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Library Access

Opening hours and admissions policy

The main entrance to the Richard Powell Library is on the ground floor of Garden Court.
Members of College are allowed access 24 hours a day, in both full term and vacation, using their University ID card. For security, the door is kept locked; readers are reminded not to admit non-members of Sidney to the Library. Surveillance cameras operate at all times.

Alumni, members of other colleges within the University, and all external visitors, should apply for admission by contacting the Librarian, Mr Alan Stevens in advance.

The Library is usually staffed 8:30am-1pm and 1:30pm-5pm, Monday to Friday throughout term and vacation. The Library closes completely for three days over the Christmas period, and again over the New Year, when the College is closed, and access is not allowed. At any time, staffing may be affected by meetings, training courses, annual leave, sickness absence and other factors, so users who need to be certain of staff help, e.g. students with a crucial deadline or visitors making a special journey, are recommended to contact Library staff in advance.

Parts of the Library are accessible to wheelchair users at all times, and there is ramped access into the building. Users with special access needs are recommended to contact the Librarian in advance of their first visit. The Librarian and Head Porter may be able to arrange full independent access to both floors of the Library for disabled users, but again this should be discussed in advance.



If you are not currently studying or working at Sidney, please contact the Librarian in advance of any visit. To borrow books from the Library you will normally need a University ID card or University Library card. New first-year undergraduate and graduate members of Sidney should find that their ID cards have been registered for borrowing before they arrive. Other Sidney members should present their card to a member of the Library staff for registration before borrowing books, send in their details by e-mail to, or fill in a paper issue slip at the self-issue desk outside of staffed hours.


Fire and First Aid

When the fire alarm sounds, please leave the Library immediately. The emergency exits are clearly marked and readers are asked to familiarise themselves with evacuation procedures. The fire muster point is normally the Master’s Garden, but during the period of building work, please use the King Street Car Park.

A first aid kit is available in the Library Office during staffed hours for the treatment of minor injuries. Please take care when using ladders, steps and other equipment and report any accident which occurs in the Library to a member of staff.