearing face coverings and will not touch your Keele card when you present it for access. There are also santisation stations around the building so that you can regularly clean your hands and study areas.

Please ensure that you follow social distancing guidelines and written and verbal instructions. If you don’t, you will be asked to leave the building and won’t be able to make use the Library services. We also advise our students to get regular tests, and encourage them to always get tested before visiting the Library.

Where do I drop off books I want to return?
During our opening hours there is a red dropbox situated at the top of the Library steps; just place your returns into this. You do not need to come into the Library, and we’ll remove the books from your account after they have been quarantined for 72 hours.

Outside of our opening hours you can return books in the book drop box to the side the Library, next to the accessible entrance. Please do bear in mind social distancing guidelines when returning books, and if another student is returning books at the same time as you, keep your distance and be patient. Returned books will be quarantined for three days before the Library team handle them and remove them from your Library account.

My account is showing books on it that I have already returned/haven’t borrowed.
All returns are quarantined for 72 hours before they removed from your Library account. If there are still outstanding items on your account after three days, please contact us via email at

I am not physically able to get up the external staircase. What should I do?
Please go to the accessible entrance and ring the bell. A member of staff will come to you and provide additional support. Please make sure you bring your Keele card with you.

Is there anything else I need to know?
Please only come to the Library to collect reserved items or to return book, to print or to access a study space.
Please be aware that if the situation or government guidelines change, we may have to change, reduce or withdraw this service at short notice.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Library team by emailing
Please be aware that staff are doing their best to support you and any abuse of staff will not be tolerated.

Yes, campus printers are available in the Library building. There is no need to book an appointment to use the printing facilities. There are PCs available in the Library foyer for you to use in order to send items to print. Alternatively, you can use your own device provided you have installed the printer drivers.

Yes we have 32 bookable spaces for those students who want to work in silence. You will need to book via the online booking system and bring your own laptop or borrow one from the Library when you come in.

Unfortunately, as a result of COVID-19 the Sconul Access Scheme remains suspended.

This means that we are unable to process new applications or renew applications, and that participating libraries are not accepting visitors from other libraries under the scheme.
Currently, capacity within member libraries is severely restricted due to the need for social distancing. We are required to abide by the relevant government guidelines and this means that it is not possible to facilitate external visitors.
Sconul are fully committed to recommencing the scheme again as soon as it is safe and practical to do so and will keep this this under regular review. Given the information currently available, it is felt unlikely that the scheme will return to full functioning this academic year (2020-21).
In the meantime scheme users wanting to use particular resources should speak to the library staff at their own institution who will be able to assist.

Onsite access to archive collections is currently suspended due to Covid-19. A remote enquiry service remains available. Please contact the Special Collections Administrator

Most Library eresources can be accessed remotely using your Keele student login. Please use the links on the Library homepage or go straight to Library Search. Please contact us if you have any queries regarding online access. Many publishers are also opening up access to large parts of their collections, we will add these to Library Search as we become aware of them and Google Scholar is also a great place to search for these high quality academic free resources during this time of working and studying from home.

The following browser plugins can also help locate great Open Access academic articles:

We are still providing a virtual IT and Library enquiry service:

Or via Live chat.

The Inter Library Loan service has now re-opened and is able to apply to obtain items from the British Library. However, as extra safety precautions are in place to ensure the safety of their users, it may take up to 2 weeks to obtain items. Please contact for more information on how to apply.

Please contact us at with the full details of the journal and article title. If you are receiving an error message please screenshot this including the url/web address and include this in your email to help us quickly resolve your query.

Please email the IT Service Desk at and they will be able to help.

We have a number of PC study desks available to pre-book and we also have a method by which our students will be able to access our PCs remotely. The method of accessing the Library PCs is slightly different dependent on if you’re using a Windows PC or a Mac, so please see below for links to the relevant how-to guide for you.

Windows how-to
Mac how-to

The Library's Digitisation Service has resumed, and academic staff can request digitised extracts (licence permitting) from essential and recommended course readings under the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) HE Licence. Email or use our online form. As the number of staff on duty in the Library building is limited, this will lead to a longer wait for readings. We advise module co-ordinators to stagger their requests and prioritise readings required in the first weeks of semester, if at all possible. Students with a visual impairment seeking accessible copies of textbooks should continue to email for assistance.

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) has negotiated special arrangements for 2020-21 to allow a larger amount to be digitised from print books covered by the Higher Education copying licence.

The terms are;

  • Where participating publishers have opted in, the extent limits for digital copying from print books is now two chapters or 20% of the book (see below for a link to the list of participating publishers)
  • Additional extracts can be made available where no digital edition of a book is available through commercial channels – see the CLA FAQs for how the CLA defines this
  • Please note the extended copying applies to print books published by participating publishers only, and specifically exclude anthologies, plays or poetry
  • The changes to licence terms are effective to 31 July 2021. After that date, the licence terms will revert to the original terms and the copying limit will revert to 10%. Therefore, additional extracts used for modules in 2020-21 would need to be removed from digital course “packs” after 31 July 2021 or replace any existing to stay within the 10% limit.

The list of publishers allowing the additional digitisation from their books is available from the CLA’s website; click on the menu option to display the List of Participating Publishers.
Please note, the additional copying provisions do not apply to journal articles.

The Library staff will review any requests for additional digitisation from a work against the 2020-21 criteria set out by the CLA and advise teaching staff on whether the extract(s) can be provided.
If you have any questions on this, please do contact the Library’s Digitisation staff as usual at

Our priority is to members of the University.