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Updates from the Library relating to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The latest news on how Library Services are adapting in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) .

Overview of services

Latest update: 14/04/21

Though Covid-19 has required us to adapt our services, the library is still open for you to access resources and study space. 

If you are a University of Essex student or staff member you can:

All our opening hours are available online, and you can find more detailed information about the services provided at Colchester, Loughton, and Southend below.

Please note that we are unable to provide access to visitors who are not University of Essex students or staff at this time.  

More information and advice on studying during Covid-19 is available at You can also access our student services webpages to find out who you need to contact if you need support. 

Colchester: Current Service

The Albert Sloman Library:

Latest update: 14/04/21
  • Study spaces are available in the Library Reading Room on a pre booking system. Access will be through the "overnight" door (at the end of the Library concourse). Spaces are available Mon-Fri 10am-midnight, and Sun 12-8pm. 
  • Postgraduate study spaces are available within the training room in the Library Reading Room.
  • Please continue to bring your ID card and proof of booking, along with a face covering.
  • The majority of items required for module reading will be available online through our reading list system/Moodle.  
  • Access to items in the Library's print collections is available via click and collect. Access to print collections is primarily for further reading, and to meet the needs of academic staff and research students. In response to your feedback you are now able to request up to 10 books per click and collect slot (an increase from 5). 
  • We are also operating our Scan and Deliver service.
  • Interlibrary loans for home delivery are now no longer possible due to the closure of the British Library. We are still able to process article and chapter requests.
  • Library staff are available via chat, phone and email to assist with queries.
  • Currently checked out books cannot be recalled or requested by other users. If you need a book that is currently checked out, you can use our Request a Resource service. 
  • No fines will be charged on recalls. Fines may still be charged for late return of laptop loans.
  • Books can be returned through the external book drop or returned by post.
  • We may not be able to fulfil intercampus requests. Where we are able to fulfil these, it may take longer for books to be delivered.
  • The Library Special Collections Reading Room is closed to visitors, but scans of material may be available, depending on copyright and the amount requested. Priority for scan and deliver will be given to Essex staff and students. External user requests for scan and deliver may take upwards of 28 days. Please contact with any Special Collection enquiries.  
  • Online library services, including access to resources, as well as specialist support and expertise continue to be available through our website.

Loughton: Current Service

Loughton Library and IT centre

Latest update: 14/04/21

All library users should make a booking before arrival. You can find our latest opening hours online. We are usually open 10:00 till 17:00 Monday to Friday, but as we are a small team these hours can be subject to change. 

We are currently offering the following services:

Further updates will be posted on the Loughton News page

Please note:

  • You can renew your books online: just sign in to your 'my account' page. 
  • All returns should be placed in the external drop box. Staff will empty the dropbox regularly but there may be a delay in items coming off your account. If you are unable to return your books please contact us and let us know. 
  • The helpdesk is closed for now but we are available to answer your queries on live chat and email, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
  • We may not be able to fulfil intercampus requests. Where we are able to fulfil these, it may take longer for books to be delivered. If you require material from a different campus please email with details of your request for consideration.
  • All users of the library should wear a face covering, follow social distancing measures, and have their registration card.

Southend: Current Service

The Forum Library:

Latest update 12/04/2021

All book loans from the Forum will be extended until 10th May 2021. Short and Long loans have temporarily been set to 5 weeks. 

Following latest Government guidance the Library has now reopened for browsing and choosing your own books at Southend between 10am-4pm Monday - Saturday (closed Sundays). There is no need to book but numbers will be restricted to 25 people browsing at any one time. Students and staff should limit browsing time to no more than 20 minutes. These restrictions apply to the first and ground floor only – the Learning Hub remains open 24/7 and study spaces should be booked in advance. The click and collect service will continue to run alongside browsing.

The click and collect service allows members to request books online or by phone and collect between 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm Monday to Saturday. Details of how to access this service are available here.

  • All book loan due dates have been extended until 10th May 2021. 
  • All loans have temporarily been set to 5 weeks. 
  • Laptop loans are available to borrow and will be subject to a 72 hour quarantine period on return.  
  • We will not be able to process intercampus requests at this time due to the current lockdown. 
  • You can still access online library services and contact us via chat or by email. 
  • The majority of items required for module reading will be available online through our reading list system/Moodle so we would continue to advise you to use online resources wherever possible.


The Learning Hub:

  • The Learning Hub is open for study. You need to book a study space in advance.
  • Access to the Learning Hub will be available 24/7 (Access outside of Library opening hours is via the Out of Hours Access door. Instructions For using this door are available here. 
  • The Info Point desk will be closed until further notice. You will still be able to contact us via chat between 9am-6pm Monday to Friday or you can email us at If you need more extensive help with research and referencing skills, you can make an appointment with a Librarian through the ‘Book a Librarian’ form on our website. Due to social distancing rules, staff will only be conducting these appointments via Zoom.
  • Face Coverings must be worn at all times while using the Learning Hub and social distancing guidelines should be observed. We ask that students only use PCs marked with a green dot.

Goverment and University Guidance regarding Covid-19

The University is monitoring and following all advice from Public Health England, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the World Health Organisation and will review all guidance daily. Please see the information below for the latest updates: